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What Does Joint Custody Mean?

What Does Joint Custody Mean?

An Oklahoma divorce court considers the best interests of a child when determining custody matters, which is usually why joint custody is favored. Muskogee courts assume that unless there are specific, compelling reasons, the best interests of a child are served when both parents have legal custody of the child.

What is Joint Custody?

When parents together make decisions for their child, they are said to have joint legal custody. The parent who makes individual essential decisions regarding the child has legal custody of the child in the areas in which they make decisions. A court can order joint or sole legal custody, depending on the circumstances.

Both parents can have joint custody, but one parent may have physical custody of the child. The parent with physical custody can move out of state, or within a 75-mile radius, but must notify the other parent. If the non-custodial parent objects to such a move, then a court must approve it.

The non-custodial parent gets visitation rights.

In some situations, each parent has the child for half the time in a given year. Such an arrangement makes it easier for parents to share in making decisions for the child.

The age of the child can determine the physical custody schedule. When the child is a toddler, they may spend the most time with one parent. As he or she grows into adolescence, the other parent may also get more time with the child.

Visitation or custody schedules are determined by a court and control who has physical custody at any given time.

When Can Joint Custody Be Denied?

Courts look out for the best interests of a child in all circumstances. When determining who gets custody of a child, courts prefer to grant both parents legal custody unless evidence can be presented in court for grounds not to allow it.


• one parent resides very far from the child’s primary residence,
• or is unfit,
• or there are exceptional circumstances relevant to the particular case,
• or the child has special needs,

then a court may decide not to grant legal custody to one of the child’s parents.

The parent with physical custody also gets sole legal custody.

A court will carefully assess the information presented before denying one parent legal custody of their child.

It is usually beneficial to a child to see his or her parents making decisions together, and courts will always try to make this possible.

When One Parent Has Sole Physical Custody

In circumstances where one parent gets sole physical custody, the other parent does not live with the child at all.

If the parents have joint custody, the parent who has physical custody of the child could end up having more decision-making power than the non-custodial parent. In this situation, the court may determine what decisions each parent makes; this prevents one parent from having more control than the other.

Ask an Attorney: Muskogee Divorce Lawyer

Are you struggling with matters related to the custody of your child or children? We know Muskogee law very well. Talk to one of the best divorce attorneys in Muskogee, OK today. Our Muskogee divorce lawyer is skilled and experienced and will walk with you through the complicated matter of the custody of your child or children.

Let a qualified lawyer hear you out on what you want for your children. Call (918) 913-0725 or toll-free at 1 (888) 447-7262 (Wirth Law).

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