Are Fathers at a Disadvantage in Oklahoma Custody Battles?

Unfortunately, it depends on the family law judge your custody case or divorce is assigned in your county court. Oklahoma law dictates that child custody should be decided based upon the best interest of the child, which presumes both fathers and mothers will share custody. However, this has not always been the case and some judges have preconceived notions about father’s rights and child custody. 

Another issue that is common in Oklahoma divorces with minor children and custody battles is the tender years presumption, which dictates that children at a young age need more time with their mother than their fathers. These important Father’s Rights issues are discussed more below.


Hundreds of free resources are available on our website, come by our office to pick-up a FREE copy of our book, “Informed Divorce: Facing the Future with a Plan” or you may purchase it on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon! Also, you may call us anytime 405-591-3935 for a free confidential case strategy sessions

Do Oklahoma Family Courts Give Mothers an Advantage in Custody Battles?

Oklahoma child custody laws once presumed preference for mothers. However, those days are gone under our statutes. Oklahoma law now dictates that shared custody between mothers and fathers or sole custody must be determined in every case based on the best interest of the child. Oklahoma custody laws do not presume joint custody or sole custody as preferable. Rather, Oklahoma custody laws require the best interest of the child must be determined in every case.

Since Oklahoma custody laws do not presume joint custody over sole custody, it is important to know what information family law judges consider important in determining custody. The core question that judges look at regarding custody in divorce cases and child custody cases is, what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child?” Although this question can have incredibly broad meaning, which we will discuss below. The key thing to remember is it is what is best for the child, NOT the parents. Remember that judges are concerned with the child’s interests, not yours when you are planning your case to present on custody.

Oklahoma family judged do not automatically favor shared custody or joint custody; however, custody decisions cannot be made based on gender of the parents. Stated another way, father’s rights under Oklahoma law level the playing field for custody determination, at least by statute. Whether you are confident that you have an advantage or not in achieving the child custody arrangement that you want, it is important to have a Fierce Advocate® Oklahoma City men’s rights lawyer fight for your parental rights.  

What Types of Custody exist in Oklahoma?

Knowledge is power, especially in custody fights in Oklahoma. You need to know the types of child custody available to you before you can fight for the outcome that you want. Oklahoma child custody consists of legal custody and physical custody. Each of type of custody has separate considerations and impacts on your relationship with your children.

Physical custody comes down to where does the child sleep at night pursuant to the custody plan or temporary orders in your divorce or custody case. You and your Oklahoma City father’s rights attorney can fight for the physical custody schedule that is best for your work schedule and your child(ren)’s schedule. However, the court’s determination or your agreement with the other parent on physical custody takes many other factors into consideration that impact the “best interest of the child.” Primary physical custody is important as only that parent may relocate the child without an order of the court. 

Legal custody in Oklahoma divorce and child custody cases deals with important decisions in your child’s life. Decision making authority under legal custody generally concerns: education, discipline, religious upbringing, extracurricular activities, and other long term impactful decisions in your child’s life. Legal custody does not address the minor day to day decisions that come up when raising a child. 

Shared legal custody, in which both parents play a role in the important decision making process in your child’s life, is often granted when both parents can show that they are fit and would make good decisions for their child. It is important to fight for at least joint physical and joint legal custody, if you want to play a significant role in the lives of your children. Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates would be glad to meet with you and answer your questions about how to accomplish your goals for child custody.

What are Father’s Custody Rights in Oklahoma?

Father’s custody rights in Oklahoma are equal to mother’s custody rights. However, the decision on physical custody of your children, as well as legal custody of your children, is not based on your interests. Physical custody and legal custody in Oklahoma are based on the “best interests of the child,” not the parents’ interests. 

Many factors are considered in determining what is in the best interest of the child for custody purposes. However, the living arrangements of both parents, the schedules and availability to provide for the supervision and parental needs of the child, as well as the plan a parent can present with the assistance of their family law attorney, and others play a major role in determining the custody schedule for your case. 

In Oklahoma County and a growing number of courts, including Cleveland and Canadian County, father’s rights are well protected and with the assistance of an experienced father’s rights lawyer, you can achieve success in your custody case. Fathers’ child custody rights in Oklahoma are the same as mother’s child custody rights under Oklahoma law. However, your Oklahoma child custody lawyer’s ability to advocate for your custody still plays an important role in achieving a positive outcome in your custody case. 

Any experienced Oklahoma City child custody lawyer can tell you that some mothers try to convince their divorce attorney or child custody attorney that the father of their children having custody is not in the best interest of the children. You are not at a disadvantage as a father in a custody case. However, the narrative that your chosen father’s rights attorney conveys to opposing counsel and the court does have a significant impact on the outcome of your custody case.

Consult Your Fierce Advocates® for Father’s Rights

Most fathers love their children very much and want to have a significant relationship with their children after divorce or a child custody dispute. When the custody of your children is at stake, you need an experienced Oklahoma City father’s rights attorney standing up for you. 


When you take a strategic approach to your child custody case or child custody in your divorce, you may be able to save time, stress, and money in this process. 

Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates are dedicated to answering your questions and preparing you for the road ahead. We take pride in the responsibility of serving families facing divorce and the court system every day and are here to assist you through this confusing process.

More free resources on Oklahoma divorce are available on our website, you can stop by our office to pick-up a FREE copy of our book, “Informed Divorce: Facing the Future with a Plan” or you may purchase it on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon!

CALL NOW 405-591-3935 for your free confidential case strategy sessions to help you understand your circumstances and answer your questions about father’s rights and divorce in Oklahoma, whether you decide to work with us or not.