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How does military service affect child custody in Oklahoma?

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Military Family Law |

The standard relocation rules that apply for co-parenting don’t apply to a service member who has no choice but to move for their work. Service members have to move wherever the military wants to station them.

Visitation rights

Oklahoma’s military family law protects the visitation rights of service members. They may defer their visitation rights to their spouse, parent or another designated person for the duration of their deployment. Once they are back from their deployment, they may continue seeing their child based on the child custody agreement.

Notice of relocation

When a service member has sole physical custody of their child, they need to provide notice to the other parent of their relocation. This notice must include a proposed visitation schedule. Typically, Oklahoma requires a 60-day notice, but relocation for the military sometimes goes based on different rules because service members might receive short notice for their relocations. You could expect to receive notice at least 10 days in advance. If the parent has sufficient notice to provide a 60-day notice, then Oklahoma still goes by this rule.

Active duty

Service members who have sole physical custody may arrange for their child to stay with the other parent during their time away. Federal law doesn’t allow custody orders to change while a service member is serving active duty. The other parent’s rights to see their child will stay the same too.

Postponement of hearings

Federal law allows service members to request a postponement of child custody hearings and other issues when they need to go on active duty. The court may grant them a stay or delay of administrative and court proceedings.

Service members have certain protections in place through both federal and state law. The other parent is not able to take their custody rights away from them while they’re on active duty.