Primary Physical Custody Determines How Much Time the Child Spends with Each Parent
Video Transcribed: My name is Jason Lile, and I am an Oklahoma Dads Rights lawyer. I wanted to talk to you today. I’ve seen my previous two videos, you know Oklahoma has three custody types.
And the first one was legal custody, which we discussed. The second one was physical custody or visitation, which we discussed. And there’s one final issue that you should understand about custody, and that is something called the primary physical custodian.
Now years ago… I’ve been doing this for a long time… it used to be that that term was something that divorce lawyers kind of threw around to mean the person who has the most overnights with the child. That mattered because, on a child support calculator, one field that needs to be filled in is the number of overnights each parent will spend with the child on paper.
Obviously, that might be different by agreement or practice, but the primary physical custodian was the parent with more overnights. At some point, I wanted to say, about six years ago, the highest court in Oklahoma decided that there needs to be a designation for a primary physical custodian if the relocation issue is considered. Some divorce lawyers I work with or work against want to put that term in the final paperwork, and some don’t.
But the fact of the matter is, if one parent is going to relocate, there’s a specific statute in Oklahoma that says you have rules you need to follow. You have to notify the other party within 60 days, if possible, before your move, tell them where you’re going, generally why you’re going, and what you propose the new visitation schedule to be. Because if you move more than 70 miles away or outside the jurisdiction where your final order is, this triggers this law.
The primary physical custodian designated by the paperwork or court becomes important because there’s a presumption that that child will go with the primary physical custodian.
So if that’s you, there’s a presumption that if you move, the child or children will go with you, and the other party can respond to your request to relocate and vice versa. If the other party is the primary physical custodian, there’s a presumption that that child or those children will go with that other parent.
We’re going to talk in a separate video about what to do if you want to relocate or if you’ve been notified that your child’s other parents are relocating, but for now, just understand that that is something that you should talk about your lawyer, about who’s the primary physical custodian. So if you have any questions about this or ever need a Child Custody Attorney for Fathers in Tulsa, Okla, or a Child Support Attorney For Fathers in Tulsa, Okla, please contact dads.law.