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What is temporary custody in an Oklahoma divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Family Law |

In Oklahoma, parents can obtain temporary custody when one spouse files for divorce. Temporary custody can determine the child’s living arrangements during the entire divorce process. Divorces take time to finalize, and the minor children must live somewhere with someone before the court awards legal and physical custody.

The court may overturn a temporary custody order once the spouses have settled their disputes, regardless of whether the resolution procedures occur in a courtroom. However, an award of temporary custody can affect other temporary orders.

What are temporary orders?

Divorcing couples must address specific issues immediately. Property division takes time, especially in divorces where valuable assets are at stake. Child custody and support can also prolong divorce proceedings when contrasting evidence arises, and spouses refuse to settle. Temporary orders are the instructions and obligations the family court will set before they can make an actual order regarding every point of contestation. They can address the following issues:

  • Who will stay in the marital home?
  • Who will move out temporarily?
  • Will the person with temporary custody stay in the family home for the sake of the children?
  • Will the person with temporary custody get to keep the family vehicle?
  • Which property and assets can the spouses use for the interim period?

The court will typically determine temporary orders in a quick hearing. The court will need to review relevant documents, bank statements, medical and criminal records. They will consider the length of the marriage and the financial standing of each spouse before distributing the marital property and awarding a custody or support order. High-conflict divorces (Oklahoma Statutes Title 43. Marriage and Family §43-120.2.) involve many disputes, and the court might require a parenting coordinator to decide an award of child custody better. Therefore, temporary orders might be necessary to keep the peace.

Do I need to have temporary orders?

To be clear, not all divorces will need temporary orders. You and your spouse can discuss these issues and decide without needing an order since they are only temporary. But if you believe your children should stay with you while the divorce is proceeding, you can request temporary custody and support.