A minor change to the language of an Oklahoma law could lead to major changes in upcoming child custody cases. The Oklahoma Legislature recently passed House Bill 1151 with overwhelming support before Governor Kevin Stitt signed the bill into law. House Bill 1151 amends the language in 43 O.S. § 110.1 to allow courts to award both parents substantially equal access to minor children at a final hearing unless the court finds such an arrangement would be detrimental to the minor child(ren). Previously this provision only applied to temporary orders. The new law requires a court to make specific findings of facts and conclusions of the law to support its decision(s) after a final hearing on the merits. These two changes do not establish a presumption of shared parenting in Oklahoma. However, these changes may lead to courts increasingly finding a shared parenting schedule is in the best interests of minor children. Call us if you have questions about how this law may impact your custody case or current custody arrangement.
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