If one or both parents file for joint custody, the parents must file a parenting plan with the court. Parents can submit a plan together, or each parent can submit a plan separately. Your parenting plan is the plan in which you and the other parent will exercise joint care, custody, and control of your child. In the absence of a custody order from an Oklahoma court, the right to physical custody of the child belongs equally to both parents.
In other words, unless a court orders otherwise, either parent can have the child living with them. To get a legal custody order, either parent can file a Petition for Custody in court. Usually, custody will be granted to one parent (sole custody) or both parents (joint custody). However, it is possible for a non-parent to appear in court to try to prove that both parents are not fit for the non-parent to obtain custody of a child.
Grandparents, adult relatives, and anyone with whom a child has been living in a healthy and caring environment are among those who can ask that parents be declared unfit so that custody can be granted to the applicant who is not the parent. However, this doesn't mean that a person other than the parent can get custody simply by going to court and saying, “We can take better care of the child than either parent. A parent must be declared “unfit”. If paternity has been established, either parent can file a “petition for determination of custody and visitation.” If paternity has not been established, you can file a “petition to determine paternity, custody, support and visitation” (usually called a “petition for paternity”).