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Child Custody

The Ritchie Law Firm has handled well over 100 cases involving child custody over the past 23 years. The Firm's attorneys and paralegal staff understand the legal, practical and emotional issues of child custody cases.

The legal objective in a child custody case is to make a custody determination that is in the best interest of the child. The best interest proof and determination often involves a web of factors including, emotional security, stable and healthy physical environment, parent child bonds and relationships, work schedules, availability of educational resources for the child, and much more.

Once a custody order is made by the court it may only be modified based upon a finding that there has been a material change of circumstances such that it is in the best interest of the child that custody be modified. It is often quite difficult to change a custody order once it has been entered. Thus, it is of high importance that the initial custody order be obtained in a form that the parties are prepared to live with for many years.


The Ritchie Law Firm has an extensive practice in the areas of modification of child support, child visitation, and child custody in Oklahoma divorce cases and Oklahoma paternity cases.  The following is general information concerning child support modification, child visitation modification, and child custody modification cases in Oklahoma.

After a final decree of paternity, decree of divorce, or child custody order is entered, the parties may experience a change of circumstances.  As a result of the change, people must be aware that certain portions of their final decree are subject to review and modification and other portions are not.  The main section of a divorce decree that is not subject to modification is property and debt division.  Most other portions of a divorce decree are subject to modification.  The main section of a paternity decree that is not subject to modification is adjudication of the father of the child.  Most other portions of a paternity decree are subject to modification.

In order to modify child support, child visitation, or child custody; a person must first establish to the Court that there has been a permanent change of a material fact and circumstance.  This is done by filing a motion with the court to modify the order or decree.  The Court then proceeds to conduct hearings on the evidence and modify what it deems necessary to modify.  In child support modifications, the Court looks to whether there has been a change in the incomes of the parties necessitating a recomputation of child support.  In child custody and child visitation modifications, the Court considers whether there have been changes in the conduct and circumstances of the parents such that the best interests of the child is served by modifying custody or visitation.  In child custody and child visitation modifcation proceedings such things as child abuse, child neglect, mistreatment of children, living conditions of children, geographical relocation of parents and other such matters have arisen which affect the best interest of the children and/or practical ability of the parties to meet the child visitation schedule.

Many people feel that when the final decree is entered, the matter is set in stone.  However, when circumstances change which warrant a modification of child custody, modification of child support, or modification of child visitation there is relief available in Oklahoma for modification of the orders and decrees that have been made by the court.


At the Ritchie Law Firm in Pryor, OK we represent clients throughout Oklahoma, including Pryor, Claremore, Wagoner, Vinita, Jay, Muskogee, Tulsa, Nowata, and Sapulpa. 
Through the following counties: Mayes County, Rogers County, Tulsa County, Craig County, Wagoner County,
Muskogee County, Nowata County, Delaware County, Osage County, and Creek County.