A Parent Can Delegate Another Person to Be a Caregiver for their Child
Video Transcribed: What is a power of attorney for custody in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa Power of Attorney Lawyer James Wirth and we’re talking about powers of attorney, specifically a power of attorney for custody.
It’s a relatively new thing in the state of Oklahoma, a law was passed in 2014, it is Title 10, §700 and 701. It says, Power of Attorney For Care and Custody of Child, Effect of Delegation of Powers Revocation. That’s the title of the statute.
Under this statute, a parent can delegate another person to be a caregiver for the child for a period up to a maximum of one year. It can go beyond one year through execution of a new agreement, but any actual power of attorney for custody is for a maximum of a year and then it has to be renewed. And that gives that other person the power and authority to act as a legal custodian of that child while it’s still in effect.
Now because it’s a power of attorney, it doesn’t take away the ability of the parent to act on behalf of the child, and that parent can actually revoke it at any time, but it does provide some protection.
If a parent does do this, then that parent is not considered to have abandoned the child or be subject to abuse or neglect for that so long as they delegated a responsible person, a fit person, to take on that responsibility.
Another rule is the party that’s taking on that responsibility cannot be compensated for it, they have to be willing to do so voluntarily. So sometimes this can be good, we use this as a stopgap if we’re doing a guardianship where it takes time to get into court and get a guardianship order in place, we may do a power of attorney for custody ahead of that so that they have at least some documentation so they can act on behalf of the child so somebody’s around the child that can do that.
And sometimes it can be used for other benefits. If they’re traveling, then it may be a reason to do that. However, it’s relatively new, not everybody knows about it. Sometimes people don’t want to accept it, particularly for school enrollment. Sometimes we see that schools don’t acknowledge it as being legit.
We then, at that point, would suggest, “Here’s a copy of the statute, see how it complies with the statute. You should follow the statute and allow that person to enroll the child based on this delegated authority through the power of attorney for custody.”
But because it’s new, sometimes we get some resistance to that. And if that doesn’t work and you need another option, the next option up is going to be guardianship. It has court oversight, court approval, you get a signed order of guardianship, letters of administration, or letters of guardianship that you can show that the school will acknowledge.
So this may be an option for you depending on your circumstances, it may not. If you want to talk to an attorney about that, do so before you make any decisions on how to handle it. You’re going to want to have somebody get all of the details and give you advice based on the specifics rather than just a general video. To get that scheduled with somebody at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.