A child custody case arises when a divorce or separation is filed between parents. In other cases the parents may not have not been married to each other. The later case is called a paternity case. In a paternity case the parents are seeking court ordered custody and support.
Child custody attorneys will explain that child custody is settled by whats called the best interest of the child. The determination of a custody award encompasses issues that are categorized as either physical or legal custody. Physical child custody involves which parent the child will live and spend time with. Legal custody has to do with decisions regarding the child’s upbringing — discipline, health care, education, religion, etc.
Types of Child Custody in Oklahoma:
A court will award either joint or sole child custody to the parents. In the case of a joint child custody decree, the parents may submit a plan to the court for how decisions will be made regarding the child’s upbringing. This plan will also include time-sharing of the children. The plan(s) should outline living arrangements, payment of the child’s medical and dental care. The plane should also inculcate, visitation arrangements, school arrangements, and child support obligations. The parents or the court may decide that certain decisions will be made by one of the parents, while others are shared. Oklahoma law has a preference for joint custody. Otherwise there must be a showing that its not in the best interest of the child.
In the case of sole legal custody, one parent will be assigned exclusive control of decisions regarding the child’s welfare. With sole physical custody, the child will spend most of his or her time with one parent. The non-custodial parent would still have the right of visitation. This right exists unless there is a showing that visitation isn’t in the best interests of the child standard.
In a few circumstances, the court may award split custody, in which each parent is awarded separate custody of one or more of the couple’s children.
Factors Involved in Child Custody Determinations:
Most child custody attorneys will tell you the court’s decision as to custody and whats in the best interests of the child, if the parents cannot agree, will hinge on a consideration of the following:
- the parents’ and child’s preferences, if the child is old enough;
- quality of the child’s relationship with both parents, grandparents, siblings, and other significant people;
- mental and physical health of the parties involved, including the child;
- past, present, or possible future spousal or child abuse by either parent;
- present or past substance abuse by either parent;
- prior or present crimes committed by either parent, apart from minor or less serious crimes that occurred in the distant past with no recent criminal activity;
- which parent has in the past been involved in getting the child to and from the doctor, dentist, and school, as well as which parent has attended parent-teacher conferences and school functions;
- which parent will provide a stable and safe home environment and not engage in activities, such as smoking, that are potentially harmful to the child;
- the willingness of each parent to encourage relationship and visitation with the other parent;
- a parent’s ability to materially provide for the child;
- the ability of each parent to make good decisions with respect to the child;
- whether there are siblings or half-siblings with close relationships to the child;
- a parent’s ability to spend time with the child.
Contact Our Divorce and Child Custody Attorneys Today:
A child custody decree involves a detailed examination and consideration of every aspect of a child’s relationships with the parents. This order has significant impact on a child’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being. If you’re in the middle of a custody dispute, it’s inadvisable to proceed with a clear understanding of your legal. Consult with a team of experienced Child Custody Attorneys today. Call the child custody attorneys at Tulsa Divorce Attorneys and Associates Today for your FREE consultation
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