Custody matters are typically stressful on both the parents and their children. Whether parents have recently gone through divorce, or perhaps never married, generally the child’s best interest means having a good relationship with both parents. However, there are legitimate reasons for preventing some parents from having custody and/or visitation rights. Such reasons include, but are not limited to, a parent’s abusive behavior, a parent’s mental and/or physical unfitness, a parent’s absence from the child’s life, where each parent lives, and the child’s own interests and wishes.
Many Oklahoma parents believe custody matters are cut and dry – either you have custody of your child, or not. Custody matters are actually a little more complex. A judge must consider a variety of factors when determining which parent or legal guardian should have child custody. Our Tulsa child custody attorneys have helped countless Oklahoma parents resolve child custody concerns.
Legal v. Physical Child Custody in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, both parents share equal custody of their children unless a court order says otherwise. When the court intervenes to determine custody matters following a divorce or other domestic court proceedings, a judge decides which parent receives physical custody and which parent receives legal custody. More often than not, the parent with physical custody will also have legal custody of his or her child. However, there are situations where both parents share custody of their children, whether that be simply physical custody, or the sharing of legal custody rights as well. When sharing custody rights, it is important to retain qualified legal representation to ensure protectin of your rights.
When a parent receives physical custody of his or her child, the child lives with this parent. Some arrangements allow for a child to primarily live at one parent’s residence, and spend weekends or another set period of time at the other parent’s residence. When a parent receives legal custody of his or her child, that parent has a right to make decisions regarding the child’s education, medical care, religion, as well as other important life decisions that often shape a child’s culture and understanding of the world.
The greatest test a judge considers when determining physical and/or legal custody is the best interest of the child(ren). Each parent has a right to argue why he or she should receive physical and/or legal custody of the child(ren). Since custody matters are so brutal, a family law attorney with experience is imperative. It ensures you take all steps possible to receive physical and/or legal custody of your child(ren).
Joint v. Sole Custody
As briefly described above, judges often grant parents joint custody of their child(ren). Often this decision may turn out as the best interest of the child(ren). If both parents can care and make decisions for their children, little reason exists to allow one parent greater custody rights than another parent. However, it is typically easier on a child to have one primary residence so that the child can have a consistent lifestyle of attending school and making childhood friends.
When determined only one parent is fit for physical and/or legal custody, that parent has sole custody of the child. The other parent has no right to make decisions for the child or to provide a home for the child. If parents have shared custody rights, they are considered to have joint physical and/or legal custody of their children. While dealing with custody matters, Oklahoma parents should always consider what is the least stressful arrangement on the child(ren); and what arrangement will be in the best interest of the child(ren); enabling them to grow and develop as any other child(ren) living with both parents. For more information call our Tulsa child custody attorneys.
Contact Tulsa Child Custody Attorneys
If you are experiencing child custody issues, whether they are part of a divorce or not, the Tulsa Child Custody Attorneys at Tulsa Divorce Attorneys and Associates can help. We offer our clients a Free Family law and divorce consultation. Call 521-302-0303
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