Norman Child Custody Attorney
Fighting for Parental Rights in Cleveland County & Surrounding Areas
In the state of Oklahoma, both parents are granted physical custody of any child born during their marriage. In some cases, physical custody can be granted to both parents where a child was born out of wedlock, but there must be agreement established explaining that the husband will be the child’s father. This means that both parents can live with their child until a court order has been finalized.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Oklahoma?
After a divorce, the court will make custody and visitation determinations based on “the best interests of the physical, mental, and moral welfare of the child.” The court relies on a variety of factors to establish child custody and visitation orders.
Some of the child custody factors in Oklahoma are:
- The relationship between the child and the parents
- The child’s relationship to his/her extended family members
- The mental and physical states of each parent and the child
- Each parent’s wishes (the child’s may be considered too – depending on his/her age)
- The child’s relationship and involvement with school and his/her community
- Any history or potential history of spousal or child abuse by either parent
- Any past or present drug or substance abuse by either parent
- Any past or present criminal actions and/or convictions by either parent (other than minor infractions)
- Which parent is actively involved in the child’s school events, education, doctor and dentist appointments
- Which parent is most likely able to provide a safe home environment for the child
- Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs
- Each parent’s ability to spend time with the child
Types of Child Custody in Oklahoma
It is important to note that most courts in Oklahoma combine the terms physical and legal custody into one term, referring to both as “custody.”
The different types of custody in Oklahoma are:
- Physical Custody – This refers to where and with whom the child will live.
- Legal Custody – This refers to the parent who will make decisions about the child’s education, health, religion, etc.
The different types of physical and legal custody are:
- Sole Legal Custody – This is given to one parent who will be the only individual to make decisions about the child’s education, health, religion, etc.
- Joint Legal Custody – This custody allows both parents to make legal decisions regarding the child’s education, health, and religion, etc.
- Sole Physical Custody – This type of custody is where the child lives with one parent and the other parent has visitation rights.
- Joint Physical Custody – In this type of custody agreement, the child resides with each parent for a certain duration of time.
- Temporary Custody Order – Temporary custody orders can be physical or legal custody orders requested by the parents or ordered by the court until a final custody and visitation order is granted.
Child Support Modifications
To change your child support order, you will need to file a motion to modify a custody order. This motion asks the court to modify the existing custody and will need to state the reason for the request.
Sole Custody Order Modifications
If the custody order is a sole custody order, there needs to be what the law calls “a permanent, material and substantial change in circumstances that affect the best interests of the child” for the court to change the custody order.
After, the court will refer to the factors above to determine if the modification would be in the child’s best interests. The court will not change a child custody order due to minor changes in either parents’ financial circumstances.
An alteration to a child custody order is only possible if there is a significant change that will affect the child’s life, such as:
- Physical abuse
- Substance abuse
- Relocation (the custodial parent moves out of state)
Once a motion to modify has been filed, the court sets a hearing date. On this date, the parent seeking the modification will need to have a legitimate reason as to why he/she is seeking the change. As this modification can be difficult to prove, it would behoove you to seek the help of an experienced attorney.
Joint Custody Modifications
In the event a spouse would like to modify a joint custody order, the court will need to see that both parties cannot cooperate and agree on what is in the best interests of the child. Both or one parent can go to court and ask to terminate the joint custody order and apply for sole custody.
Visitation in Oklahoma
The court will grant visitation to the parent who does not receive physical or sole custody, unless this parent has an issue with drug or alcohol abuse or has committed spousal and/or child abuse.
Here are some examples of common visitation schedules:
- Weekend visitation
- Holiday visitation
- Summer visitation
Turn to Our Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer in Norman for Support
Our team of professionals at Redhawk Law have over a decade of experience working with child custody and visitation laws in Oklahoma. Our child custody attorney in Norman, OK can guide you through each process with ease, so you can spend that additional time caring for the people who matter most to you: your family.