How Is Child Custody Decided?

How Is Child Custody Decided?

How Is Child Custody Decided?

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July 18, 2023

There are few things more important than your right to see your child. Being involved in your child’s life is not only important to you, but it will also mean a great deal to them as they grow and develop. In an ideal world, you and your former partner will be able to effectively co-parent without the need for the court to get involved. Unfortunately, that is simply not the reality for many parents.

If you and your ex cannot agree on where the children will spend their time, then you will need to file for custody and have a judge decide the matter for you. But before you head into your custody hearing, you will want to know your rights and how custody cases are decided. Here’s more on that and some tips that may help you to be prepared for your custody case.

Types Of Custody

Before you can understand how your custody might be decided, you must first learn about the distinct types of custody in Oklahoma. Legal custody deals with the decisions made concerning your child’s education, medical health, and religious affiliation. Legal custody can be sole or joint (shared). Physical custody concerns who your child will live with. Physical custody also has sole and joint types. Still, with sole legal custody, only one parent gets to make decisions concerning the child’s school, health, and religion. Sole physical custody, however, means that the child primarily lives with one parent while the other may have visitation rights.

The Best Interests Of The Child

While some people believe that women are favored when making custody decisions, the truth is that the law says that what is in the best interest of the child is to determine how custody decisions are to be made. What this means is that neither the mother nor the father of the child should have an advantage heading into the custody hearing. With that in mind, the judge hearing your case will look at a list of factors to determine what custody arrangement will be in the best interest of your child. These factors are included in Oklahoma’s custody law, and a few are listed below.

  • The physical and mental health of all parties;
  • Any past or present alcohol or drug abuse;
  • Any past, present, or potential future spousal or child abuse by either parent;
  • The wishes of each parent and sometimes the child (depending on the child’s age);
  • The quality of the relationship that the parent and child have;
  • Which parent has been involved in the past in getting the child to doctor and medical appointments;
  • How stable the child’s home life will be with either parent;
  • A parent’s ability to provide for the basic and essential needs of the child;
  • The demonstrated ability of each parent to make good decisions regarding the child’s welfare.

The factors listed above are only some of what the court can consider. The judge will be given wide discretion in deciding your case. What this means is that they can look at just about anything in determining what will be in the child’s best interest. They may even call your child to the witness stand and ask them questions. This can be done in front of the parents or behind closed doors in the judge’s chambers.

The most helpful thing that you can do in giving yourself the best chance of receiving a favorable outcome is to hire an experienced family law attorney. To be sure, if your ex has an attorney for your custody case and you do not, the chances of you coming out on top are extremely slim. Hiring a family law attorney will go far in preparing you for your case and will help guide you through a potentially stressful and lengthy battle.

Oklahoma Family Law Lawyer

If you have questions concerning the custody of your children, then you’ll want to discuss your situation with an Oklahoma child custody attorney. Inner Vision Legal handles all types of family law matters, including child custody, spousal support, child support, and divorce. Consult with our experienced family law lawyer at Inner Vision Legal by calling (405) 724-2525 or by contacting us online today.


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