If you’re going through a divorce, custody of minor children is one of the issues that will be determined as part of the process. There are situations where the parties are able to come to an agreement and the court may approve it; other times, the matter is somewhat contentious. In any event, the court will look to the best interests of the child in making a decision. Oklahoma law provides for different types of child custody, so discuss these arrangements with a lawyer to understand how they impact you.

Joint Custody:

When joint custody is ordered, parents will share in various aspects of physical care and responsibilities of raising the children. In most cases, you will submit a plan to the court regarding the details of the child’s upbringing; the proposal will also cover visitation and decisions on education, religion, extra curricular activities, travel, and other details of the child’s life. Joint custody does not mean an exact 50-50 split of custody, but it covers the shared arrangement between parents.

Sole Custody:

Under this type of custody, one parent is given complete, exclusive control over the decisions that relate to raising the child. However, the other parent is still given reasonable access to visitation with the child.

The Best Interests Standard:

The focus is on the care and well-being of the child when a court looks at custody issues in Oklahoma. A court will take into account a wide range of factors, including:

  •         The relationship between the child and both of the parents;
  •         History of domestic abuse, if any;
  •         Behavior of either parent, if there is a potential that it may impact the well-being of the child;
  •         The preferences of the child, when he or she is over 12 years of age; and,
  •         Any other factors that might have an effect on the child’s best interests.

Note that gender and race cannot be implicated in making a decision regarding the best interest of the child.
Child custody laws are complicated and emotion can cloud the process, so consider retaining an attorney to assist you with your case. A lawyer with experience in child custody and support matters knows the law, and will fight for your rights to time with your children. If you’re involved with a child custody dispute and would like to know more about how these cases work, please contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Robles at (405) 232-7980. We can schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and can answer any questions you have about the process.