5 Important Things To Know About Child Custody
During a separation or divorce the question of child custody is one that the court will always address if the couple has children. Understanding how Oklahoma looks at child custody during a divorce or afterward helps parents to make informed decisions about how best to care for their children. Oklahoma puts children first and children have rights that supersede some parental rights. Here’s a list of important facts about custody in Oklahoma.
1. Child Custody is Enforced across all 50 states
Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, custody rulings are enforceable in all 50 states. A parent can no longer take their child across state lines to escape a child custody order in one state. All states will enforce the order to the letter of the law.
2. Joint Custody
It is an option and encouraged under most divorce cases. Children have the right to see both parents and one parent cannot decide to withhold visitation without a court order or intervention. If the court decides that one parent is not fit to see their children, the other parent will be awarded full custody. Even so, there are options to see the child – such as under supervised visitation. This is one area where the child’s rights may supersede the rights of the parent.
3. Grandparent Visitation Rights
They exist and grandparents cannot be excluded, generally, from visitation rights with their grandchildren. This is another instance when the child’s rights or well-being may supersede the wishes of a parent. The key is whether the child’s wishes are intelligently applied. If not, then the court will decide for the child.
4. Oklahoma Supports Both Parent’s Involvement
It is difficult to prevent one parent from seeing their children under OK family law. There are circumstances, such as physical or sexual abuse, but without a strong case, the court will almost always decide on some form of joint custody, or they may issue full custody to one parent with exceptions.
5. Child Custody Orders are not Permanent
There are several instances when the court may alter its decision regarding child custody. One is when the child either becomes emancipated or becomes a legal adult. At that point, child custody and child support, end. If there is a significant change in a parent’s ability to care for the child, the court may review and determine another option for child custody. Another example is that the situation for the parent with partial custody changes so that they have more time and freedom to raise their children. That may be a father who works from home now rather than having to go to work. Each case is different and nothing is guaranteed.
Contact Brown & Gould If You Need Custody Assistance
These five facts about child custody in Oklahoma point out the value of hiring a family law attorney. At Brown & Gould, we provide family law legal services to the greater Oklahoma City community. Call or text us at (405) 235-4500 to learn about your legal rights and discover your options for moving forward with child custody.