Stillwater Child Custody Lawyer
Every parent has the right to be involved in their child’s life. Unfortunately, agreements over child custody and visitation schedules are often hard to reach following a separation. These types of legal issues should always be handled carefully and with the child’s best interests in mind. To ease the burden during this difficult time, it is best to hire a Stillwater child custody lawyer. Consulting with a well-practiced child custody lawyer at Murray Law Firm will help ease your burden so you can reach a peaceful resolution.
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Types of Child Custody in Oklahoma
If you are in the process of getting a divorce in Oklahoma and are concerned about the well-being of your child, it is important to have a good understanding of the various legalities regarding child custody. Child custody laws vary from state to state, so it is best to seek the advice of an experienced Stillwater child custody lawyer before moving forward.
Until a court order has been mandated, both parents have equal entitlement to physical custody of their child. When a parenting agreement cannot be reached, child custody is determined in court. The state of Oklahoma recognizes several different types of child custody: joint custody, sole custody, split custody, and birdnesting.
If a court awards joint custody, then both parents will have a role in the physical and legal custody of their child. Physical custody refers to where the child will live, while legal custody concerns the child’s decision-making. Choices regarding education, religion, and medical treatment are all aspects of legal custody.
Parents who seek joint custody are required to submit a parenting plan detailing the childcare responsibilities of each. The court will usually accept any joint custody arrangement that has been mutually agreed upon so long as it keeps the best interests of the child in mind.
Joint custody in Oklahoma does not necessarily mean an equal 50-50 split. One parent may receive full physical custody of the child while the other will retain visitation rights. The court determines this based on several factors, including parental relationships and well-being of the child.
Sole custody means that one parent is awarded exclusive control of any decisions regarding a child’s upbringing. This means they will have both physical and legal custody of the child. The noncustodial parent is still allowed “reasonable” visitation, which is determined by the court. Sole custody is often awarded when the parents live far apart or have shown an inability to effectively communicate.
When separated parents have more than one child, the court may award split custody. Split custody is an arrangement in which each parent has custody of at least one child. For example, two children may live with one parent while the other parent has custody of the remaining children. Just like with other forms of custody, split custody is awarded as the court sees fit. The most important determining factor is whether it is in the best interest of the children.
Birdnesting is a divided custody arrangement in which the children live in one place while the parents take turns rotating in and out. This is a relatively rare form of child custody that requires extensive cooperation. The parents’ rotating schedule is determined by the court.
How is Child Custody in Oklahoma Determined?
In the state of Oklahoma, the court always determines custody arrangements based on what is best for the child. The court will examine several key components to inform their decision, including whether the parents have a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, or mental health issues. These factors play a strong part in determining who will be given custody, and what type of custody arrangement will be issued.
Custody may be determined based on which parent is most suited to provide for the child’s needs. However, the court will also examine the relationship each parent has with the child, along with the parents’ relationship with each other. For example, sole custody may be awarded to the parent who is more likely to allow visitation rights to the noncustodial parent.
In some cases, the child’s personal preferences may be considered. Under Oklahoma law, the court allows the preferences of a child over the age of 12 to be taken into consideration. It then must be determined whether this is an “intelligent preference.” However, the court will usually base their decisions around the child’s best interests rather than the child’s desires.
Once issued, child custody arrangements cannot be modified unless a substantial change in circumstances occurs. The parent requesting the custody modification carries the burden of proof as to why the change would be necessary. A court isn’t likely to modify a child custody arrangement unless the child would significantly benefit from the change. If you are having issues with a current child custody arrangement and would like it modified, you will need the assistance of a knowledgeable Stillwater child custody lawyer.
Consult with a Stillwater Child Custody Lawyer Today
An experienced Stillwater child custody lawyer will help you reach a peaceful solution that is agreeable for both parties. But more importantly, an experienced attorney will help you find a solution that works best for your child.
Child custody cases are complex, both legally and emotionally. Our well-practiced legal team will help simplify this process while minimizing any conflicts that may arise. Whether you are having difficulties agreeing on a child custody arrangement or are looking to modify or enforce an existing arrangement, please contact us today for a free consultation.
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