Common Questions about Child Custody in Oklahoma
When proceeding with a child custody case, it is understandable that the parents or other parties seeking custody would have questions needing answers. While some federal laws mandate child custody cases, each state also has specific regulations determining how the courts come to specific conclusions. It’s not that these laws vary greatly; it is a matter of understanding the laws within your specific jurisdiction. To answer some common questions about child custody in Oklahoma:
Do Oklahoma courts favor the father or mother in child custody cases?No. Gender is not a consideration. It is the best interest of the child and parent ability to meet the child’s physical, emotional, and other needs that reigns as the determining factor.
Is my race or religion a factor for consideration?No. Race and religion are both discriminatory factors that federal law excludes from consideration. However, if your religion involves fundamentalist views or harmful experiences for the child, the court may consider this.
What about my job or income?Your job and income is only a factor in determining your ability to focus enough attention on your child or children and the ability to sufficiently meet their needs. Additionally, your job may be a factor for consideration if it is deemed immoral, illegal, or potentially harmful to your kid(s).
My ex has a history of domestic abuse. Will the court consider this when determining or modifying child custody?Yes, the court will consider this when determining custody and/or visitation. If necessary, supervised visitation may be ordered, or visitation and custody denied to the abusive party. Furthermore, the court may order counseling and domestic abuse programs to assist the non-custodial parent in getting himself or herself under control. Direct abuse of or the witnessing of abuse/violence is not in a child’s best interest and the court will not knowingly expose them to such potential harm.
What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody? What about joint custody?Legal custody allows you to make all major decisions for your underage child, including medical, educational, and religious decisions. Physical custody is the physical possession and control of your child or children. Most of the time, physical and legal custody are held by the same parent. In joint custody situations, the parents typically share both physical and legal custody.
Can child custody or child support orders be modified?Yes. In the case of child custody, either parent must have good cause to show a need for modification, such as job, income, relocation, failure in the part of the other parent to comply with court orders and meet his or her obligations, etc. Child support may be modified if the ordered party is not paying, has a loss or reduction in income, or if the needs of the child exceed the ordered support. The court must determine support based on the child’s needs, as well as the non-custodial parent’s income vs. expenses.
This article provides brief and general information. Many other questions may come up in your case, and you will want answers in order to be prepared to proceed with your Oklahoma child custody case. If you have specific questions, consult a a Claremore attorney today.