Tulsa Attorney BlogWho Gets Custody of the Children During a Divorce in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma Law Regarding Children Is Almost Always the Same Thing


Video Transcribed:  Who gets custody of the children during a divorce. I’m Tulsa attorney, James Wirth, and I’m answering frequently asked questions. That’s the question we had come in, is who gets custody in an Oklahoma divorce?

So what’s the rule, Oklahoma law regarding children is almost always the same thing. We almost always look at the same thing and that is best interest of the child. So we have to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

And when we’ve got a standard that broad, there’s a lot of different information that may be relevant to that for a judge to hear, to determine what’s in the best interest of the child.

So typically what the judge would want to hear is what has happened historically. Who’s been responsible for caring for the kids historically while you were together in relationship. Who’s been the primary caregiver.

Who’s handled the school, the homework, taking the child to the doctor, making sure all these things get done.

That’s the person that most of the time the court’s going to look and say, they’ve already been acting as the primary custodian. There’s no reason to change that now. However, there’s also good arguments.

Even if one party was primarily for that to have joint legal custody and legal custody has to do with decision making and the judge deciding who has decision making. And then separate from that, we have physical custody where the child is when.

And when looking at legal custody, a lot of studies have shown that when parties can work together and communicate effectively, joint custody is in the best interest of the children and is good for the children.

So a lot of times courts may want to do joint custody, unless there’s a good reason not to. Another factor to consider. In addition to that, is where do the parties live? How far apart are they?

If it’s a young child, it may be relevant. Is the child breastfeeding. Those things can factor in as well. But thing that does not, or is not supposed to factor in is gender Oklahoma laws neutral on that. Says there should be no preference in favor of dad over mom or mom over dad.

It’s supposed to be based on the specific circumstances of the case, but each judge has their own peculiarities on the information they want to hear. And what’s going to be important to them. And Oklahoma law is general enough.

It allows them a lot of leeway on that, in determining what is in the best interest of the child. So if you are into these in these circumstances, what you want to do is you want to file with the court. You want to file for a temporary order hearing. And prior to that, you want to set up a good status quo.

You want to be able to court and go into court and say, this is what I’ve been doing prior. And to try to demonstrate all the things that you’ve done, that this is the way it has been. This is the status quo. And now you’re not asking the court to change anything.

You’re just asking the court to adopt the same thing that’s happened before. And you’re more likely to get what you want if you do it in that scenario.

So timing and planning could be important, but that’s going to be specific to your circumstances. So you’re going to want to talk to an Oklahoma Family attorney about that. If you want to talk to somebody at my office, go to makelaweasy.com.

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