Your Child’s Future, Our Focus
Video Transcript: Who gets custody of a child in a divorce proceeding? Hi, my name is Jason Sorenson. I’m a lawyer in Tulsa at Wirth Law Office, and today we’re going to be talking about that question, how courts determine where a child goes after a divorce or maybe just a separation with your significant other.
Really, it comes down to the best interest of the child, where the child is best suited to go. And the court looks at really eight factors in determining what is in the best interest of the child. So they look at the desires of the child for one, where the child wants to go. They look at the emotional and physical needs of the child, and also the emotional and physical dangers of the child.
So if there’s anything that would put the child in danger with one parent or the other, that’s something the court will look at. And if there’s anything, any pros that a parent can provide as far as physical and emotional needs go. If the child’s really young and may need the mother more, or maybe just the parent who’s at home more often, then that’s something that the court can consider as well. Another factor is just the parenting abilities of each side. So if one parent has more experience in parenting, that’s another factor that courts can look at in making that determination.
They can also look at programs that are available to assist the individuals, the parent’s plans for the child if they were to have custody of the child, and also the home stability. So a court can look at having a two-parent household as a more positive of a factor in determining where the child should go. So if there’s a stepdad or a stepmom at home, that can also help, that’s another thing that may be able to help get the child in that home over the other. And then another thing that courts can look at is acts or omissions of the parent, which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one.
So anything that can show that it’s just not good for the child to be in that home, that can be a negative impact in making that determination. And then lastly, a lot of it can also just depend on the judge. Some judges are going to give more weight to these factors than others. So a big part of that decision is going to come down to the judge themself and how they tend to rule on those issues. But this is just general information.
If you’d like more information on your case specifically, or if you need help in a custody dispute, you can visit us at makelaweasy.com to speak with an Oklahoma child custody attorney.