Raising a family is beautiful, but all that can change when conflict arises and you have to part ways with your partner. The question of child custody is inevitable, and sometimes it’s difficult to reach a consensus without the court’s intervention. For a long time, gender has been a critical determining factor in custody cases, with mothers getting more preference.
While the bias seems to be changing, obtaining full custody may be more difficult for a father than a mother. If you’re a father and feel like your rights might be threatened in a child custody case, it would help engage the services of a Christian family law firm in Tulsa.
Skilled family law lawyers can skillfully navigate the bias in favor of mothers. They can help you get custody of your child by emphasizing and protecting your rights as a father under Oklahoma law.
What Are A Father’s Custody Rights in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma courts don’t have a presumption or legal preference toward joint or sole custody. Instead, the judges should review each case independently to determine the parent best suited for child custody.
It’s no wonder that many fathers wonder if the court will automatically give more preference to the child’s mother. The concern is valid, given that almost 80% of custodial parents in the United States were mothers as of 2018.
The most significant determinant in every child custody case should be the child’s best interests. Many factors come into play before reaching a decision, but courts should generally ensure the ongoing contact of the child with both parents whenever possible. A father has equal parenting rights as a mother in Oklahoma, and Christian Tulsa divorce lawyers can defend this position in court.
What Factors Do Courts Consider When Determining Custody in OK?
Additional factors that courts evaluate when determining the most suitable living arrangement for the child include:
- Active involvement of the custodial parent in the child’s life, school, and friendships
- The ability of the custodial parent to provide access to healthcare
- The general conditions of the home where the child will live, including safety and stability
- The child’s preference for custody, if they’re 12 and above
- Other individuals in each parent’s home
- The ability to provide financial support
- The overall positive influence of the custodial parent on the child, especially toward the other parent
You stand a high chance of getting custody if these factors favor you more than the other parent. Christian divorce lawyers in Tulsa can demonstrate that you’re a capable and responsible parent and you deserve to live with your child.
What Are the Types of Custody in Oklahoma?
The courts in Oklahoma recognize two types of custody, namely legal and physical custody. Legal custody is the authority to make crucial decisions for the child. The court can determine that both parents should have shared legal custody or award sole legal custody to one parent.
Courts allow both parents to have shared physical custody, depending on the situation. The time each parent spends with the child will depend on the case’s specific circumstances, but one parent is the primary custodian.
It’s advisable to work with a Christian divorce lawyer in Tulsa to fight for your rights in legal and physical custody because you deserve to be in your child’s life.
Can My Child Decide Which Parent to Live with in Tulsa?
A child can express their preference for where they want to live at the age of 12 and above. However, the court must have enough reason to believe that the child’s explanations are based on some level of maturity and not just whims. The child must have the discretion to give an intelligent opinion about their future and welfare.
Family law judges won’t consider the child’s preference in every case. Even when the judge factors in the child’s will, the child’s best interest will have more influence on the outcome of the case.
Can My Ex Refuse to Allow Visitation If I Have Not Paid Child Support?
The court will devise a visitation schedule if you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on one. Oklahoma visitation laws set forth minimum visitation guidelines. One of the guidelines is that the custodial parent can’t deny the other their visitation rights based on failure to pay child support.
The rule goes both ways; failure to pay child support doesn’t warrant denial of visitation rights, and failure to provide access is not grounds to refuse to pay child support. If your ex-spouse withholds visitation on these grounds, consult Christian Tulsa divorce lawyers for legal counsel on what you should do.
If the court establishes that your rights have been violated or interfered with, it can order make-up visits or any other appropriate resolution to the issue. However, the court can determine that the other parent may be justified in denying visitation if it establishes that you pose a danger to the child, for example, picking up the child for visitation while visibly intoxicated.
Can a Final Child Support or Child Custody Order Be Changed?
Child support or custody orders in Oklahoma can be changed depending on specific material changes. These include:
- An increase or decrease in the parent’s income
- Verified permanent disability of either parent
- An increase or decrease in the child’s needs
- Changes in the cost of medical insurance
- Changes in the actual annual care expenses
- When the child reaches the age of majority and no longer requires support
You can approach the issue of child support modification through one of these two approaches:
- Through an attorney: They will provide legal representation in asking that the child support or custody order be changed. The process is usually faster when working with a lawyer.
- By yourself: You will write up the relevant court papers, file them with the court clerk, and wait for a hearing to determine if the modification will be affected. Let a lawyer review your documents before you do this to enhance the case’s outcome.
- Through OK DHS child support services: You can contact the Child Support Customer Assistance Response Effort for guidance on how to proceed with the modification request.
Since courts don’t consider all modifications, it would be in your best interest to work with a Tulsa Christian personal injury and family law firm to argue out your case and show proof why the modification is justified.
Family-Oriented Legal Professional Defending Your Family’s Best Interests
If you’re going through a divorce in Oklahoma, you’re entitled to the same rights as your ex-spouse. However, things may not work out as expected in the divorce and child custody proceedings. That’s why you need the legal representation of Tulsa Christian divorce attorneys to fight to protect your rights and your child in court.
The lawyers at our firm are experienced in family law issues and can provide the legal representation and counsel you need during this challenging time. We understand that the process brings many emotions, and we want to be your pillar of support and help you fight with a godly sense of justice. Contact us for a FREE consultation for the most favorable outcome possible.