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What is Legal Custody in Oklahoma Family Law?

custody in OklahomaDivorce is a stressful time for all families in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It is a time of intense feeling and many questions and uncertainties.

If children are involved, the matters of child custody and support must be addressed and resolved prior to the end of the divorce process. There are two types of custody in Oklahoma.

Physical custody refers to time that a parent is physically with a child. Physical custody in Oklahoma can be either joint or sole custody.

Legal custody refers to decisions made about a child’s activities, health care, religious upbringing, schooling and the like. Legal custody in Oklahoma can also be either joint or sole.

What is Legal Custody in Oklahoma?

Since a child may not legally consent, the parent or parents who hold legal custody for their children may consent for them.

The holder of the custody may consent to such things as health care on behalf of the child, or may consent to a school field trip. That parent can make decisions about the child’s religious upbringing. A court may award a parent sole legal custody or joint legal custody.

Factors For the Court to Consider

In deciding matters of custody, the court will look to a number of factors before making a decision about whether to award sole or joint custody to the parent or parents requesting it. First and foremost, the court will look to the issue of what is in the best interests of the child.

This may include looking at the desires and needs of the child, the presence or absence of violence and substance use and abuse in the home, the stability of the parent or parents seeking custody, and the presence or absence of support services.

If the court determines that a parent has a substance addiction, it is likely that the court will less likely to award custody to the addicted parent. The presence of an addition creates a presumption that the parent is not fit. The presumption can be overcome by evidence to the contrary. The court may also order that parents undergo chemical testing or an evaluation during the custody process.

In addition, in determining whether to award sole or joint legal custody, the court may look to see whether the divorcing couple can continue to work amicably to advance their child’s best interests. If they cannot, then it might be better for one parent to retain sole legal custody in Oklahoma.

Free Consultation: Tulsa Child Custody Attorney

Your choice of a Tulsa divorce attorney is critical, especially regarding any issues about custody in Oklahoma. Before you retain our family law attorneys, you are invited to have a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to help you determine whether our family law services can meet your particular needs.

For a free consultation with a Tulsa child custody attorney about your concerns, call the Divorce Law Office of Tulsa today at 918-924-5526.