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What Do Courts Consider in Oklahoma Child Custody Cases?

Oklahoma child custody casesChild custody in Tulsa, Oklahoma is, like most states, decided based on what is in the best interest of the child. This is usually pretty easy to figure out when one parent engages in concerning behavior — like alcohol abuse, drug use, arrests or associations with people with criminal backgrounds.

However, when both parents are equally equipped to parent their children, Oklahoma child custody cases can be much more difficult.

What is Up for Consideration?

The court, in Oklahoma child custody cases, can consider almost anything as it relates to a child and which parent they should spend the majority of their time.

An important factor that Tulsa divorce courts consider is which parent is the primary caregiver in the home.

For example, if the father is the parent who prepares the meals, meets with teachers and takes the children to practice, the court may be inclined to award sole custody to him.

Courts also consider where the children have the most ties.

If the mother lives 40 minutes away from the children’s friends, school and community activities, she may not get sole physical custody because it would not be in the best interest of the children to uproot them from their current lifestyle.

How many hours a parent works or what type of hours they work is also a strong consideration for courts. If dad works five nights a week, it would not be in the children’s best interest to live with him primarily because they would be home alone at night time.

Or, if dad does not have a flexible work schedule and must work more than 40 or 50 hours a week, the court may not grant him sole physical custody.

Finally, if a child is age 12 or older, the court may consider what they want. Note, though, that this is not determinative. It is only a factor.

A court will also consider whether one parent was abusive towards the other or if there was any abuse against the children.

What Cannot be Considered

Tulsa court officials cannot consider which parent should get custody based on gender. For example, mom wouldn’t get custody just because she has a daughter. However, mom would likely get primary physical custody if she was breast feeding a small baby.

Similarly, a court cannot consider race as a factor in child custody, either.

The court also cannot weigh the fact that a child will attend private school, instead of public school as a consideration, and will not consider one parent’s financial status unless it will significantly affect a child.

For example, if dad can purchase a home with bedrooms for each of his children and mom can only afford a one-bedroom apartment, the court will take this into consideration.

Free Consultation: Oklahoma Child Custody Cases

Determining child custody is hard on parents and children.

If you believe you are entitled to sole custody of your children, a skilled Tulsa child custody attorney can help get you the parenting time you deserve.

For a free consultation about Tulsa, Oklahoma child custody cases, call Divorce of Tulsa Law Office today at 918-924-5526.