Oklahoma City Child Custody Lawyer
At Cannon & Associates, we are dedicated to fiercely advocating for families and freedom. For couples with children, child custody is inevitably the most complicated family law matter, and one of the most emotional aspects of divorce.
Determining custody is almost always a lengthy and complex process, and it requires an experienced family law team that is ready to fight for the best interests of the child, as well as your rights.
Doing so requires both skill and compassion, as well as regular and meaningful communication. This will allow you to feel secure in the knowledge that everything possible is being done for your case.
Call us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our skilled child custody lawyers in Oklahoma City. Call us now at tel:4055913935.
How to Begin a Child Custody Case in Oklahoma City, OK
The first step in a family law case involving child custody is for one parent to file a Petition for Divorce or a Petition for Child Custody. This typically asks for sole custody, although often, that will not likely be the end result.
One parent will then need to request a Temporary Custody Order, which involves a hearing in front of a Judge. The Judge will make a temporary decision as to which parent has custody and develop temporary visitation schedules, while the divorce or custody order is finalized.
There is a legal presumption that parents should share custody of children unless there has been domestic violence, or abuse or one spouse has a history with drugs or alcohol. This means that in most cases, the result will be shared custody.
Shared custody can take many different forms, and it is best to have a family law firm by your side to guide the process. Once orders are finalized they are very hard to change, which is why it is so important that you fight to ensure that your child custody arrangement works for you and your children.
Types of Child Custody Arrangements
Our child custody lawyer in Oklahoma City can help you make sense of the different types of custody arrangements and how they work. They will also work with you to develop a parenting plan that works for you and your children, one that the court is likely to accept.
If you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement amicably, then we are also prepared to fight for your rights in court.
There are two basic legal elements of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. It is important that you understand the difference when fighting a custody dispute.
Physical custody refers to where your children live. In most child support cases, parents share physical custody. The legal term for this is joint physical custody. If the children live with just one parent, then it is called sole physical custody.
The reason why parents usually share joint custody is the presumption that children have a better chance of development when they have access to both parents wherever possible.
Legal Custody is the legal right to make decisions on behalf of the child, such as the child’s school, religious considerations, medical care, and more.
As with physical custody, legal custody can also be granted to one parent, called sole legal custody, or both, joint legal custody. Judges also favor joint legal custody unless there is a good reason as to why one parent should not be allowed to make decisions.
How Does 50/50 Child Custody Work in Oklahoma City, OK?
Equal custody sounds fairly simple, but in reality, it can be difficult to navigate. Life’s responsibilities can make it challenging to find a solution that works for everyone.
It is common for parents to agree on shared custody but then find that it is more practical for one parent to take most of the responsibility. It is rare for parents to get on well enough, and live close enough to keep two fully functioning homes and share time equally.
Sometimes the best option is sole custody with a clear custody visitation schedule. The custodial parent will have responsibility for the child the majority of the time, and the noncustodial parent will have visitation rights. Child visitation laws in Oklahoma, OK, mean that the minimum amount of visitation is one weeknight per week, and overnight visits every other weekend.
However, you should take extra consideration over legal custody. If keeping physical custody of your children is important to you, then make that clear from the start. If your ex-spouse is granted sole legal custody, then they could move away, or make other decisions without your input.
It is a good idea to seek legal counsel from the start from an experienced family law and Oklahoma City child custody lawyer if you are seeking sole custody or fighting against your ex-spouse seeking sole custody.
What Factors Do The Court Take Into Consideration When Determining Custody?
The court is required to allocate custody based on what is in the best interests of the child. Usually, this means creating as little disruption to the child’s life as possible. The decision can involve many factors, such as:
- The wishes of the child (depending on their age).
- The quality of the relationship between the child and each parent.
- The wishes of each parent.
- The mental and physical well-being of all parties.
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs.
- How involved each parent has been in the past i.e. making doctor’s appointments, and attending school meetings.
- The child’s relationships and proximity to school, community, and religious institutions.
- The child’s relationship with siblings, grandparents, and other significant people
- Any history of abuse, and potential for future abuse.
- Past criminal records of either parent.
- Each party’s parenting ability.
- Any substance abuse of either parent.
- Each parent’s ability to spend time with the child.,
- The willingness of each parent to accommodate and grant regular visitation.
Can You Change a Final Custody Order?
Although child custody orders are legally binding, Oklahoma courts do allow them to be modified in some circumstances. They understand that life is complicated and sometimes an agreement that made sense and worked once, no longer makes sense for your family.
It isn’t easy to change an order. Both you and your ex-spouse will need to agree, or there must have been a substantial change in circumstances.
The first step will be to file a ‘Motion to Modify Custody Order,’ after which the court will set a hearing date. At the hearing, the parent who is asking for the change will be required to prove that there is a permanent, material substantial change in circumstances and that a change is in the best interests of the child.
An experienced Oklahoma City child custody attorney can help you file a motion, and evidence why you need to change your court orders. If you are unsure whether you have grounds for a modification, then contact us today for a free initial consultation, so we can advise you on your particular case.
Child support is another volatile issue for most divorcing couples. If one parent is awarded custody, then generally the other will need to pay child support.
A family law firm specializing in family law services, such as Cannon & Associates, can help ensure a fair and reasonable child support agreement.
Our Child Custody Lawyer in Oklahoma City Defends Fathers’ Rights
Father’s rights ensure that both parents have equal rights to custody. Gender should never be a consideration when determining what is in the best interests of the child. The child’s father should always have equal consideration unless there is a reason not to grant them custody.
If establishing paternity is important in your case, then your attorney can help you. However, in Oklahoma, the mother’s husband is presumed to be the father. In the case of unmarried couples, there is no presumption of paternity and you are only the child’s legal father if your name is on the child’s birth certificate. This is usually done at birth when both parents sign an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” (AOP).
If you are concerned about your parental rights then seek legal representation as soon as possible.
Contact an Oklahoma City Child Custody Lawyer at Cannon & Associates Today!
When you are dealing with important family law matters such as child custody, it is important to know you have an attorney representing you who has the skills, experience, and resources necessary to do everything possible to protect your interests and those of your children.
At Cannon & Associates, we are proud to be spearheaded by John Cannon, who has an AVVO rating of 10.0, the highest possible rating based on things like years of experience, awards, and client reviews. We have handled numerous cases just like yours before, and are prepared to become your fiercest advocate.
We are also proud of our emphasis on the attorney-client relationship. We will be on hand throughout your journey to answer your questions, keep you informed, and ease your stress. We know how important your children are to you, and we will do everything possible to meet your legal needs, and protect your future.
Contact us today for a free consultation, at tel:4055913935.
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"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."
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