Muskogee Lawyer BlogWhat is Joint Custody in a Muskogee Divorce Case?

joint custodyA Muskogee, Oklahoma divorce can be traumatic for parents and children. As parents move toward divorce, they are filled with questions regarding the process and how best to help themselves and their children negotiate that process.

It is the job of the Oklahoma court to ensure that the best interests of the children are looked after when making custody decisions. Oklahoma courts strive to make the process as painless as possible for the children involved.

Custody refers to much more than just where a child lives. It also refers to the parental rights, duties, and decisions involved in the care of a child. These parental decisions include those made regarding medicines, doctors, schools, activities, and the like.

Like most states, in Oklahoma, there are two basic types of custody: physical and legal, and those two types of custody can be either joint custody or sole custody.

FAQ: Joint Custody in Muskogee

Physical custody refers to where a child lives and all those matters associated with daily living.

With joint physical custody, the parents continue to both provide a home for the child with time split between them. A child in this example may live with one parent one week and the other parent the following week. While this may mean an even split of time between the two parents, it may not depending on the circumstances involved.

With sole physical custody, the children live with one parent, often referred to as the custodial parent. The other parent, the non-custodial parent maintains the right to reasonable visitation with the child.

A joint custody plan is submitted to the court for its approval. The plan must indicate the living arrangements and the division of parental responsibilities. For example, the plan should indicate which parent will be responsible for taking the child to and from school, to doctor visits, and the like. It should also outline visitation.

Legal custody refers to the issue of who is making decisions regarding the child. It refers to medical decisions, the giving of legal permission for school activities, and the like. Legal custody may also be either joint or sole. When ex-spouses are unable to communicate well, joint legal custody can be quite difficult.

Custody Determination Factors In a Muskogee Divorce

Courts prefer when divorcing parents can agree on issues of custody. If the parents agree to joint custody, it will most often be granted. The court looks to the best interests of the child in making that and all decisions regarding the child.

When parents disagree, the court may look at such factors as the relationship that the child has with each parent, the presence or absence of a prior history of domestic abuse, the stability of each parent’s work and home life, the presence of substance abuse, and the preferences of the child if the child is 12 years of age or older.

A prior criminal conviction may have a negative impact on the court’s custody determination. The less stable the living situation, the less inclined the court will be to grant custody. If a parent has been in and out of jail, or wrestles with addiction issues, the court is also less likely to award custody.

Free Consultation: Muskogee Divorce Attorney

If you have concerns about joint custody in Oklahoma, contact an experienced Muskogee divorce lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

Call the Wirth Law Office-Muskogee today at 918-913-0725, or toll-free at 1-888-447-7262 [Wirth Law].

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