Parents’ situations change over time. The custody order that worked well two years ago, at the time of your divorce, may not work well now.
The good news is that in Muskogee, Oklahoma, if your custody order no longer works well, you can get a modification of that order under certain circumstances. Custody, support, and visitation are all modifiable.
If you are considering asking for an Oklahoma custody modification, here are some things you might want to know.
Getting an Oklahoma Custody Modification: FAQ
An Oklahoma court retains jurisdiction over all matters of the children involved in divorce until each child attains the age of majority — 18 years of age. That means that the court can hear matters regarding those children if the court is petitioned to do so.
If you are seeking to modify an existing child custody order, you or your attorney must file a Motion or a Petition for Modification. This Petition must state all the reasons you are requesting a custody modification. The court will only grant such a request if there is a permanent and material change in the circumstances of your case.
So what constitutes a material change? A substantial loss of income might be sufficient grounds, but a modest change in income may not.
Any change requested must be in the child’s best interests in order for the judge to agree to the requested Oklahoma custody modification.
Once the Petition has been filed, the other parent has an opportunity to file either in support of the Petition or to oppose it. If both parents agree to the change and the court finds that the change is in the best interests of the child, it is more likely to rule in favor of the requested custody modification.
In all likelihood, a hearing will be set by the court to hear arguments on the requested Oklahoma custody modification. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to convince the judge that your circumstances are significantly changed enough to make the modification in the child’s best interests. This may cover issues such as interference with visitation, substance abuse, neglect, sexual immorality or abuse, or change in living conditions.
Sometimes, a parent seeks to change “sole custody” to “joint custody” or the reverse. In these situations, the court will look to see what is best for the child. If the parents hold joint custody but are unable to work together, the court may award sole custody to one of the parents.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Divorce Attorney
If you have concerns about Oklahoma custody modification, 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].