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Factors Considered by the Judge in Tulsa Child Custody Cases

Tulsa Child Custody Factors

What Factors Does a Judge Consider When Determining Tulsa Child Custody Cases?

Child custody can be a complicated and difficult process. You want the best for your child and you want to ensure that you are able to remain involved in their upbringing. If you are engaged in a Tulsa child custody dispute, you need a law firm and an attorney you can trust to fight for you and your child. The Denton Law Firm is ready to fight for you and your children. We are the Tulsa child custody law firm you can count on. Contact us today for a free consultation: (918) 631-7181.

Child custody decisions are made by the judge. However, Oklahoma law sets forth what the the judge can consider in making his or her decision. Ultimately, the judge must decide child custody based on the “best interest of the child”.

These factors are very important for you to consider in your Tulsa child custody case. By knowing these factors you will be more prepared for your initial consultation with the Denton Law Firm and we will be able to advocate your case to the judge better. The more prepared you are, the better chances we have of winning in court for you.

The Oklahoma Court of Appeals has help that a trial court must consider the following:

  • The desires of the child;
  • The emotional and physical need of the child now and in the future;
  • The emotional and physical danger to the child now and in the future;
  • The parental abilities of the individual seeking custody;
  • Programs available to assist these individuals to promote the best interests of the child;
  • The plans for the child by these individuals or by the agency seeking custody;
  • The stability of the home or proposed placement;
  • The acts or omissions of the parent which may indicate that the existing parent-child relationship is not a proper one; and
  • Any excuse for the acts or omissions of the parent.

In addition to these factors, Oklahoma statutory law also sets forth numerous factual issues a judge must consider, including:

1. Maintaining Contact with the Non-Custodial Parent

The court will consider whether one parent makes it difficult for the other parent to see or have custody of the child. Therefore, if your ex is attempting to or has prevented you from seeing or having you child, we need to know this. This information could persuade the court to allow you to have custody of your child because you are more likely to abide by the custody order. Contact a Tulsa child custody attorney who can guide you through the process today for more information. (918) 631-7181.

2. Preferences of the Child

If the judge determines that you child is mature enough to form an opinion about where he or she would like to live, then the judge “may” consider this information in making the decision. Even though this is one of the statutory rules, the Court is not obligated to follow the wishes of the child, if the court finds doing so would not be in the “best interest of the child”. This is why you need a skilled attorney to help you with your Tulsa child custody case. We can work to persuade the judge that giving you custody is in the best interest of your child. We are here to help. 

3. Domestic Abuse

In cases where there are allegations of domestic abuse or criminal convictions for domestic abuse the judge is required to consider such evidence in the Tulsa child custody case. The Oklahoma legislature has enacted a law that states that if a parent has been convicted of domestic abuse within the last five years or is living with someone who has been convicted of domestic abuse in the last five years, they are presumed to be unfit to have custody of the child. This presumption can be rebutted, but the skills of a Tulsa child custody attorney will help you chances of overcoming this presumption.

Sometimes, because of the contentious nature of child custody proceedings, one party will accuse the other of domestic abuse for the first time during the court hearing. Don’t let this happen to you. We are skilled at trial practice and litigation and can help to protect you from such lies. Don’t let your child become a victim of your ex’s lies. Contact the Denton Law Firm today for help with your Tulsa child custody case: (918) 631-7181.

4. Drug or Alcohol Dependency

The court is required to determine if either parent is drug or alcohol dependent. If the court determines that one of the parents is drug or alcohol dependent, then pursuant to Oklahoma law, awarding the parent custody is not in the best interest of the child. This presumption can be overcome by offering evidence that the parent is not drug or alcohol dependent.

The court also has the power to order drug or alcohol screenings of the parents and/or the minor children during the time leading up to the custody order or any time there is a concern regarding your Tulsa child custody case.

If your spouse is drug or alcohol dependent or if you are being accused of the same, it is important that you utilize the services of an experienced trial attorney. The Denton Law Firm can work to protect your rights as a parents and to protect your children from future harm. Contact us today: (918) 631-7181.

 5. Sex Offenders

During a child custody hearing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the court must determine if either parent has ever been a sex offender. If a parent has or is living with someone who has, then there is a presumption that the parent is not in the best interest of the child.

This presumption can be overcome. If your ex-spouse is a sex offender or is living with one, it is important that you use the services of a strong trial attorney. We will help you make sure that your children are not exposed to sex offenders. Contact the Tulsa child custody law firm that will protect you children.

6. Convicted of a Crime Against Children

The court is also required to determine if either parent has been convicted of  any crime against children. Crimes against children include: Child abuse, Child Neglect, Kidnapping, Rape, and more. If a parent has been convicted of any of these crimes or is living with someone who has been convicted of these crimes, then there is a presumption that they are unfit to have custody of the children.

7. Foreseeable Risk of Material Harm

This statute is considered a “catch-all” provision of Oklahoma law when dealing with child custody. This allows the court to refuse custody to any person if the custody would likely expose the child to “foreseeable risk of material harm”. This is a wide factor that could be used to take your children away from you. That’s why you need the assistance of an experience Tulsa child custody trial attorney who can protect you in a court of law.

8. Visitation Interference

If one parent is interfering with the visitation rights of another parent, the court can use this evidence in determining the custody rights of each parent. Oklahoma law favors situations where each parent shares custody of the child. However, if one parent is intentionally interfering with the custody rights of another parent, the court can make rulings on custody that favor the non-offending parent.

Contact Us

f you are engaged in a child custody battle or are about to go through a divorce, contact us so that we can help. We will work to protect your rights and keep your children safe. Contact us today for your free consultation regarding your Tulsa child custody case. (918) 631-7181. 

Helpful Links

Domestic Violence Hotline

Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry Look-Up

Oklahoma Department of Human Services