Oklahoma City Full Custody vs. Shared Custody Lawyers
Attorneys aggressively pursue the best solutions for your children
No one knows your children better than you do. Even the most conscientious judge making a child custody decision must rely on written briefs, witness testimony and reports from experts who also have limited time to get to know your children. So, it makes sense that it’s usually best when parents are in charge of formulating the custody plan for their children. At Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC in Oklahoma City, our family law attorneys help you understand child custody law, identify your goals, and pursue an outcome that is in the best interests of your children. Whether you feel your children might thrive under a shared custody plan or their welfare depends on you getting full custody, our experienced attorneys provide knowledgeable advice and determined advocacy.
What are your child custody options in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma divides child custody arrangements into two categories:
- Legal custody — The authority to make major decisions affecting your child’s welfare
- Physical custody — The right to house a child within your residence
Each type of custody can be shared between the parents (joint custody) or held by one parent (sole or full custody). Parents can negotiate to come up with a plan that fits their particular situation and needs. Possible combinations include:
- Joint legal and physical custody — The children live alternately with each parent, and the parents make important decisions in consultation with each other.
- Sole legal and physical custody — One parent provides the residence for the children and makes all important decisions affecting their welfare. Generally, the noncustodial parent is awarded visitation. However, if contact with he noncustodial parent would be contrary to the child’s best interest, the court may order supervised visitation or deny visitation altogether.
- Joint legal and sole physical custody — Parents make decisions cooperatively, but the child lives with one parent. The noncustodial parent has visitation rights.
- Sole legal and joint physical custody — This is a rare arrangement sometimes reserved for children with special needs whose parents have specific expert knowledge of their condition which makes them best suited to make important decisions.
In custody determinations, court decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. When deciding what that entails, the court looks at factors such as:
- The ability to provide a suitable residence for the child
- The ability to perform the duties of a primary caregiver
- The existing relationship between parent and child
- The need for stability in the child’s life
- The child’s preference, if the child is mature enough
- The willingness of a parent to encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
When both parents are able to perform the duties of a primary caretaker, courts tend to favor joint custody arrangements. However, if there is a reason you must pursue full custody, our attorneys are ready to provide the aggressive litigation tactics you need to protect your children.
How are custody plans modified?
Parents may want to modify child custody plans based on the changing needs of their children as they grow, or in response to urgent situations. Under normal circumstances, you can expect to revisit your parenting plan every three years or so to make adjustments. However, you might also seek a modification if:
- The child develops special needs
- The custodial parent interferes with the noncustodial parent’s visitation
- A parent wishes to relocate at a distance that makes the current plan impracticable
Parents can negotiate a new agreement and ask the court for approval, or litigate the matter in court.
Contact a dedicated Oklahoma child custody lawyer to schedule a free consultation
Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC represents Oklahoma residents in child custody matters. To make an appointment for a free consultation, please call 405-416-2711 or contact us online. We are located in Oklahoma City near the Quail Springs Mall.