There was a time that gender mattered in child custody cases. Those days may be numbered, but they are not quite over. Many states in the U.S. have passed laws clearly stating that shared custody by a mother and father is presumed to be the best for a child. Courts in such states will only award sole custody if the specific circumstances rebut this presumption. Oklahoma is not among these states, as there is no presumption or legal preference toward sole or joint custody.
Instead, Oklahoma courts are expected to review each situation on an individual basis to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child in question. For this reason, many fathers naturally wonder whether courts will automatically favor the mother in child custody cases. While this does not happen in every case, such advantages may arise based on the beliefs of certain judges making custody determinations.
Oklahoma law does not specifically prefer shared custody but it does explicitly prohibit custody decisions based on the gender of the parent. No matter what your situation may be, you should always have a skilled Tulsa men’s rights lawyer protecting your parental rights.
Types of Custody in Oklahoma
First, every parent should understand the types of custody recognized by their state’s courts, which in Oklahoma include physical and legal custody. In most situations, parents will each have the opportunity to spend time with their child, and how time-sharing is divided will depend on the situation. Often, one parent may be deemed as the primary physical custodian of the child. This is important because only the primary physical custodian has the right to relocate with the child.
Legal custody, however, refers to the ability to make important decisions for your child. The court can award shared decision-making authority to both parents or sole legal custody to one parent. It is important to fight for joint legal custody, as well as physical custody, of your child if you want to play an primary role in their life.
A Father’s Custody Rights in Oklahoma
Oklahoma law requires courts to make custody decisions based on the “best interests of the child” standard. The court can review many factors when making this determination, including the wishes of a child (if old enough) and whether the parents can share parenting responsibilities in a healthy manner. Generally, the courts should make a decision that encouraged frequent and continuing contact with both parents whenever possible, and there should be no preference for mothers to have sole custody over fathers (or vice versa). Fathers’ child custody rights in Oklahoma are the same as a mothers’.
However, as experienced Oklahoma child custody lawyers, we have seen firsthand that many mothers may try to convince the court that a father having custody is not in the best interests of the child. As a father, you do not automatically have the cards stacked against you in a custody case, but you need the right legal representation so you can ensure that you get the physical and legal custody rights you deserve.
Consult a Tulsa Child Custody Attorney for Men
Fathers have a unique position when it comes to custody cases in Oklahoma. Though there should be no preference for mothers, there often is. When your relationship with your children is at stake, you need the best Tulsa father’s rights attorney standing up for you. Contact my office today for a confidential no-obligation consultation. Call (918) 986-7724 or send an inquiry to my office using the contact link on this page.