The Court Can Consider Evidence of Domestic Violence
Video Transcribed: Hello, I am Keith Flinn, I am a father’s rights attorney in Tulsa. There is a statute that’s been in place for a long time, section 110.1. Originally, the law says it is the policy of this state to ensure that minor children have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of their children and to encourage parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of rearing their children after the parents have separated, or dissolved their marriage. It’s interesting.
We’ll start there, because after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage completely over … do over the paternity actions whereby you have no rights until you’ve established them. And so the fact that you are separating is now a basis for you to have responsibility and ability frankly, to rear your children.
So that aside, it continues, provided that the parents agree to cooperate and that domestic violence, stalking, or harassing behaviors, as defined in section 109 of this title, are not present in the parental relationship. In other words, it used to say that if you don’t agree to cooperate, that domestic violence, stalking, or harassing behaviors are evident, then you can’t get joint custody.
And then it continues, to effectuate this policy, if requested by a parent, the court may provide substantially equal access to the minor children to both parents at a temporary order hearing, unless the court finds that shared parenting would be detrimental to the child.
The new statute goes beyond just this temporary hearing, includes language regarding a final hearing, meaning your paternity case or your divorce, not just that temporary order, and a final breakdown of the difference between the final and the temporary order here in a minute.
But, some significant changes occurred in this. One, basically saying that the court may consider evidence of the ability of the parents to cooperate, which changes from have shown the ability, rather have provided that the parents agree to cooperate and that domestic violence, stalking, or harassing behaviors as defined, blah, blah, blah, are not present.
So now, we’re saying basically the court can consider the ability of the parents to agree rather than well if they can agree, or this domestic violence, stalking or harassing behaviors. Now, the court can consider this ability to cooperate. The court can consider evidence of domestic violence.
The court can consider stalking, and specifically, harassment rather than “harassing behaviors.” Prior to the change, the specific language is not present in the parental relationship was a basis for them not to order joint custody.
Now, this is something that can be considered in the totality of circumstances, whether or not it exists or not, has an effect on a joint custody determination, but is not dispositive thereof. You want to break down how evidence of domestic violence, stalking, or harassment while still persuasive is no longer presumptive makes a big difference in custody. If you are in need of a divorce attorney for men, contact me today.