Family Law is one of the most emotionally difficult and confusing areas of the law in which you may find yourself. The Persaud Law Office has practiced family law for many years, and we can sympathize with your plight. If you need a family attorney, a custody lawyer, a guardianship attorney, or a divorce lawyer in Bartlesville, we can help.
Child Custody Attorney in Bartlesville, OK
Over the past ten years, the Persaud Law Office has handled scores of child custody cases. We are focused on serving clients in Bartlesville and the surrounding area.
What Is Child Custody in Oklahoma?
If you have custody of a child, you have the authority to decide where the child lives. You may make decisions for the child’s life, such as where the child goes to school, the child’s medical care, and the child’s religious upbringing.
Two types of custody that exist in Oklahoma are sole custody and joint custody. Typically, when one parent has sole custody (also called full custody), that parent has the exclusive right to make decisions involving the child’s upbringing. If both parents have joint custody, both parents have equal rights to make decisions for the child. For more information on the difference between sole custody and joint custody, click here.
When a court awards custody (whether sole or joint), the court will typically set a visitation schedule, which determines when each parent will have time with the child.
Who May Seek Child Custody?
The types of people who may need a child custody lawyer include:
Parents who are divorcing.
If parents obtain a divorce, the court must make provisions for custody of the children. If you are going through a divorce and you have children, it’s a good idea to use the services of an experienced custody/visitation attorney.
Parents who were never married, but have a child together.
In Oklahoma, if a child is born to parents who are not married, the mother has custody until a court rules otherwise. A court case, involving parents who were never married, is called a paternity case. The rules for determining custody in a paternity case are the same as those in a divorce case. Either the father or the mother may file a paternity case, and the Court may grant custody to either the father, or mother, or joint custody to both parents. The father and the mother have the same rights, and there is no preference for either parent. When the paternity case ends, the judge will sign a decree of paternity; this decree will specify which parent has custody; the decree will also provide for visitation and child support. For more information on paternity cases, click here.
Parents who already have a divorce decree or paternity decree, and need something changed.
If you were divorced previously, or have had a paternity decree entered before, and you want changes made to custody, visitation, or child support, you may file a motion to modify. In a motion to modify, a child custody attorney will ask the judge to change provisions in custody, visitation or child support. In the case of Gibbons v. Gibbons, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that a judge should grant a motion to modify if there has been “a permanent, substantial and material change of conditions which directly affect the best interests of the minor child, and (b) that, as a result of such change in conditions, the minor child would be substantially better off, with respect to its temporal and its mental and moral welfare, if the requested change in custody be ordered.” A court may also grant a motion to modify if there is newly discovered evidence, which was unknown at the time the original decree was signed.
Grandparents who want custody or visitation with a grandchild.
Another case, in which you may need the services of a family/custody lawyer, is the grandparental custody or visitation case. Oklahoma law provides that a grandparent may only have custody or visitation with a child if there is a showing of parental unfitness. State law does not list all of the criteria that can be considered in deciding whether a parent is unfit. In my blog post here, I’ve included a list of common reasons that courts have used to determine that a parent is unfit. Typically, these cases involve situations where a child is being abused, a parent has been convicted of domestic abuse or sex crimes, or a parent is abusing alcohol or drugs.
If your grandchildren are being abused, don’t take it lightly. Do whatever you can to protect your grandchildren.
Why Choose Persaud Law Office for Your Custody Case?
The Persaud Law Office can offer the following advantages:
We have handled child custody cases in Washington County, Oklahoma, for the past ten years.
Every county has both written, and “unwritten” rules and customs for court cases. In any case, particularly a case involving something as important as the welfare of your child, it’s essential to have a child custody attorney who is familiar with the customs of the court hearing your case.
We will devote whatever time your case needs.
Your case is important to us; your case is not just one file among thousands. We are not too busy to handle your case, and we will not neglect what you need.
We will guide you to the simplest solution possible.
Many parents have gone to child custody lawyers who have made the case more complicated than it really needs to be. You’ve likely heard of very complex custody cases, and some custody cases are, in fact, quite complicated. But, many cases can be handled in a simple manner. The Persaud Law Office will strive not only to give you the best solution, but also the simplest.
Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you would like to contact Persaud Law Office, your first meeting with us will be free. If you want to schedule a free consultation, call or e-mail us here.
Who is Kyle Persaud?
Kyle Persaud has practiced family law in Oklahoma since 2009. He strives to ensure that children receive adequate financial support. He also endeavors to see that courts, and DHS Child Support Enforcement, provide fair and just treatment to parents ordered to pay child support.
Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes an unfit parent in Oklahoma?
There is no hard-and-fast definition, in Oklahoma law, as to what makes a parent “unfit.” Typically, in cases where a parent is found unfit, the unfit parent has been (or is living with someone who has been) convicted of domestic abuse or sex crimes. Alcohol and drug abuse are other reasons why courts often find that a parent is unfit. For a more detailed explanation of the law on “unfit” parents, click here.
What are my rights as a father in Oklahoma?
In a custody case, the father has the same rights as the mother. There is no preference, in Oklahoma state law, for a parent of either gender. (Although, in some cases, a father may have to take a DNA test to prove he is the father.)
How is child custody determined in Oklahoma?
In a case between two parents (that is, a divorce or paternity case) courts determine custody by what is in the best interests of the child. In a case where a non-parent (such as a grandparent) seeks custody, a court can only deprive the parents of custody if the parents are unfit.
How can I get full custody of my child without going to court?
You may try to settle with the other parent outside of court. If you and the other parent reach an agreement, you may both sign an agreed order, then give the order to the judge and ask the judge to sign it. Once the judge signs an agreed order, the agreement becomes legally binding.
A common way to settle a case out of court, is mediation. In mediation, both parents meet before a mediator, who tries to guide the parents to a peaceful and satisfactory agreement. The mediator is not like a judge; he cannot order either parent to do anything. Many parents prefer mediation, because in mediation, neither party can walk away with anything they didn’t agree to. Mediation, thus, gives parents more control over the outcome, than a court decision. For more information on mediation, click here.
Oklahoma courts actively encourage parents to settle out of court. In other states where courts have encouraged settlement, the vast majority of cases have settled without going to court. Hopefully, yours will too.
What's the difference between sole custody and joint custody?
When two parents are divorced or separated, the court must make a determination as to the custody of the children. Often, the court will make an award of sole custody or joint custody.
My children are with my ex-spouse, and I'm afraid they might be in danger. Is there a way to obtain custody of them without having to go through a long process?
Yes. Oklahoma law allows courts to conduct an “emergency custody” hearing, which the court must conduct within 72 hours after you file the petition. But, to get emergency custody you have to present an independent report from the police or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, or a notarized affidavit from an individual with personal knowledge of the child’s situation. This independent report or notarized affidavit must show that the child is in surroundings which endanger the safety of the child and that if such conditions continue, the child would likely be subject to irreparable harm.