Divorce requires marital property to be divided, how much and to whom spousal support will be paid, how child support will be allocated, as well as how custody of your children will be allocated. When negotiating each of these particular issues, there are things that you can do to decrease your chances of receiving the settlement you want. Read further to learn the seven most common ways in which custody of your children can be lost in an Oklahoma City divorce.
Common Ways to Lose Custody In An Oklahoma City Divorce
Not Being Your Children’s Primary Caretaker.
Judges tend to grant custody to the parent who spends the most time caring for their children on a day to day basis. A parent will be considered to be their children’s primary caretaker if he or she is the parent who primarily tends to the children’s daily needs, including but not limited to feeding, clothing and transporting their children to and from school.
You Have Not Been Active in Your Children’s Lives.
Judges want to see that the person to whom they are granting custody is (and has been) involved in their children’s lives, which includes taking an interest in their education, their physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as overseeing the recreational and social activities of their children.
There Are Questions Regarding Your Parental Fitness.
The court considers parental fitness of the utmost importance when deciding custody issues and will thoroughly investigate any questions regarding a parent’s fitness. This investigation may include interviewing the parent in question, having them go through psychological testing and/or submitting them to random drug testing.
If there is any evidence of you having abused alcohol or other substances, having a history of domestic violence and/or having psychological problems, getting or retaining custody of your children will be an uphill battle.
The Existence of Compromising Physical Evidence.
It is not uncommon for your suitability as a parent to be called into question by the other parent during a custody battle. The existence of any physical evidence, such as video, audio, text messages, emails or other written correspondences of you being physically or verbally abusive, exhibiting offensive or threatening behavior, or of you making disparaging remarks to the other parent, your children or anyone else will only support the allegations and seriously jeopardize your ability to receive custody of your children.
Making Disparaging Remarks About the Other Parent in Front of Your Children.
When you go through a contentious divorce and fight for the custody of your children, it may be hard to keep your emotions in check. Your desire to express your anger and dissatisfaction with your spouse may cloud your judgment.
However, the court looks unfavorably upon parents who, while in the presence of their children, make disparaging comments about the other parent. Courts typically find frequent behavior of this nature as contrary to your children’s best interest, as it interferes with their ability to have a nurturing relationship with the parent. Often, this is enough to motivate the judge to consider a change of custody or to refuse to grant custody to the offending parent.
Losing Your Cool.
Losing your cool will be detrimental to your bid for custody of your kids, as any hysterical behavior on your part will call into question your emotional stability and your ability to make rational decisions regarding your children’s well being.
If you don’t control your temper in court or in the presence of court officials, your counterpart’s attorney, social workers, friends, neighbors or others who can testify against you in court, you will severely jeopardize your ability to receive or retain custody of your children.
Ignoring the Advice of Your Attorney.
Divorce settlements can be very stressful, but you should never lose sight of what is in the best interest of your family and your children. An experienced attorney will help you keep this at the forefront of your bid for custody and keep you from making mistakes that will threaten your ability to gain or retain custody.
Make sure that when you are looking for an attorney you choose one whom you can trust and who is experienced in fighting custody battles in Oklahoma City.
No Cost Consultation – Oklahoma City Contested Divorce Attorney
It’s time to take that first step by reaching out to our office to discuss the next steps in your life’s new journey. If you’re looking for an Oklahoma City contested divorce attorney who can help you protect what matters most — your assets and your children — please contact the Divorce Law Office of Oklahoma City for a free, confidential consultation at (405) 880-8222.