Understanding Child Custody & Visitation

When something as important as determining your child's custody is at stake, you cannot afford to take any chances. Taylor Law Firm, PLLC, founder Floyd Taylor has seen these cases from the perspective of a judge, a lawyer and as a parent. He understands the stakes and has the exceptional legal knowledge and skill to help get you the results you deserve. Here are some regularly asked questions and their answers.

What is the difference between physical custody and legal custody?

Basically physical custody mean the child lives with that parent. Joint physical custody then means the child spends time with both parents, but this time is not necessarily equal. Legal custody means the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing. These issues can include medical treatment, religion and education.

Is it possible to have joint legal custody but not joint physical custody?

Yes. The child can have a single primary residence with both parents having equal say on the decisions that affect the child's life and well being. Physical custody refers to where the child lives on a day-to-day basis.

How are custody orders enforced in Oklahoma?

Custody is taken very seriously in Oklahoma. If one party is not following through on a custody order a contempt action can be filed to enforce it. Once an existing court order is violated there will be an arraignment for contempt. If found guilty that party will face a fine, jail time or both. For more detailed statute information click here or contact an attorney to seek a modification.

What happens if I don't pay my child support?

If found guilty of not paying child support a person's income, bank accounts and other assets can be garnished. Depending on the amount, additional penalties such as the loss of licenses and even your passport can apply.

Will I got to jail if I miss one child support payment?

Typically no. If you have only missed one payment arrangements can usually be made to catch up. If, however, a drastic life event prevent you from making your required payments it is in your best interest to work with a qualified and experienced family law attorney to legally request a modification to your support. Failing to do so can result in court orders and potential jail time.

In a divorce, do both parents usually get equal time with the children?

In Oklahoma, unless there is a showing of harm, both parents can pursue substantially equal access to the child. Each parent has a right to spend time with his or her child and should expect to be treated fairly by the courts.

Does visitation impact child support payments?

Yes. Visitation can impact child support payments. The more visitation a non-custodial parent has, the lower the child support payments can become. If you have increased your visitation and overnights, you may be able to reduce your child support costs. Speak with an attorney to ensure this is done in accordance with the law.

How is the legal custody order decision made?

Divorcing or unwed parents can seek to obtain a legal custody order by showing that they have provided the most child care. Judges attempt to establish what is in the best interest of the child. While many factors go into making this decision a large part of the decision is based on which parent has provided the most childcare.

What can I do if a custody order is not being followed?

If either parent does not follow the custody or visitation arrangement an experienced family law attorney can assist in taking the matter to court. By undergoing contempt proceedings, the original court order can be enforced.

Can an Oklahoma custody order be modified?

Child custody and visitation orders can often be modified due to a job loss, criminal conviction or other incidents that affect parenting. Taylor Law Firm, PLLC regularly represents clients in seeking a post decree modification.

How do I get help?

Every parent has a right to spend time with the child they love. If you are going through a divorce or a separate visitation dispute, enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney to protect your right to visitation. An attorney can help you pursue a visitation arrangement that meets your needs.

At Taylor Law Firm, PLLC we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience handling visitation, child custody and divorce cases. We can help you make sure your child has the benefit of having you involved in his or her life as a parent. To discuss your visitation case in a free initial consultation, call us at 405-525-2232 or contact us online. Our combined experience practicing before judges, we understand how to handle complex legal matters and effectively present a case before the court.