To modify child custody in Tulsa family law cases there are some helpful things to consider. Oklahoma divorce and child custody cases are generally final. However, orders marked as final or permanent can be altered and modified later under certain conditions. In essence, child custody orders can be changed later on if there are compelling reasons.
Modifications are granted when the court finds sufficient grounds for it. Specifically the standard required for modifications is a change of conditions. This change is one that occurred since the final order was put in place. A key component to the change in condition requirement is that the change must have been unforeseeable at the time the original order was put in place.
Some Reasons For Modification
A common reason to modify child custody in Tulsa is when the existing order no longer serves the best interest of your child. The best interest of the child is the starting point which begins all child custody in our State. This standard considers the totality of the environment your child is in.
Typically, a judge will not consider making any modifications to the joint child custody order if the existing order seems to be working for all parties involved and keeps the best interests of the child at the forefront. Parents wishing to make modifications need to show that the child’s best interests are not being met by the other party. This can be done by demonstrating that the other parent’s consistency and parenting abilities do not meet the best interest standard.
If The Child is Believed to be in Danger
Courts will closely consider child custody modifications if there are legitimate reasons and circumstances showing that the child is not safe or is in danger. Examples of children in unsafe environment include neglect, psychological abuse, physical abuse, and acts of domestic violence among others. In instances of danger to the child the best course of action may be to file for emergency custody together with your motion to modify.
Violations of The Existing Visitation Order
Courts are very likely to consider child custody modification when either parents are violating the existing order. The Courts in Oklahoma favor as much access to the children by both parents as is practical. But, if one parent withholds the court ordered custody or visitation this is a formula for a successful modification. In addition to violating the existing order this is a great example of an unforeseeable change in conditions that rises to the level needed to modify an order. Parents looking to modify the court custody must document these examples and instances of violations.
The Relocation of One or Both Parents
If one the parents is relocating and wants to take the child, that parent needs the consent of the non-relocating parent. The first thing is that in-order to relocate with the child that parent must have full custody. Its stands to reason that a relocation with the child isn’t possible if there’s a joint physical custody order in place. In the event that’s what’s going on the moving party will need to file a motion to modify first before the Court considers the relocation. Once this is done the parent must consent to the relocation. if the parents can not agree the Courts will have a hearing and base the decision on the facts at hand.
Courts in Oklahoma generally do not want to take away children from their established routine and environment. The judge may look into the motivation for relocation. Also, the Judge expects to see proposed visitation schedules designed to give the non-moving parent as much visitation as possible. The court also considers the extent to which the child’s life would get disrupted by the modification or move.
Tulsa Custody Modification Attorneys
If you’ve got questions or concerns regarding how to modify child custody in Tulsa give us a call. Not all modifications are alike with a wide variety of circumstances impacting each case. If you’re facing a modification of divorce and custody or if you want to file one yourself there are things that you need to be ready for and we can help. Get a free and confidential consultation today 918.743.2233 or fill out this ask a Tulsa lawyer a Question form