26 Following

Jennifer Roberts

Understanding Children’s Rights, Custody and Time-Sharing

Many families go through difficult divorces every year. They are very stressful for both parties involved, but they get even more traumatizing for children. Data confirms this – there are millions of divorces in the United States every year and millions of children are affected by their parents' divorce. The trauma continues after the divorce as well; data shows that about 70 percent of children live only with their mother and visit their father only every two weeks. This phenomenon is particularly worrying, especially because children may grow up with serious psychological issues.

Image result for Child Support Attorney

Knowing the children's rights and what they mean in case of divorce is very important during the proceedings. Both spouses need to know what custody laws say, what are their rights and obligations and how they can avoid psychological stress during a divorce. The best way to get more information about these legal aspects is to work with a good child support attorney in Oklahoma City. Make sure you work with the best professionals around you. Your chances of success will go through the roof if you have the right legal support, and your children will not suffer.


What does legal custody mean?

Legal custody is a general legal term that describes the rights that each parent has when it comes to their children. This means making decisions on behalf of them, creating the best living environment and how family law protects these aspects. For instance, legal custody includes things like choosing the best school for the children, the best doctor or how to make important medical decisions.

Parents usually have some level of legal custody, as described by law. Both spouses will get a type of legal custody, but the exact specifics will be decided by the judge. Virtually all legal systems in the world agree that children will develop as functioning adults when both parents are involved in their education. This means that the court will try to create the best environment for the children and will take into consideration their parents' requirements and needs. Some states often impose joint or shared custody in order to help children and their education. Talk with your child support attorney in Oklahoma City if you want more information about this legal aspect.

In some cases, the court may decide that the children won't benefit from equal decision rights from both parents. This happens when one or both parents are not acting appropriately and may hinder the children's education or development. Common examples include abusive parents, absent parents or neglectful parents. When this happens, the judge may decide to award sole legal custody to only one parent. In extreme situations, the children may be taken away from both parents and maybe handed to Child Protective Services. Contact child support lawyers in Oklahoma City if this happens.

What is physical custody?

Physical custody is active in most states. It means that one parent will have full custody of the children and they will live only with them. Single physical custody is not very popular as it can have a negative effect on children. However, the best choice is joint or shared physical custody, where both parents get a fairly equitable split of time with the children. This type of custody works great if the parents live fairly close to each other and communication is efficient when it comes to important decisions. Talk to a child support attorney in Oklahoma City to get more information about this aspect.

Custody orders are very similar in most states, including provisions from both physical and legal custody laws. The parents will share the responsibilities of raising the children, but will also enjoy their rights equally. The physical possession of the children will be as equitable as possible, in order to minimize the disruption, drama and stressful situations for the children.

Sole custody is rarely awarded in divorce cases. This type of custody is commonly awarded if one of the parents is suffering from chronic addictions (alcohol or drug addictions), suffers from mental illness or faces serious legal issues (such as criminal charges). Keep in mind that all custody orders can be changed over time, depending on several factors. For instance, the court may change its decision if parents face serious legal issues or recover from addictions. The changes can be in both directions – a parent can either lose custody or gain full custody, depending on each specific situation. Whenever a parent is able to rehabilitate himself or herself, the court will appreciate it and may consider changing the custody order accordingly. This should be discussed with your child support lawyers in Oklahoma City before going to court.


Time-sharing is exactly what it sounds like. It's the amount of time each parent spends with the children. It can be called either visitation or possession. Time-sharing is always based on a schedule, usually determined by the court.

The judge will encourage parents to create a schedule that will help children. Usually, this means better communication among parents and customized meeting plans. Children will often spend one weekend with one parent, and the other weekend with the other parent. Although the situation is not ideal, the children will get the best possible solution. Also, the parents' work schedule is taken into consideration – if a parent works night shifts, the children will enjoy visitation according to their schedule. Obviously, the time-sharing decision can be adapted, if the parents' situation changes. Everything matters and the judge will take all details into consideration. Talk to your child support lawyers in Oklahoma City to make sure you get the best time sharing decision.

How are custody matters solved?

Each state has specific regulations that deal with divorces and custody rights. The primary focus is the best interest of the children. This is by far the most important aspect of family law and the court will take all decisions while focusing on them and their particular needs. The court will look at multiple factors before making the final decision: the ability of the parents to support themselves and their children, the schedules, the personalities, and criminal records. Everything is taken into consideration.