Oklahoma parents who decide to divorce may have a number of questions to answer about child custody. While joint or shared custody is becoming a more popular choice for families, it is not necessarily the right choice for every family. Employment, housing, location and other issues may play into a final decision about how to handle custody for a particular family. However, just because a parent does not have primary physical custody, this does not need to mean that he or she is not deeply involved in and engaged with the child’s life.
In many cases, non-custodial parents have substantial scheduled visitation to ensure that the parent-child relationship remains close. In other cases, people share legal custody, giving them equal authority in decision-making about the child’s medical care and education, even though physical custody is not shared. Of course, child support is also a critical part of the picture and works to ensure that the child has the financial resources necessary to grow and develop.
Some people may believe that custodial parents are always mothers and non-custodial parents are always fathers. However, while more non-custodial parents are men, there are also a number of fathers who have responsibility for the primary physical custody of their children as well as many more who share joint custody. In addition, some people may think that non-custodial parents do not share the burden of single parents. In reality, during their overnight visitation periods, they are also single parents who work hard to provide for their children’s needs.
Child custody can be a challenging question for many parents going through divorce. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing parent to reach a fair settlement and develop a parenting plan that protects the parent-child relationship and covers issues like child support, custody and visitation.