Divorce can dissolve the formal marriage between you and your spouse, but it can’t undo the lifeline ties that result from sharing children. If you want to divorce but have minor children with your spouse, concerns about custody might be what have kept you from filing for divorce so far.

Do you have to share custody after a divorce, or is there a chance that your spouse might be able to cut you out of the lives of your children? Concerns about custody are common for those experiencing marital hardship and considering divorce in Oklahoma.

Shared custody or at least visitation is common

When the courts have to be the ones to split up custody in a pending divorce, their main focus is going to be what will benefit the children. The Oklahoma family courts aim to prioritize the best interests of the children when making decisions about custody and visitation.

Learning a bit about your current family circumstances will help the courts to determine what kind of custody or visitation arrangement would be in the best interests of the children.

In most cases, some degree of shared parental responsibility is the optimal outcome, although the courts may deviate from that standard and deny both shared custody and visitation to a parent who doesn’t prioritize the best interests of the children. Addiction, abuse or incarceration could lead to one parent losing their rights.

Are you ready to work together as a co-parent?

If you have already filed for divorce or find yourself strongly considering it, you may not feel like your spouse has been a very good partner to you. However, you can acknowledge their shortcomings as a spouse while still acknowledging that they are a very good parent.

Look honestly at how they interact with the children and their attitude about parenthood. Unless you feel like they post some sort of physical or psychological harm to your children, accepting the reality of shared custody may make divorce easier for everyone in your extended family.

If you believe that there are situations that make your ex a threat to your children, you will likely want to address those concerns early on as you strategize for the divorce.