Generally speaking, Oklahoma law allows both parents to have relationships with their children after a divorce. In some cases, you may even be entitled to physical or legal custody rights to a son or daughter. However, this will largely depend on your behavior before, during, and after a custody hearing. Here a few positive ways to act in order to avoid the most common custody mistakes that divorcing parents make.
Remain calm and polite during court hearings
There is a chance that your former spouse will say or do things in court that make you upset, frustrated, or angry. There is also a chance that the judge will make comments that seem hurtful or factually inaccurate. However, if you react in an angry or emotional fashion, it could undermine your claim of being the parent who is best suited to be your child’s primary caregiver.
Don’t use your child as a pawn
Ideally, you will only seek child custody rights because you are able to provide for your son or daughter’s financial and emotional needs. It is never a good idea to seek custody as a means of inflicting emotional pain on your former spouse or your child.
Carefully admit your shortcomings
If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it might jeopardize your ability to obtain custody of a son or daughter. If you have physically, emotionally, or sexually abused your spouse in the past, it could also limit your parental rights after a divorce. However, working to overcome your shortcomings could eventually allow you to receive joint custody of your child. Therefore, it can be in your best interest to swallow your pride and to enroll in a rehab program or seek counseling.
An attorney may be able to help you avoid mistakes that could hamper your ability to serve as your child’s custodial parent. For instance, you may be advised to refrain from using social media or from making statements that might be used by opposing counsel in court. Legal counsel may also be able to help answer any questions that you have about the process of obtaining custody or visitation rights.