Grandparents rights are a tricky subject in Oklahoma.  Depending on the particular facts of your case, grandparents may be granted visitation with their grandchildren, they may serve as foster parents for their grandchildren, they may seek guardianship of their grandchildren, or they may seek to become the adoptive parents of their grandchildren.

There are times when grandparent visitation may be ordered.  In order for a grandparent to be awarded visitation, it must be in the best interest of the child, the parents are unfit or the child will suffer harm without the granting of grandparent visitation rights, and the grandchild’s family has been disrupted by divorce, separation, desertion, death, or incarceration of the parents.

The traditional image of divorce is of a courtroom trial involving witnesses, evidence, and testimony provided by each spouse.  Not all divorces, however, end up going to trial.  The majority of cases ultimately settle without the need for prolonged litigation and expenses.

Oklahoma family law applies the principle of “best interest of the children” in determinations of child custody. If you and your spouse have children, the judge presiding over your case will rule in favor of a custody arrangement that provides for the children’s best interests in terms of giving them a safe and supportive home, preserving stability in their lives, and other matters. To the degree that it is possible, however, the courts prefer custody plans that provide both parents with as much parenting time as possible in light of the importance of keeping both the mother and the father in the children’s lives.

Either spouse in a divorce can request to receive alimony / spousal support based on evidence that he or she requires such payments to get by while transitioning back into the workforce after having been economically dependent during the marriage.  A parent who is receiving custody of a child with physical or mental disabilities may also receive alimony if he or she will have to stay at home to provide care for the child.

Many same-sex divorces face unique issues in terms of claiming rights of child custody when they end their relationships. If you and your partner both adopted a child and are therefore both legal parents of the child, an Oklahoma LGBT divorce lawyer can help you to establish a formal parenting plan as we would in any other child custody case. If, however, the child is the natural-born son or daughter of either partner, and the other partner did not legally adopt the child, the matter becomes more complicated.

In such a case, it is necessary to bring a suit to court with evidence that you have had “actual care, control, and possession” of the child.  Furthermore, you must be able to demonstrate that the other party is incompetent to be the parent of the child. To learn more about this type of case, contact Sansone Howell now for an initial consultation.