Can Anyone Obtain Child Custody?
Biological parents and stepparents are not the only people who can seek child custody. Other family members can too depending on different factors. Figuring out the steps involved in this might be important when you think a parent is unfit to raise the child. This can be crucial to protecting that child’s future. If you have any questions, consider talking with an Oklahoma family lawyer about your situation.
Who is Eligible for Child Custody?
In most child custody cases, one or both biological parents are given custody over their child. However, child custody eligibility can extend to other members of the family when a parent is unfit to raise the child. This commonly includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.
People outside the family can also seek child custody under certain conditions. This person must have been living with and caring for the child. In more complex cases where no one in the family is fit to raise the child, the child may be placed in foster care. Adoption could be another option.
For anyone to gain child custody, that person must prove the biological parents are both unfit to raise the child. You cannot tell the judge to give you child custody because you can raise the child better. Instead, you will be expected to find evidence of why the other parent is unfit to raise the child.
How Do Courts Decide Child Custody?
Family court judges will go by the best interests of the child standard when deciding on child custody. This standard helps decide whether a parent is fit or unfit to raise children. Once this is determined, a judge can legally justify who should raise the child.
The best interests of the child standard defends a child’s well-being, health, educational needs, and safety. This standard was designed to protect children in the event of a divorce or separation. Family integrity and emotional ties to family members are also considered in this standard.
What also helps determine who the child should live with is the parent’s mental and physical health. Parents with severe mental health issues or medical problems might be deemed unfit to raise their children. The history of raising the child will also be considered with factors like:
- Any history of domestic violence
- Whether child abuse or neglect ever occurred
- Drug abuse by either parent
- Criminal charges for either parent
Determining whether a parent is fit to raise a child means looking at that parent’s history and current abilities. Parents unable to care for a child’s basic needs may be deemed unfit. Consider contacting an Oklahoma City divorce lawyer if you have any concerns about this.
Family Lawyer in Oklahoma City
Going for child custody rights can be tricky. Talk to an Oklahoma divorce attorney about what you can do given your current situation. All you have to do is contact the Putnam Law Office today at (405)-849-9149 for a consultation. We can work with you to increase your chances of child custody. Mr. Putnam is a dedicated attorney in Oklahoma City, OK who can help you defend the divorce outcomes you want.