grandparent visitation-unmarried parents

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Grandparent visitation rights in Oklahoma are based upon a statute, 43 O.S.§109.4.  In particular if a child is born out of wedlock-the rights are specifically defined.

a.   If the natural father’s parental rights have been terminated-the parents of the   father shall not have grandparent visitation rights unless the natural father’s rights were determined by court prior to termination or the court determines that there was preexisting grand-parental relationship with the grandchild.   

b.   If a child is born out of wedlock and the Mother’s parental rights are terminated-the grandparents shall not have the right to visitation unless there is previous grand-parental relationship between the grandparent and grandchild.

Family Law Legal Guide-Custody

Grandparent Guardianship

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Grandparents raised their children and they are now raising their  grandchildren due to the explosion of drug addiction.  Often the choice  is a Guardianship or DHS custody of their grandchildren.   Grandparents  are burdened with retirement income and growing, young children. Often Grandparents are forced to go back to work to provide for their  grand-kids.        
The beautiful thing about Grandparents' Guardianship is that I have  never met grandparents that would change their decision to take care of  their grandchildren.  They provide their grandchildren with a home,  food, medical  care, stability and most of all-Love.  Often these  children feel abandoned by their parents and are emotionally scarred by  what they have been through.  These children may need counseling and  tutoring to resume a natural childhood.       

Custody

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Legal Guides in family law serve a summaries on as issue.  Custody of a child means having the right and the obligation to make decision about a child's upbringing.                                 

Sole Custody
A parent awarded sole legal custody will make decisions about the child's school, religious  upbringing and medical care etc.  A sole custodian has a  duty to keep the non custodial parent informed of all decisions  regarding the child or children.       

Joint Custody
Both  parents should be able to  communicate and to work together to determine the best interest of their children.  There should be a primary joint custodian awarded because of  the parents can't agree- a final decision must be made.                                                                    

Split Custody

In situations where the parents reside in different states, courts may award school year custody to one parent and summer time custody to the other parent. 

Equitable Distribution of Joint Assets/Debts

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Jointly acquired assets and debts are equitably distributed at the time of a Final Order. Joint assets and debts are those acquired during the marriage. The name on the asset or debt does not determine ownership; it the date of acquisition and the source of the funds.

Property acquired during the marriage from inheritance or increases from separate (prior to marriage) assets are usually not distributed at the time of the Final Order. The exception occurs when the parties have 'commingled' their separate property. Examples of property that may subject toe equitable distribution include real property, cars, bank accounts, pensions, 401K, stocks, furniture, etc.

Gifts received from family, friends and from the parties are not subject to equitable distribution.

Parenting Time

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Parenting time or Visitation Schedule is  a separate and legal concept from Custody.  A non-custodial parent may have equal parenting time with his/her child or standard visitation. Joint Custodian may have standard visitation. Visitation Schedule will include Regular, Holiday and Summer.                                                                  


Paternity

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Parents are not necessarily married.  If parents are not married then it maybe become necessary to file an action  referred to as Paternity Petition.  In a paternity action the parents are legally determined, custody and parenting  schedules are ordered.   In paternity  actions any assets or debts acquired by the parents cannot  be distributed in the  action.                                 

Common FAQs

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Q. How long does a divorce take? 

A. If there are children and the complexity of the assets/debts acquired during the marriage. 

Q. How long before court issue an order regarding parenting time? 

A. A temporary order hearing is usually held ten to twenty days after the initial pleading is filed.