grandparent rights

Child Custody - Battle or Balance?

What is “Best Interest of the Child”?

When you are involved in a child custody battle, whether it is from a divorce or a paternity case, it is a difficult to maintain a balance between your compassion, your fears, and your frustrations. Should you be aggressive? Should you crush the other parent? Should you be in total control, or should you be kind, caring, and compassionate towards the other parent? Believe it or not, there is a right answer. What is in the best interest of your child?

But, how do determine what that means? After years of experience doing child custody cases and working with children through that process, it became clear that children need four things:

  • Unconditional Love

  • Stability

  • Safety

  • Truth

Unconditional Love

Love without conditions. This means to love unselfishly. To care about their happiness first and being willing to do anything in order provide them happiness without expecting anything in return. In other words, unconditional love is given without expecting or even really caring if that love is reciprocated.

Stability

Order and continuity are essential to maintaining a child’s mental and emotional well-being. A stable environment provides a sense of constancy and predictability. Routine is an essential component of a child’s overall well-being. Although many adults perceive children as liking surprises and spontaneity, their enjoyment for the unpredictable emerges from a knowledge that they can and will return to a stable and reliable routine; something they can trust to be real and they can count on.

Safety

Stability feeds right into the issue of safety. Does the child feel safe and secure in their home and in their relationships. Are there strangers coming in and out of the house that make them feel afraid? Do the adults in the home behave unpredictably due to substance abuse or a lack good coping skills? Are disciplinary standards appropriate and consistent? Is conflict effectively dealt with in the household? Children are very sensitive to these dynamics and absorb everything around them. If the world around them is chaotic and perilous, their behavior will reflect that.

Truth

Kids don’t like to be lied to and most of the time they know when it’s happening. It is important for children to be able to trust their parents. Moreover, it is important that parents tell children the truth, so that they can learn healthy coping skills. Children learn from adults and it does not set a good precedent to teach them that it is acceptable to lie. If truth is a vague and optional concept it tends to undermine the love, stability, and safety that are so crucial to a child’s development and well-being.

Conclusion

It is important to find an aggressive and compassionate attorney who can help guide you. Make sure your attorney is thinking about the best interest of your child, and not just about their own wallet. The best Tulsa attorney will help to ensure everyone is working to create a solution that is in the best interest of your child, but is not afraid to fight when the other side can’t be rational.

Author: Lauren Stanley, MSt

Brought to you by Boeheim Freeman Law (918-884-7791)

Gestational Surrogacy Becomes Law

Oklahoma once again surprises many with HB 2468 authorizing gestational surrogacy. Gestational surrogacy is different from genetic surrogacy in that the surrogate is not genetically related to the child. The egg comes from a donor or the intended parent, not the surrogate. Fertilization takes place in vitro. This opens the door for male-male couples to have children.

The Governor signed this bill on May 24th and it went into effect immediately under the bills emergency clause. The statutory process provides for court approval of the agreement between the intended parent or parents and the surrogate. The bill is very specific about the requirement in order for a surrogate to qualify. There is a great deal of detail on the terms of contracts and the content necessary to be put in the petition seeking judicial approval.

If you have questions and want to investigate if this is right for you give us a call at 918-884-7791.

Should Grandparents Have Rights?

Nuclear or Extended Family

Whether grandparents have rights is not a complex question. The underlying premise is that an extended family (grandparents, aunts, and uncles) is healthier and advantageous to the social and mental health of a child. It goes without saying that a nuclear family, mom and dad, is the most important component of a child’s cognitive skills and emotional well-being, but the extended family plays an enormous part in the educational advancement of children.

Extended Family Improves a Child’s Educational Success

Research and work done by Mads Meier Jæger, a Professor at the Department of Education, at Aarhus University shows that the extended family contributes significantly to the total effect of family background on educational success. -Link to Research- In short, the interaction of grandparents with the parents and with the child have a greater impact on improving the child’s educational success than other factors, including improved economic or social status.

What Does This Mean?

In most cases, a healthy amount of grandparent interaction can make all of the difference to a child’s healthy upbringing. Obviously, a parent should insure the safety and well-being of their child. If a grandparent is abusive, or is placing the child at risk, they should not be given the opportunity for visitation without supervision, but in most cases a child needs the multi-generational stimulation provided by their grandparents.

Author Brian J. Boeheim of Boeheim Freeman Law

Boeheim Freeman Law - Grandparent Rights

The State of Oklahoma Statute