By: Eddie Stephens | Category: Special Interest | Issue: September 2006
Attorney David J. Schaffer, The Schaffer Law Firm – is Tulsa born and raised, received an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
It’s been established that divorce has many complexities. Many of the most complex issues bring with them challenging questions.
There are the common ones involving the basic grounds for divorce proceedings, petition filing, terms and when it’s final. Besides those questions, and perhaps most concerning, are those that pertain to children caught in the divorce dilemma.
Appropriate considerations should be taken by everyone involved with the divorce to prevent the process from overwhelming the children involved. The premiere concern impacting children and divorce is that involving custody.
David Schaffer of The Schaffer Law Firm is prepared to discuss complexities with you when you’re facing a divorce. Schaffer, a graduate of The University of Oklahoma School of Law has been in practice since 2005 and is equipped to know what to expect when facing today’s custody challenges.
Expectation: “It’s looking like I’ll divorce and it appears custody issues will arise!” If children are involved, it’s generally certain that custody challenges will rise.
Schaffer clarifies, “Issues concerning child custody are the most important and sometimes the most difficult that a parent faces. This is true during and after a divorce and can be expected when a child is born out of wedlock.”
Expectation: “I’m already sensing the difficulty of deciding how to approach our divorce custody options!” Oklahoma law allows custody to generally take one of two paths; what’s known as sole custody or what’s called joint custody and there are varied ways to define each.
Schaffer explains, “Sole custody is when one of the parents is awarded exclusive control of decisions about the child’s welfare. Joint custody, on the other hand, is when parents share in all or some of the aspects of care and the well being of the child.”
Expectation: “If I take the sole custody path it means my role with my child/children will be different!” There is a uniquely named responsibility by choosing to be the parent with sole custody.
Schaffer shares, “The parent who is awarded sole custody is usually referred to as the ‘custodial parent’ with the other parent involved being known as the ‘non-custodial parent’. Although not having ‘sole’ responsibility for decisions of well-being, the non-custodial parent has the right to reasonable visitation with his or her child.”
Expectation: “By choosing joint custody, my spouse and I will be forced to cooperate and that’s difficult for us!”
Schaffer encourages, “Though Oklahoma case law and statutes don’t differentiate, the term joint legal custody involves the sharing of decision making with respect to certain aspects of the child’s upbringing. The term joint physical custody deals with the sharing of time with the child.”
Expectation: “Just because we divorced, our children are not going to get a raw deal!” The best decision you can make when having to make the divorce decision is one that keeps the child/children in focus.
Schaffer counsels, “The basis for determination of all custody situations is dependent upon ‘the best interests of the children’. This considers the best for the children involved and is often based upon past relationship history, moral issues, visitation, the presence or absence of domestic abuse and sometimes the child’s preference.”
Divorce without complexities is perhaps an unrealistic expectation; child related issues notwithstanding. David Schaffer of The Schaffer Law Firm can help keep your expectations in proper perspective while providing expert legal counsel for the whirlwind of questions and decisions you’re facing.