THING THAT COMMONLY AFFECTS CUSTODY CASES . . .
. . . DRUGS!
One of the easiest way for the Court to kill a case, i.e., get it out of its hair where it doesn't have to hear hardly anything, is to have one of the parties on drugs. Judges get paid salaries, not based on the amount of work they do like attorneys, so they aren't dying to hear a trial, let alone your argumentative spill. If parents are fighting over time with a child and somebody uses drugs or has used drugs within at least the last six months, that's an easy way to slant the case in the other parent's directions. Nine times out of ten, if anybody asks for a drug test, especially if they are willing to front the costs, the Court is going to order it, often that very day. A urinalysis won't satisfy any curious person; and a hair follicle will go back 3-6 months and a nail bed test 6-9 months; so if you're a crackhead or doing the meth, or even the pothead who is too demotivated to get the medical marijuana license, you're going to get caught. Not only do such drug tests result in one parent getting more custody than the other, but often the person who fails the drug-test can't even see the child unless they want to arrange and pay for a professional supervisor. It's an uphill battle from there, typically requiring clean results on drug tests randomly requested over several months before a person can get regular times and overnights with their kid again. Of course, I often find that people hang around people like themselves; so if one person has done drugs in the last half-year, then so has the other--so you may want to think twice before raising the issue or one of the parent's parents may be raising the child for at least a while. Oh, and, guess what... Marijuana is still illegal in Oklahoma unless you have a medical marijuana license, so just having weed in your system may prevent you from having regular visitation time with your child; and even if you have the license, if you're showing up in a marijuana-leaf T-shirt, look the stoner part, and confess to doing it regularly while the other parent presents clean-cut, odds are that you won't be walking around with anything close to equal time in most cases.
April of 2020 makes 20 years that I have been a practicing attorney. So while this may be opinion, it is based on my experience as a family-law attorney over the past few decades. This is not a political post; I am simply aiming to educate the public of how things go in the Oklahoma family law Court system (while doing a bit of self-promotion as well).
Joel K. Mitchell, Attorney-at-Law
MITCHELL LAW OFFICE, P.C.
1318 W Main St in Collinsville
& 1408 S Denver Ave in Tulsa
E-mail or Call (918) 230-5844
Joel K. Mitchell, Attorney