Thank you Eric for your question.
In an unmarried situation, the mother is considered to have sole legal custody
over the child can make decisions on who can see the child. What you will have to do is petition the court to establish paternity
. Once paternity has been established you will have standing to request custody of the child.
In Oklahoma like in every other state, the law prefers a joint custody
arrangement as the best interests of the child will be met by having the continued access of both parents. The parent who wants to have sole custody
will bear the burden to prove that the other parent is unfit to parent the child or the child will be exposed to an environment that is detrimental to their well-being.
Having no job or education is not a relevant factor in deciding a parenting arrangement that will be accommodating to the child. The counseling for drug addiction can be persuasive, but if there is no current concern of drug abuse, the judge can decide to award joint custody, unless it is clear that the grandparents are still abusing drugs. Any type of environment which will expose the child to a risk of abuse is persuasive in denying a joint custody arrangement, but that risk must be present, not based on past history. I hope I am making sense here.
You can review the OK laws on how custody is determined, so that you can prepare in the link here, starting at section 43-109Title 43.
Marriage and Family (569KB)
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