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Caring Family Law Counsel

Family legal issues can be complicated and stressful, but your family deserves the best legal representation possible. Reach out to a family law attorney in Oklahoma City to get your legal issues handled and put your family at ease.

Whether you’re going through a divorce, trying to adopt a child, or figuring out the visitation rights between you and a former spouse, the legal process can be overwhelming and emotionally draining when it deals with the sensitive topic of family. No one wants to put their loved ones through intense court battles or dramatic fights between parents, which is why having a solid lawyer is key.

Family legal issues can become messy when emotions are running high, but with the help of an experienced family lawyer, you can keep your priorities in order and your focus on winning the case. Your Oklahoma City family law attorney will ensure that all of the proper documents are gathered and filed on time.

Once your paperwork is filed, you can focus on building a case that proves to the judge why you’re worthy of adoption, custody or spousal support in your divorce (for example). At Talley, Turner, Stice & Bertman, we’ll negotiate on your behalf to ensure that whatever the issue may be, you can walk away feeling satisfied and confident in the end result.

Types Of Family Law Cases

There are numerous legal cases that can fall under the umbrella of family law. Basically, any civil matter that happens within the home or between family members can be considered a family law case, with some of the most common issues being divorce, child custody, adoption, parental rights and guardianship.

When these cases occur, a family lawyer will give legal advice on the matter and help the family determine whether mediation or litigation is the best route for handling the issue. Depending on the communication of those involved and several other factors, both routes can be viable options.

Custody And Visitation

In the state of Oklahoma, one parent can be given sole custody of the child or both parents can share joint custody. There are two types of sole and joint custody; these include physical or legal custody. The difference in these custody agreements is that legal custody means the parents are both able to make legal decisions for the child, while physical custody only includes visitation rights.

If sole custody is given to one parent, visitation rights will usually be given to the other parent. Regardless of whether visitation is set up or a joint parenting plan is determined, the legal agreement will include a detailed co-parenting outline. The co-parenting outline that’s submitted to the courts will include a residential schedule, a holiday schedule, and a summer break schedule.

Establishing Paternity

If you weren’t married to your partner when your child was born, you may need to establish paternity to legally gain parental rights. This can be done in a few different ways, including the submission of an acknowledgment of paternity, which can be signed by both you and the mother of the child. Alternatively, you or the mother of the child can also submit a child support order to establish paternity.

In the event that one partner denies paternity, genetic testing can be done to prove you’re the father of the child.

How long does it take to finalize an Oklahoma divorce?

The time to finalize a divorce in Oklahoma can vary. Typically, an uncontested divorce may take less time than a contested one. In Oklahoma City, divorce cases may be concluded within 10 days if the involved parties do not have children and mutually agree on the terms of their divorce.

There is a mandatory waiting period of 10 days for the approval of a divorce without minor children, while a 90-day waiting period is mandated for divorces involving minor children. However, the entire process can take several months, especially if there are disputes over issues like child custody, child support or property division.

What is the difference between divorce and legal separation?

Divorce and legal separation differ in their finality and legal status. The marriage is legally terminated in a divorce, and both parties can remarry. Legal separation, on the other hand, allows spouses to live separately but remain legally married. Issues like child custody, child support and asset division can be addressed during a legal separation, but the marriage is not dissolved.

How is child custody determined in Oklahoma?

Child custody in Oklahoma is determined based on the child’s best interests. The court considers factors such as the child’s age, health and emotional ties with each parent as well as each parent’s ability to provide a stable home. Additionally, the court may evaluate each parent’s willingness to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent. Even though joint custody is preferred, the court may award sole custody when it is in the child’s best interests.

Can my custody agreement be changed?

Yes. Changing the terms of your custody agreement will require filing a motion to modify the custody order. Once this motion is filed, you’ll have the opportunity to argue why you think the custody agreement should be amended. There’s no guarantee that a change will be made, but you’ll have the opportunity to speak in front of the judge again.

How is property divided in an Oklahoma divorce?

Oklahoma divides property through “equitable distribution,” meaning that it’s fairly – but not necessarily equally – split. Marital property (acquired during the marriage) is divided fairly, considering factors such as marriage length, health and financial needs. Separate property (owned before the marriage) generally stays with its owner.

What if the father or mother of my child isn’t paying their child support?

If the other parent isn’t paying child support that they were court-ordered to pay, you can alert the court and the parent will be penalized for failure to pay. Usually, this will include the child support being taken out of their paychecks, or it can include freezing their bank accounts in some severe cases. Those who fail to pay child support can even go to jail.

What rights do I have as a grandparent?

Oklahoma doesn’t have any grandparent rights in place. It’s up to the parents whether or not the children are able to see their grandparents; however, if specific circumstances make you think that it’s in the best interests of the child for them to see you, then you can file a petition for visitation and claim parental unfitness. Speaking with a family law attorney in Oklahoma City could be helpful to you.

Contact An Oklahoma City Family Lawyer

No matter what family legal issue you may be dealing with, seeking the help of an experienced lawyer can ensure your issue is dealt with more quickly, professionally, and with the least amount of stress possible. At Talley, Turner, Stice & Bertman, we enjoy helping families conquer their issues and find their way toward more peaceful days ahead.

If you’re ready to speak with an Oklahoma City family law attorney today, you can call 405-467-2858 for a no-obligation consultation or fill out the contact form.