Frequently Asked Oklahoma Family Law Questions
With so many different legal issues falling under the family law field of practice, it’s understandable that you may have some questions and concerns. Below we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions we receive, but if you have any further questions regarding your specific case, feel free to reach out for a consultation in Oklahoma City, and it will be our pleasure to assist you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.