Category: Family Law
While divorcing spouses can permanently resolve their disputes about property at the time of a divorce, issues concerning children can continue for years.
When parents divorce – or break up if they are not married – their child-rearing duties do not cease. If anything, parents find they have to communicate and cooperate, almost as much after a divorce or separation than when they were together.
We understand that families are a work in progress. Whether you are considering a divorce, have been served with divorce papers, or are estranged from the child’s other parent, you need an experienced family law attorney who understands Oklahoma child custody, child support and child visitation laws and procedures.
Our Child Legal Services | Owasso Visitation Attorneys
Our attorneys have that experience and understanding. They have represented clients in many child-related legal matters. As seasoned litigators and proven negotiators trained in mediation and collaborative law techniques, they assist our clients in resolving important issues related to:
Child custody and visitation:Retaining parenting rights after a divorce, separation or other relationship breakdown, and determining your options for joint legal custody, physical custody and/or visitation.
Child support:Assisting parents in obtaining child support that complies with state formulas and accurately reflect the parents’ financial circumstances.
Child removal/relocation:Assisting parents in resolving custody, visitation and other issues resolving child removal, particularly when those parents need to move out of the state.
Modifications of orders: Seeking to modify the terms of court orders relating to divorce, child custody, child support or alimony when personal or financial circumstances change substantially, as well as seeking to stop others’ requests to modify those terms.
Enforcement:Helping clients to enforce court orders for child support, spousal support and custody, as well as to obtain and enforce restraining orders and orders for protection.
Paternity:Establishing a child’s parentage can entitle him or her to child support and health care benefits from the father. It may also legally permit a father to have access to a child. Our lawyers represent both mothers and fathers in paternity actions.
Termination of parental rights:Ensuring the safety and well-being of the child by seeking to end a parent’s rights to a child when there is abuse or neglect in the home.
Oklahoma is an equitable division state. Under law, assets and debts that spouses acquire during their marriage must be divided equally between them when the marriage ends.
Although this division is called “equitable,” it may not seem fair or equal to you. Assets are divided by their monetary value, not their sentimental value or the value you think they are worth. Similarly, debts that one spouse accrued during a marriage are usually the responsibility of both spouses in a divorce, not just the spouse who acquired the debt.
Our lawyers help divorcing clients to secure fair and reasonable divisions of assets and debts through negotiations, mediations and in divorce trials.
Marital assets and debts we assist our clients in dividing include:
- Retirement accounts (including 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions and savings plans)
- Investments in real estate, stock and mutual funds
- Family businesses/business interests
- Credit card debts
- Tax debts
- Unpaid loans
Retain the firm, and our experienced asset division lawyers can discuss your circumstances with you, determine your actual marital assets and debts, and secure accurate valuations of those assets and debts — all with the goal of bringing you the most benefit with the least amount of hardship.
How Does Spousal Support Figure In? | Owasso Property Division Attorneys
In Oklahoma, spousal support (also known as alimony) is not guaranteed in a divorce. However, it can be awarded by a judge when one spouse has significant advantages in income or assets over the other. A typical situation in which alimony is awarded is when one spouse has a job and comparatively higher education while the other spouse lacks job experience, skills and education. Whether one spouse has borne a greater burden for child rearing can also be a factor.
In such situations, the disadvantaged spouse can be granted monthly payments of alimony from the more advantaged spouse for a period lasting from a few months (while the disadvantaged spouse pursues education or attempts to establish a career) to many years (if the disadvantaged spouse is elderly or the marriage has lasted many years).
Divorcing spouses may also agree to alimony as part of a divorce settlement. Our attorneys assist clients in both contested and uncontested alimony actions.
Using Mediation, Negotiation To Get What You Need
In a court trial, you may have very little control over who gets the house, the cars or family heirlooms. You also have little control over how your marital debts are divided. In mediations and collaborative negotiations, however, you can influence those decisions and obtain the assets you most want and need, while avoiding debts that may not really have been yours to begin with.
Our lawyers include experienced family law negotiators, trained mediators and certified collaborative lawyers who understand how to resolve the basic issues of disputes without resorting to expensive, time-consuming and emotionally exhausting divorce trials. They can be extremely helpful in sorting your marital debt division and marital assets division.
Mired In Debts? Bankruptcy Can Provide A Fresh Start
Many people find that they have less money than they need to pay their bills after a divorce. We help indebted clients to have their debts discharged completely through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy processes.
Please note that you may not discharge debts that were assigned to you in a divorce proceeding. For this reason, it is important that you consult with a bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible to get the advice you need.
Divorce raises many questions that must be answered legally, through negotiations, mediation or a decision by a judge in court. They include:
- What will happen to our money?
- What will happen to our house?
- What will happen to our kids?
We help our clients answer these and other questions while improving their lives.
Our experienced divorce lawyers use legal tools including negotiation, mediation and litigation to help clients in the Tulsa metropolitan area to attain their goals concerning marital assets, child access and family support.
Will Your Divorce Be Contested Or Uncontested? | Owasso Divorce Mediation Attorneys
If divorcing spouses are willing to resolve conflicts concerning property division, child custody, child visitation, child support and spousal support out of court, they can eliminate much of the expense, time and cost of a court trial, while retaining control of the terms that are decided. As long as a divorce settlement does not violate any laws and is considered beneficial to any children involved, it is likely to be approved by a judge after a brief court hearing.
Settling an uncontested divorce in this way streamlines the divorce process and tends to create durable solutions that are beneficial for both parties and their children. Because of this, negotiated divorce is strongly encouraged by the court system. Indeed, most Oklahoma divorces are resolved in this way. You may have heard of this by the name “waiver divorce.”
Alternatives To Court: Mediation And Collaborative Law
If negotiation is not possible, however, divorcing spouses may seek a mediated solution. Instead of negotiating directly with each other, the parties present their concerns to an impartial mediator who considers each party’s circumstances.
Based on the testimony of the spouses and their attorneys, the mediator may suggest settlement terms. The parties may agree to these terms, reject them, or use them as a basis for future negotiations. Oklahoma divorce courts usually require divorcing parties to enter mediation before they will hear a divorce case.
Another option is for the spouses and their attorneys to work together collaboratively. Our attorneys include both trained mediators and certified practitioners of collaborative law techniques.
When divorcing parties are unable to reach consensus, they may take their dispute to court in a contested divorce. In a divorce trial, the spouses may argue for their desired outcomes, but ultimately a judge determines the terms under which the parties, and their children, will live. Our attorneys are experienced, effective and aggressive advocates for our clients in the courtroom.
When Circumstances Change | Modifications Of Orders
People’s lives change over time. When a divorced person’s financial and/or personal circumstances change significantly, he or she may seek a modification to an order for alimony, child custody or child support. Modifications can allow for increased or decreased financial support and amend how responsibilities toward children will be carried out.