Family Law in the State of Oklahoma covers a broad variety of issues. When it comes to family legal issues, it is often overwhelming and confusing for all individuals involved. A little knowledge can go a long way to protect your assets and family relationships. Use the Tulsa Attorney Directory to research and hire the best Tulsa family law attorney to guide you through the process and bring you to the outcome that you deserve. Family law covers the dissolution of marriage, paternity, and protection orders against domestic violence, name changes, guardianship, termination of parental rights, and adoption. Below is information on some of these topics.
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Marriage dissolution in the State of Oklahoma is also referred to as a divorce. Tulsa courts play a significant role in resolving issues and disputes that you and a former spouse could not agree on during divorce negotiations. Multiple factors are decided by the courts that will impact your day to day life following the finalization of your divorce. These factors include child custody and support, visitation, spousal support, and the division of all marital property. It is beneficial to the family for both parties to negotiate in an amicable manner. Please note, if minor children are involved, Oklahoma requires a ninety-day waiting period, from the filing date, before a divorce can be granted.
In Oklahoma, a father must have established paternity in order to file for custody or be ordered to pay child support. The establishment of paternity in Oklahoma is contingent on whether the couple was married at the time of birth. A man is presumed to be the father if he is married to the mother at the time of birth, or if they marry 300 (three hundred) days after birth. Another way to be automatically recognized as the father under Oklahoma law is by paying child support for a child, even if unmarried to the mother. To establish DNA through the state paternity test, the mother or father can go to their local child support office and open a child support case. There is no cost to open a case. If the test is positive, the father will be required to pay the State back for the cost of the testing. This cost of state testing is much less than a private DNA test. Another way to establish paternity is to complete the Acknowledgment of Paternity (03PA209E) form.
If you have suffered from stalking, harassment, or physical abuse in Oklahoma then you qualify for a protective order against domestic violence. This ensures, through the court, your harasser must leave you alone or face legal criminal consequences. A Protective Order can be granted for up to three years in the State of Oklahoma. You may apply for a Protective Order even if you have already obtained a Temporary Protective Order as part of a criminal proceeding, or if criminal charges haven’t been filed against the person harassing you. Remember, a Protective Order is only a piece of paper so take other safety precautions if you feel you are in danger.
Changing your name in the State of Oklahoma can be done through multiple processes. The three most simple are usually due to a marriage, a divorce, or adoption. In order to change your name following a marriage or divorce simply present the appropriate documentation such as a marriage license or divorce decree. If you go through the adoption process in Oklahoma the court that granted the adoption will forward all necessary documentation to vital records where the name will be amended on the birth certificate. Name changes for any other reason require a petition to Oklahoma State Court. This process requires you to pay a filing fee, appear at a court hearing, and deliver your case before a judge. If you are considering a name change to protect yourself from abuse, talk to a Tulsa family law attorney about doing a “Sealed Name Change”. Oklahoma judges will grant a “Sealed Name Change” only if they feel you have provided cause, or it is necessary for your protection.
Adoption is a time consuming and emotional process, although a majority of citizens qualify to adopt in Oklahoma. This includes citizens who are single, married, divorced, or widowed. The basic requirements to adopt in the State of Oklahoma include: being able to understand, love, and accept a non-biological child, being at least twenty-one years of age, in good health, able to provide ample living space for the child, and being able to manage your finances to meet the needs of the child. If you pass the previous checklist, get ready to complete your home assessment, and 27-hour orientation. Your home assessment includes verification of income, a home safety assessment, a full family assessment, including interviews with every family member, as well as, all reference and background checks, a medical examination report, fingerprinting, and verification of vaccination for all pets. While the journey to adoption is long, it is always free to adopt or foster a child.
Juvenile matters in the state of Oklahoma refers to any legal matter pertaining to a minor. Due to the Oklahoma Youthful Offenders Act of 1994; there are three types of criminal charges that can be given to a minor in Oklahoma. These charges include being charged as a juvenile, youthful offender, or as an adult. Under Oklahoma law, minors under the age of 18 who commit certain crimes are not “convicted” of those crimes, but rather adjudicated delinquent by the juvenile court system. This applies to minors age fifteen or under, or minors who commit minor offenses. Generally a juvenile delinquent is sentenced to a juvenile detention center and their criminal record is expunged following the juvenile’s 18th birthday. The Youthful Offenders Act of Oklahoma ensures that teens ages fifteen through seventeen, who commit serious crimes be tried as youthful offenders. Although these teens can be transferred to adult facilities when they turn 18, in some cases, they are allowed to stay in the juvenile detention center for rehabilitative purposes. When a juvenile is given an adult sentence and shows significant signs of rehabilitation, their release date may be lowered to their twenty-first birthday. Minors in the State of Oklahoma are only charged as an adult if the crime is serious. For instance, a thirteen-year-old minor convicted of first-degree murder can be charged as an adult. Although with the right lawyer a “motion for certification as a youthful offender or a juvenile before the start of the criminal preliminary hearing,” can be filed. This only applies to those Oklahoma minors ages thirteen and fourteen.
Are you overwhelmed with a Family Law Issue? If you are facing a legal circumstance that affects your family, use the Tulsa Attorney Directory to find the best family law attorney to guide you through this process.