As a Norman, Oklahoma family law lawyer, RJ Harris and the staff at Patriot Law advocate diligently on behalf of clients to help ensure that they are able to come to terms either through negotiation, or, when necessary, litigation.
Child custody: Meeting your needs while ensuring the best interests of your child are met
In Oklahoma family law, the overarching principle when the court determines child custody is what is in the “the physical, mental and moral best interests of the child.”
In the past, it was nearly automatic that the mother was given legal and physical custody of children following a divorce in Oklahoma, but that is no longer the case.
When determining best interests, the courts consider:
The wishes of both parents
Depending on the age of the child, the wishes of the child
The child’s relationship with significant people in his or her life, including siblings and grandparents
The child’s ties to religious institutions, schools and the community
The quality of the relationship between child and parents
The involvement of each parent in getting children to medical or dental appointments and the child’s teacher conferences and other school functions
Which parent is going to provide the safest and most stable home environment
Each parent’s willingness to foster a relationship with a non-custodial parent to maintain visitation rights
Which parent can spend the most time with the child
Each parent’s ability to make sound decisions regarding the child’s welfare and well-being
Speak with a knowledgeable Oklahoma family law attorney
As a lawyer experienced in Oklahoma family law and the court’s child custody rules, RJ Harris vigorously advocates for you while ensuring that the “child’s best interest” considerations are met as well as providing guidance when modifications are needed.
When you need an Oklahoma lawyer for family law or divorce issues, please contact us online or call our office at (405) 979-0179 to schedule a consultation.
We serve clients in Norman and throughout McClain County, Cleveland County and surrounding areas.
Oklahoma child support: Finding what’s fair for children and parents
When parents divorce, it’s tough on children—not just emotionally, but financially as well. In Oklahoma, courts predicate child support on the notion that children should receive the same proportion of their parent’s income as they would have if their parents were not divorced.
The Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines are based on a calculation of each parent’s active income (including but not limited to pre-tax monthly wages or salary, overtime pay, bonuses, Social Security benefits or monetary gifts) and passive income (for example: rental property income or royalties). After taking into account certain child-related expenses, the adjusted income is then split on a pro-rated basis.
Our Oklahoma family law lawyer understands that there are other factors in determining child support, including the number of visitation days a child spends with a non-custodial parent and the need for modifications when there is a significant change in circumstances that may warrant an increase or decrease the amount of child support.
The laws regarding financial support of children are strict and if you need to modify child support, it is in your best interest to retain experienced legal representation.
Oklahoma alimony: The how and how much of spousal support
Few divorce issues are as rancorous as alimony, or spousal support. Once almost exclusively paid by ex-husbands to ex-wives, the courts are now gender-blind in this matter.
Spousal support is intended to ensure that the spouse receiving “alimony” is able to enjoy the same standard of living they had while married. It is primarily meant to give the recipient time to “get back on their feet” financially. As such, it is increasingly the case that the support is not forever.
There are exceptions, often based on age, health issues and ability to obtain employment. The amount of spousal support can be negotiated between you and your soon-to-be ex. If you can’t come to an agreement, it will wind up in court.
One important note regarding taxes and alimony: Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the paying spouse, and the receiving spouse does not have to report alimony as income.
This affects spousal support agreements executed after December 31, 2018.
Whether you are seeking alimony or need legal guidance regarding the need to pay, Oklahoma family law lawyer RJ Harris can advocate for you.
Oklahoma division of property: Who gets what?
Perhaps you and your spouse were able to hash out who keeps the furniture and who gets the car, but often, division of property can get messy, especially where comingled funds and arguments over pensions or retirement accounts are involved.
Since Oklahoma is an equitable division state, anything that is considered “marital property” is divided based on calculations that take into consideration factors such as the financial need of a spouse, how much spousal support is being paid, a spouse’s ability to work and whether a spouse has a disability.
Once the assets are added up, the debts are factored in to come up with a “fair and reasonable division,” which doesn’t necessarily mean a 50/50 split.
Separate property is another matter. Separate means anything you owned prior to the marriage, but it may also include a portion of something.
Pensions and retirement accounts are a common example. You may have started that 401k before you got married, and that portion is separate, and as such, yours.
However, anything that went into the plan after your marriage is considered marital property. Because division of property is often complex, getting the help of a knowledgeable lawyer is imperative.
Our Oklahoma family law attorney provides solutions and gets results
Protecting your finances and preserving important relationships with your children is our primary concern.
Learn more about the skilled, compassionate and ethical advocacy we provide to clients throughout the Norman, Oklahoma area.
To schedule a consultation, please contact us online or call us at (405) 979-0179.