Family law is a special branch of the civil law system that pertains to legal matters among family members. While family law cases fall under the purview of civil law, several special rules and unique statutes can come into play in family law cases. If you are expecting to participate in any type of family law case in the near future, you should understand the statutes that may come into play in your case.
What Types of Cases Fall Under Family Law?
Many civil cases fall under the family court system. Some of the most common types of cases seen in the Oklahoma City, OK family court system includes:
- Divorce cases. The legal process of ending a marriage involves not only formally dissolving a marriage contract, but also the division of property ownership rights. Oklahoma follows equitable distribution laws when it comes to property division in divorce. The court must also ensure a divorcing couple with children have a child custody and support arrangement that protects the best interests of those children.
- Adopting a child can provide that adopted child with the same legal rights and protections that biological children enjoy. The adoption process typically involves court-appointed investigators who ensure the adoptive home is safe and acceptable for the child. The adoptive parent is a competent and reliable choice as a parent. The family court system can also facilitate name changes with adoption proceedings.
- Child custody determinations. One of the most important issues in any divorce case is determining child custody rights and child support obligations for the divorcing parents. This process is often arduous for the entire family, and the Oklahoma City, OK family court system has a legal duty to ensure any custody determination protects and preserves the best interests of the children involved in the determination.
- When an individual dies, the probate process is the legal vehicle for distributing the individual’s property to their beneficiaries. If the deceased had any type of estate plan, this could significantly reduce the amount of probate proceedings required. Probate proceedings often involve disputes among beneficiaries and complex legal questions. A family law attorney can assist the surviving family of a recently deceased individual navigate the probate process, settle probate disputes, and much more.
- Prenuptial agreements. A prenuptial agreement can assist a marrying couple in addressing difficult and complicated financial questions about their marriage prior to marrying. An experienced Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney can assist in the drafting of a new prenuptial agreement or modifying an existing agreement.
- Post-judgment motions. Family court is a unique branch of civil law in that it is possible to revisit a family law order at a later date. If your child support determination, alimony agreement, or other aspect of your family law matter requires adjustment due to a recent life event, contact our firm. Your Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney can assist you in the filing of your post-judgment motion to secure the changes you need.
- Protective orders. In the event a member of a family has committed any type of domestic violence against another family member or household member, a family law attorney can assist them in securing a protective order to prevent further harm.
No matter what type of family law matter you are facing, one of the most important steps you can take to increase the chance of securing a successful result in your case is hiring an experienced and responsive Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney to assist you during your proceedings.
Oklahoma Family Law Statutes You Should Know
Every state has unique laws and statutes in their respective family court systems, particularly when it comes to the dissolution of marriage. There are several options for divorce available in Oklahoma. While a standard divorce or dissolution is the typical means of ending a marital contract, it is also possible to secure legal separation in cases where it would be fiscally disadvantageous for a couple to divorce who have no intention or desire to remain a married couple. It is also possible in Oklahoma City, OK to have a marriage annulled in the event information comes to light that proves the marriage was invalid.
Oklahoma also upholds some unique statutes pertaining to the residency requirement and additional rules for granting a divorce. Oklahoma’s residency requirement is straightforward: one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months in good standing. There is no waiting period required by state law in Oklahoma that would take effect after filing for divorce, so it is technically possible for a divorce petition to be immediately granted if there is no appeal on the decision. However, state law requires that upon receiving a finalized divorce decree, the divorced spouses may not remarry for six months or are guilty of bigamy. They may not cohabit with a new partner for 30 days if they are guilty of adultery.
The state of Oklahoma also does not require a specific reason or fault to grant a divorce petition. Incompatibility or “irreconcilable differences” are suitable reasons to seek divorce in Oklahoma City.
The Value of Legal Counsel
No matter how straightforward your current family law matter may seem at first, it is easy for any case to escalate into a heated and challenging affair very quickly and unexpectedly. If you are preparing to divorce in Oklahoma City, are facing a difficult probate dispute with a family member, or need to adjust an existing custody or support order, contact our firm. It is essential to have a reliable Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney to support and guide you through your proceedings.
Your attorney can handle your procedural obligations with the court to ensure your case proceeds uninterrupted. They can also assist in research and fact-finding to strengthen your case. Do not make the mistake of foregoing your best chance of securing the case result you want to see. Choose an Oklahoma City, OK family law attorney who can navigate your case successfully.