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Child Support and Custody Modifications

When a divorce with children involved is finalized, the situation always involves agreements and/or orders from the court dictating the terms of visitation, custody and support, and these tenets of the divorce are expected to be followed with specificity in order for a violating parent to avoid civil contempt liability at the minimum.

However, it’s often the case that certain circumstances change, and when this does happen, the parties to the original divorce need to take the proper steps to effectuate modifications of visitation, custody and/or support. This can be a very difficult and antagonistic process at times, especially when one parent fights against these modifications, but that’s also the time when you should realize that you need the help of an experienced family law attorney to help you through this sometimes-difficult process.

Below is a look at all three of these issues – modification of visitation, custody and support in Oklahoma, but for an individualized analysis of how any or all of these legal processes could apply to your situation, contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation.

Modification of Visitation in Oklahoma

There are several reasons why one parent or even both parents could seek a modification of visitation in Oklahoma. This can be a relatively simple process if both parties agree to the change, or can be extremely adversarial if one party moves to modify visitation against the wishes of the other.

The fundamental commonality in every modification of visitation in Oklahoma is a substantial change in circumstances. Each of these is described below:

1. Non-Problematic Changes

2. One parent is moving to a distance that’s farther than reasonable for efficient visitation

3. One parent will be traveling for an extended period of time

4. One parent changes jobs and as a result his or her regular job schedule, making the current visitation schedule impractical

Problematic Changes in Oklahoma

1.The development of a substance abuse problem by one parent

2. The beginning of a lifestyle that could harm the child if he or she is exposed to it

3. The incarceration of one parent

4. The initiation of any form of abuse by one parent

5. Any issues of child neglect by one parent

6. Repeated violations of the agreed-upon visitation schedule

Of course, these are not exclusive lists, but regardless of why the need for modification of visitation arises, it must be handled properly and presented to the court for approval.

Modifications of Custody in Oklahoma

Modifications of custody in Oklahoma can be much more emotionally intense, as rather than simply seeing a child or children on different days, the child or children at issue face the prospect of moving in with the other parent, and often times, a visitation schedule for the new non-custodial parent must also be worked out in an equitable fashion, depending on the circumstances.

Generally, the reasons for modifications of visitation in Oklahoma listed above are largely the same reasons for initiating a modification of custody, but anyone who is prepared to move for a modification of custody must be prepared for a bitter battle. If you are facing this issue on either side, you need immediate legal help. Contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation and to make sure that your rights and those of your child or children are properly enforced and protected.

Modifications of Child Support

Modifications of child support in Oklahoma involve a very specific process as well, and this is a process that can be extremely adversarial in nature. Luckily, the Oklahoma statutes deal with this issue specifically, and the statute states as follows:

16. a. (1) Child support orders may be modified upon a material change in circumstances which includes, but is not limited to, an increase or decrease in income, changes in actual child care expenses, changes in medical or dental insurance, or when one of the children in the child support order reaches the age of majority or otherwise ceases to be entitled to support pursuant to the support order.

(2) Modification of the Child Support Guideline Schedule shall not alone be a material change in circumstances for child support orders in existence on November 1, 1999.

(3) Providing support for children born to or adopted by either parent after the entry of a child support order shall not alone be considered a material change in circumstances.

(4) An order of modification shall be effective upon the date the motion to modify was filed, unless the parties agree to the contrary or the court makes a specific finding of fact that the material change of circumstance did not occur until a later date.

b. (1) A child support order shall not be modified retroactively regardless of whether support was ordered in a temporary order, a decree of divorce, an order establishing paternity, modification of an order of support, or other action to establish or to enforce support.

(2) All final orders shall state whether past due support and interest has accrued pursuant to any temporary order and the amount due, if any; however, failure to state a past due amount shall not bar collection of that amount after entry of the final support order.

c. The amount of a child support order shall not be construed to be an amount per child unless specified by the district or administrative court in the order. A child reaching the age of majority or otherwise ceasing to be entitled to support pursuant to the support order shall constitute a material change in circumstances, but shall not automatically serve to modify the order;

As you see, modifications of child support in Oklahoma is a serious matter, and before you attempt to handle this complicated issue by yourself, you need to make sure that you are getting the legal help you need in order to avoid a mistake and face serious consequences for a perceived failure to pay child support.

Do You Need a Family Lawyer?

As you see, the modifications of visitation, custody and child support in Oklahoma is an intricate process, and that’s not an accident – ambiguity in child-related issues can lead to serious problems for everyone involved. If you are facing any or all of these issues, contact Privett Law today to schedule an initial consultation.