Guide to Oklahoma Family Law
While other courts often involve jury trials, family courts involve judges trying to make decisions in the best interests of families and children in the state of Oklahoma. OK family law is a broad term that includes many different areas. This guide will give you an overview of several different areas of Oklahoma family law. More specific information on each area of OK family law can be found on this website, or, for legal advice in your situation, you may wish to consult an attorney.
More families than ever are choosing to open their homes to an adopted child. If you are considering adoption, you will need to have an attorney to help you understand the relevant portions of Oklahoma family law. According to OK family law, all adoptions, whether private, through an agency, or through the state foster system, must be finalized by a judge in family court.
You will also have to contend with Oklahoma family law earlier in the adoption process. OK family law determines who is eligible to adopt, and excludes those convicted of violent crimes or crimes against children. According to Oklahoma family law, all prospective adoptive parents must also complete a home study including background checks, fingerprinting, and interviews of all household members.
If you are getting divorced, OK family law requires that child custody be determined by a family court judge. Many parents are able to come to an agreement about dividing their child custody responsibilities, and in these situations, Oklahoma family law allows the court to simply approve of the parents' plan. According to OK family law, all decisions about custody must be made in the best interest of the child.
If parents cannot come up with an acceptable custody agreement, the court is permitted by Oklahoma family law to force the parents into mediation. Mediation is an out of court, informal process that can help parents to come to an agreement about the division of their parenting responsibilities. Mediation is significantly less expensive and less traumatic for children, than a full custody hearing.
Guidelines on child support in OK family law are quite complicated. Typically, your obligation to pay child support will be based on a percentage of your income and the base amount of support your child will need.
Unmarried fathers must sue for paternity according to Oklahoma family law in order to have parental rights. Family courts allow men and women to petition for a court-ordered paternity test to establish or dispute paternity of a child. In some cases, OK family law will require a married or formerly married man to continue supporting a child even if it is not his. Typically, this happens when a father has accepted and supported the child for some time before deciding to dispute paternity.