Family Law is one of the most emotionally difficult and confusing areas of the law in which you may find yourself. The Persaud Law Office has practiced family law for many years, and we can sympathize with your plight. If you need a family attorney, a custody lawyer, a guardianship attorney, or a divorce lawyer in Bartlesville, we can help.

Divorce

The Persaud Law Office represents both wives and husbands in divorce cases. You may need a divorce lawyer, if:

  • You are going through a divorce;

  • you have been divorced in the past, and you want to change custody, visitation, or child support;

  • your ex-spouse is refusing to follow the terms of your divorce decree; or 

  • your ex-spouse is accusing you of not following the terms of your divorce decree.

You will likely need a lawyer to assist you in a divorce case. Oklahoma family law is so complicated that few non-lawyers can understand all of their rights and obligations, and the legal procedures involved, in a divorce case. Furthermore, divorce cases are very emotional, so you will likely be too emotionally involved in your case to be able to objectively see what is the best course of action to take in court. For more information on when you need a lawyer, see my blog post: Should you represent yourself?

Divorce

Bartlesville's Family Attorney

Family Law is one of the most emotionally difficult and confusing areas of the law in which you may find yourself. The Persaud Law Office has practiced family law for many years, and we can sympathize with your plight. If you need a family attorney, a custody lawyer, a guardianship attorney, or a divorce lawyer in Bartlesville, we can help.

The Persaud Law Office represents both wives and husbands in divorce cases. You may need a divorce lawyer, if:

  • You are going through a divorce;

  • you have been divorced in the past, and you want to change custody, visitation, or child support;

  • your ex-spouse is refusing to follow the terms of your divorce decree; or 

  • your ex-spouse is accusing you of not following the terms of your divorce decree.

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Many people in divorce cases wonder where they can find Oklahoma divorce forms. Because so many clients ask about this, I have posted free do it yourself divorce forms for Oklahoma, here. You should be warned, though: these forms are for simple, uncontested divorce cases. If your divorce case is contested, you will likely need a lawyer to assist you in a divorce case. Even in many uncontested divorce cases, the parties are not able to handle the case without an attorney. Oklahoma family law is so complicated that few non-lawyers can understand all of their rights and obligations, and the legal procedures involved, in a divorce case. Furthermore, divorce cases are very emotional, so you will likely be too emotionally involved in your case to be able to objectively see what is the best course of action to take in court. For more information on when you need a lawyer, see my blog post: Should you represent yourself?

A guardian is a person who is appointed to take care of the person or property of another person (called the ward). You may need a guardianship attorney if:

  • You have an adult relative who is incapacitated, and cannot handle his own affairs (click here for more information);

  • You have a disabled child, who is about to turn 18 or already is 18 (click here for more information); or

  • You need to care for a child whose parents are deceased or unfit.

To see how to nominate a guardian for your minor child, click here.

To see how to become the guardian of a minor child, click here.

The guardian acts in loco parentis (that is, the guardian functions as if he were the ward’s parent.) Click here for more information on the rights and duties of a guardian.

 

To obtain a guardianship, you have to ask a judge to appoint you as the guardian. I have published, here, the forms to take to a judge to be appointed guardian. However, because these forms are quite complicated, and you will not likely understand all of them, I recommend that you have an attorney assist you rather than fill out the forms yourself. The Persaud Law Office can assist you in preparing the forms, and appearing before the judge, and any other legal details involved in a guardianship.

Another area of law, in which you may need a family court lawyer, is child support. You may need a lawyer to assist you with child support issues if:

  • You are a party in a case (such as a divorce, paternity, guardianship, or DHS child support case) where you may be ordered to pay child support;

  • You have a child and you would like to collect child support from the other parent; or

  • You are accused of not paying sufficient child support, and you have been penalized or are threatened with penalties.

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To find more information about how to file for, and collect, child support through DHS, click here.

 

Child support law is complicated, and the penalties for failing to pay child support can be severe. Penalties include prison time, garnishment of your wages, and much more. Prior to November 1, 2020, the state will also be able to revoke any driver's or professional license you hold, if you do not pay child support. After November 1, 2020, the state will be allowed to revoke your recreational licenses (such as hunting licenses) if you fail to pay child support; however, the state will no longer be allowed to revoke a driver's or professional license for failure to maintain child support obligations. Because of the complexity of child support law, and the severity of the penalties, it would definitely be wise to consult an experienced family attorney if you are embroiled in a child support dispute.

You know you want to adopt a child. You also know that you need a good family attorney to accomplish this. The Persaud Law Office has handled adoptions at both the trial and the appellate level. We understand the complexities involved in the adoption process. We also have seen the joy that you will feel on the day that a judge signs the final adoption decree, and you walk away from the courtroom knowing that you now have a new child. 


For an overview of the adoption process in Oklahoma, see my blog post on the topic.

A paternity action is a case between parents who have a child together, but were never married. Paternity is similar to divorce – the court can decide custody, visitation, and child support.


If you are involved in a paternity case, it’s best to retain a good custody lawyer, rather than represent yourself. The legal issues will likely be too complex for a layperson to understand, and the issues will be so emotional and personal for you, that you will be unable to objectively analyze the issues to determine how you can best proceed in court. Click here to see why you should not represent yourself.

Who is Kyle Persaud?

Kyle Persaud has practiced family law in Oklahoma since 2009. He strives to help reunite families and ensure that children, particularly children who have been in abusive situations in the past, will reside in homes where they are loved and cared for.

Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remarry before my divorce is final?


No! You are still legally married until the judge signs your final divorce decree. If you marry before then, you are guilty of bigamy. When the judge signs your decree, you marriage is dissolved immediately, but you still must wait six months before you may legally remarry in Oklahoma.




Am I in a common-law marriage?


To be in a common-law marriage, you and your spouse must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • You and your spouse must mutually agree to be married
  • You and your spouse must both be capable of marrying.
    • You must both be legally of age (in Oklahoma, the minimum age for marriage is 16 with parental consent, and 18 without parental consent. Younger parties may marry with the permission of a judge, under certain circumstances.)
    • You and your spouse must both be mentally competent.
    • Neither you nor your spouse may already be married to anyone else.
    • You and your spouse may not be related to each other.
    • Neither you nor your spouse may have been divorced for less than six months.
  • You and your spouse must have a permanent relationship.
  • You and your spouse must have an exclusive relationship.
  • You and your spouse must live together. (NOTE: There is not fixed amount of time you need to have lived together. If you live together, this satisfies the grounds for a common-law marriage.)
  • You and your spouse must openly hold out each other as husband and wife.




What will happen to my minor children when I die?


A guardian will be appointed for your minor children. See below question, "What is a guardianship?" You may nominate a guardian in your will before you die. Click here to find out about wills.




What is a guardianship?


A guardian is a person appointed by the court to take care of the person or property of another. A guardianship can be granted over a child when the parent(s) are deceased or unfit. A guardianship can be granted over an adult when the adult is incapacitated. When a guardian is appointed for a child, the guardian functions much like the child’s parent; the guardian can enroll the child in school, take the child to the child to the doctor, etc. A guardianship over a child can terminate if the parent(s) are found to have regained their fitness. A guardian also has control over the ward’s property, whether the ward is a child or an adult. For more information about legal guardianships, click on my g uardianship page.




Can I have court-ordered visitation with my grandchildren?


You must convince a court that grandparental visitation is in the best interests of the child. You must also show that the child’s parent(s) are unfit. Grandparental visitation cannot be granted if the child is living in an “intact nuclear family.” You must show either that the child’s parents have been divorced, separated, or had their marriage annulled (or that proceedings for divorce, separation, or annulment are pending). You may also obtain grandparental visitation if you show that your child, who is the parent of the grandchild, is deceased, unless the mother died during the birth of the child. You may also obtain visitation if you show that the grandchild does not reside in its parent’s home, that one of the grandchild’s parents has a felony conviction and has been incarcerated, that you had custody of your grandchild, that the grandchild’s parent has deserted the other parent for more than one year, that the grandchild’s parents never married and are not residing together, or that one of the grandchild’s parent’s parental rights have been terminated. Also, to obtain grandparental visitation, you generally must show that there is a strong, continuous grandparental relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild.




My spouse has left, and I don’t know where he/she is. How can I serve my spouse with divorce papers if I can’t find him/her?


This is a common problem in divorce cases, and Oklahoma law provides a solution: You may serve your spouse by publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where you filed the divorce. To do this, you must first prove, to a judge, that you are unable to locate your ex-spouse. If a judge is satisfied with your proof and allows service by publication, you may then publish notice of the divorce, once a week for three consecutive weeks, in the local newspaper. If your spouse does not respond to your divorce within 41 days after the you publish the first notice, you may obtain a divorce by default. You still may face the following obstacles: 1. If the court awards you any of your spouse's money or property, you will have to locate the property in order to collect it. 2. Your spouse can ask the court to vacate the divorce judgment anytime within three years after the court granted the divorce, if your spouse can show that he/she had no actual knowledge of the divorce.




What is mediation?


Mediation is a form of “alternative dispute resolution” – that is, dispute resolution by means other than going to trial. In mediation, you, and the other part(ies) to the case, meet with a neutral third party called a mediator. Although a mediator can’t order you, or anyone else, to do anything, the mediator can try to guide you to agree on certain issues. If mediation is able to resolve part or all of the issues in a case, the issues resolved at mediation do not need to be taken to trial.

Because a mediator can’t order any party to do anything, you won’t walk away from a mediation with any result to which you have not agreed. So, you have much more control over the outcome of a mediation, than you have over the outcome of a trial. Because of this, many clients are far more satisfied with the results of a mediation, than they are with the results of a trial. If you are in the midst of a difficult family law case, I would encourage you to try mediation. For more information on mediation, click here.





Family Law Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remarry before my divorce is final?


No! You are still legally married until the judge signs your final divorce decree. If you marry before then, you are guilty of bigamy. When the judge signs your decree, you marriage is dissolved immediately, but you still must wait six months before you may legally remarry in Oklahoma.




Am I in a common-law marriage?


To be in a common-law marriage, you and your spouse must satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • You and your spouse must mutually agree to be married
  • You and your spouse must both be capable of marrying.
    • You must both be legally of age (in Oklahoma, the minimum age for marriage is 16 with parental consent, and 18 without parental consent. Younger parties may marry with the permission of a judge, under certain circumstances.)
    • You and your spouse must both be mentally competent.
    • Neither you nor your spouse may already be married to anyone else.
    • You and your spouse may not be related to each other.
    • Neither you nor your spouse may have been divorced for less than six months.
  • You and your spouse must have a permanent relationship.
  • You and your spouse must have an exclusive relationship.
  • You and your spouse must live together. (NOTE: There is not fixed amount of time you need to have lived together. If you live together, this satisfies the grounds for a common-law marriage.)
  • You and your spouse must openly hold out each other as husband and wife.




What will happen to my minor children when I die?


A guardian will be appointed for your minor children. See below question, "What is a guardianship?" You may nominate a guardian in your will before you die. Click here to find out about wills.




What is a guardianship?


A guardian is a person appointed by the court to take care of the person or property of another. A guardianship can be granted over a child when the parent(s) are deceased or unfit. A guardianship can be granted over an adult when the adult is incapacitated. When a guardian is appointed for a child, the guardian functions much like the child’s parent; the guardian can enroll the child in school, take the child to the child to the doctor, etc. A guardianship over a child can terminate if the parent(s) are found to have regained their fitness. A guardian also has control over the ward’s property, whether the ward is a child or an adult. For more information about legal guardianships, click on my g uardianship page.




Can I have court-ordered visitation with my grandchildren?


You must convince a court that grandparental visitation is in the best interests of the child. You must also show that the child’s parent(s) are unfit. Grandparental visitation cannot be granted if the child is living in an “intact nuclear family.” You must show either that the child’s parents have been divorced, separated, or had their marriage annulled (or that proceedings for divorce, separation, or annulment are pending). You may also obtain grandparental visitation if you show that your child, who is the parent of the grandchild, is deceased, unless the mother died during the birth of the child. You may also obtain visitation if you show that the grandchild does not reside in its parent’s home, that one of the grandchild’s parents has a felony conviction and has been incarcerated, that you had custody of your grandchild, that the grandchild’s parent has deserted the other parent for more than one year, that the grandchild’s parents never married and are not residing together, or that one of the grandchild’s parent’s parental rights have been terminated. Also, to obtain grandparental visitation, you generally must show that there is a strong, continuous grandparental relationship between the grandparent and the grandchild.




My spouse has left, and I don’t know where he/she is. How can I serve my spouse with divorce papers if I can’t find him/her?


This is a common problem in divorce cases, and Oklahoma law provides a solution: You may serve your spouse by publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where you filed the divorce. To do this, you must first prove, to a judge, that you are unable to locate your ex-spouse. If a judge is satisfied with your proof and allows service by publication, you may then publish notice of the divorce, once a week for three consecutive weeks, in the local newspaper. If your spouse does not respond to your divorce within 41 days after the you publish the first notice, you may obtain a divorce by default. You still may face the following obstacles: 1. If the court awards you any of your spouse's money or property, you will have to locate the property in order to collect it. 2. Your spouse can ask the court to vacate the divorce judgment anytime within three years after the court granted the divorce, if your spouse can show that he/she had no actual knowledge of the divorce.




What is mediation?


Mediation is a form of “alternative dispute resolution” – that is, dispute resolution by means other than going to trial. In mediation, you, and the other part(ies) to the case, meet with a neutral third party called a mediator. Although a mediator can’t order you, or anyone else, to do anything, the mediator can try to guide you to agree on certain issues. If mediation is able to resolve part or all of the issues in a case, the issues resolved at mediation do not need to be taken to trial.

Because a mediator can’t order any party to do anything, you won’t walk away from a mediation with any result to which you have not agreed. So, you have much more control over the outcome of a mediation, than you have over the outcome of a trial. Because of this, many clients are far more satisfied with the results of a mediation, than they are with the results of a trial. If you are in the midst of a difficult family law case, I would encourage you to try mediation. For more information on mediation, click here.





Articles on Family Law from the Bartlesville Law Blog

NOTE: The information provided on this website is not intended to be, and does not constitute, the giving of legal advice. The information provided here is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for individual reliance on privately retained legal counsel. Information provided on this site may not constitute the most current or complete information with respect to legal topics or developments. Mr. Persaud expressly disclaims all liability based on any information contained on this site.”

© 2020, by Kyle Persaud.