Family Law

Family problems can be frustrating and painful. That is why at Hernández Manley we are dedicated to helping you overcome this difficult moment with professionalism and understanding. We know that those affected through divorce, custody, paternity, or child support suffer long-term repercussions. We understand the importance of putting family first and that is why we will fight to get you the right and necessary under the law. Our areas of work include:

Paternity

A Paternity action in Oklahoma is necessary to establish the paternity of a child born out of wedlock. Generally, this action is requested in the county court where the child lives. A paternity action can be requested for a variety of reasons. It can be requested by a mother seeking child support for their children from the biological father, or a father seeking custody or visitation of their children, or perhaps a child seeking to establish a parental relationship.

Divorce

To apply for a divorce in Oklahoma, you must have lived in the state for at least 6 months and it does not matter what country or state you are married to.  Oklahoma requires waiting periods before getting divorced. If there are no minor children involved, you must wait 10 days. If there are minors involved, you will have to wait 90 days from the date when the divorce petition was filed with the court. Oklahoma may also require that both parents take a course called "Co-Parenting through Divorce." After this period the divorce decree can be presented to finalize the case. Both parties will have to wait 6 months before they can marry again.  There are several types of divorce:

  • Friendly/Uncontested Divorce: When both parties agree to the divorce terms. It is less expensive and can usually be completed between 10 to 90 days.
  • Contested Divorce: Parties cannot agree with the terms of the divorce, there is dispute for custody, property, money, etc. Generally the case is presented to a Family Judge This process can be long and very expensive.

Separation

If you do not meet the above requirements, you can file for separate maintenance.  This does not terminate the marriage and you cannot change your name during this time. You can go before a judge to determine support, property division, custody of the children and child support. 

Child Custody

There are three types of custody:

  1. Sole custody: An arrangement by which one parent has full control and sole decision-making responsibility -- to the exclusion of the other parent -- on matters such as health, education, religion, and living arrangements. Visitation may be awarded to the non-custodial parent.
  2. Joint custody: An arrangement by which both parents share the responsibility for and authority over the child at all times, although one parent may exercise primary physical custody.
  3. Split custody: An arrangement in which one parent has custody of one or more children, while the other parent has custody of the remaining children.     

The most important consideration for the court to make is what is in the best interest of the child or children. The court will not consider gender in awarding custody. No preference is given to sole or joint custody or whether one parent can offer private education as opposed to public education. 

A court will consider if a child has been harmed or is in danger of being harmed. The court will consider the preference of the child, but if he is 12 or older then the court must consider the child’s preference. If the court does not follow the child’s preference, it must give a reason for doing so. 

Once custody has been determined, it is not set in stone. If one parent has sole custody and the child’s welfare is at risk then the non-custodial parent must file a motion to change permanent custody and must prove certain requirements. If the parents have joint custody then only the best interest of the child must be proved.

Child Support

Oklahoma uses guidelines to determine how much a noncustodial parent must pay the custodial parent.  Whether you need to have the court determine child support or you have a problem collecting it, we can help with all of your questions.

Visitation Rights

Once visitation has been awarded the custodial parent must allow visitation. If your visitation rights have been denied or interfered with, call us now  and we will help you enforce your visitation rights.

Spousal Support & Alimony

Know what you are entitled under the law. Call us to determine if you are owed spousal support, rehabilitative alimony, temporary alimony, permanent alimony and lump sum alimony. 

Domestic Violence

Contact our firm about what you can do if you are being abused, stalked, or harassed by someone in your life. We can help you with:

  • Safety planning at home, work, court, online, and for your children and pets
  • Emergency protective orders

Whichever your case may be, Hernandez Manley will be able to assist you in getting everything you deserve under the law.  With more than 10 years of experience in family law, give us the opportunity to work for you. Call us to make your appointment today! 405-422-0000