Oklahoma City Law Firms
Oklahoma family law covers a wide range of civil issues such marriage, divorce, and child custody. Family law also includes certain types of criminal matters affecting families, such as domestic violence and juvenile delinquency, as well as civil matters which easily become criminal matters due to violation of courts orders including failure to pay child support. Whether you have initiated legal action or have been swept up in proceedings initiated by someone else or the Department of Human Services (DHS), you should start learning about you options and talk to an Oklahoma family law attorney right away.
Family Law Matters
Common family law matters in Oklahoma include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Grandparents’ rights
- Juvenile delinquency
- DHS deprived child actions
- Domestic violence
You must be at least 16 years old to get married in Oklahoma. If you are under 18 you must have parental consent, and there is a 72 hour waiting period. For couples 18 and over there is no waiting period, unless one or both of you has been divorced. Then you must wait six months after your divorce became final.
Couples who complete premarital counseling pay a significantly reduced fee for their marriage license.
Common Law Marriage
Oklahoma recognizes common law marriage. Proving common law marriage can be challenging. There are several elements to common law marriage in Oklahoma, and contrary to popular belief, living together for a certain amount of time is not one of them. Elements of common law marriage include:
- Both parties willingly agree to be in a permanent and exclusive marriage
- Both parties are legally able to become married in Oklahoma, meaning they are old enough, not married to anyone else, and the couple consists of a man and a woman
- Both parties hold themselves out to the community as marriage
- The parties “consummate” the marriage by cohabitating or some other means such as sharing a surname or entering into contracts together
It takes a combination of these elements to establish common law marriage. Circumstances that can create the need to prove common law marriage include divorce where one party claims the marriage did not exist in order to avoid legal issues such as property division, and when inheritance issues arise after the death of a death of a common law spouse.