Family Law


Families are complicated, and our experience in handling family law cases is just one way we will help you through these difficult times.  Family law issues are extremely personal, impacting you both emotionally and financially.  This is why we take a personalized approach when handling your unique situation with care, providing you with experienced legal advice, support, and representation in all areas of family law.  Contact us today for a free initial consultation.


Divorce (Dissolution of Marriage)


The decision to end a marriage is often a difficult and emotion experience for all parties involved.  Divorce can be a traumatic and stressful situation for spouses and children, which is why our job is to ensure we inform you of your rights and discuss your immediate and long-term goals in a thoughtful manner throughout this difficult process.  Whether your divorce is uncontested and amicable, or contested and contentious, we are here to handle all aspects involved, including custody disputes, support issues and property distribution.


Throughout this process we will keep you informed of your rights and the status of your case.  We are committed to providing you with experienced and competent legal representation tailored to your individual situation.  We will advocate for your rights and work with you and for you to uphold those rights and achieve the best possible arrangement for you and your family.


Paternity


Paternity is the legal establishment of the identify of a child's father, and can be initiated through legal proceedings by either the mother or the father.  There are numerous ways paternity can be established, some of which are time sensitive.  Establishing paternity will allow the father to have the rights and responsibilities of a father, as well as provide rights and benefits for the child.  In some instances, there is a question as to the child's father.  We have the experience needed to help you establish paternity through genetic (DNA) testing.  In most instances when paternity of the child is questioned, genetic testing is best.


If you are looking to establish paternity, it is best to contact us as soon as possible so that we may work to protect your rights.  We understand that each case is unique and that issues involving children are typically very sensitive and can have reaching implications for you both financially and emotionally.


Child Custody 


The most important members of your family are your children.  We are committed to representing you in order to ensure your interests are represented in any decision regarding the custody of your children.  There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.  Legal custody refers to your rights and responsibility to make important decisions regarding your children. Physical custody refers to the actual time the child is with you.  It may be possible to reach a negotiated agreement with the other parent regarding the legal and physical custody of your children.  However, when custody is contested, our role is to represent your desires in a manner that are aligned with the best interests of your children.  


We understand that these are emotional and stressful times, and we are dedicated to offering you an experienced, personal representation.  For strong and effective representation for your child custody matter, contact our office today.

 

Child Visitation


If you have a desire to be a part of your child's life, visitation with that child is extremely important. We have the experience needed in resolving both custodial and non-custodial parent visitation issues. If you have been refused visitation with your children, or if you need to discuss whether you have the right to deny visitation, we are here to help you.  


Child Support


Child support is a complex aspect of family law in Oklahoma.  Whether you are trying to receive child support for the first time, having trouble collecting child support under an existing order, want to modify child support payments, are having trouble making your current child support payment, or believe you should no longer be obligated to continue making child support payments, you will need an experienced family law attorney .  


In Oklahoma, both parents are obligated to support the needs of their children.  Although child support may be determined through the Department of Human Services, Child Support Services, it may also be determined in both divorce and paternity cases.  Child support is typically determined pursuant to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines, but there are circumstances in which it may be in the best interest of your child to deviate, either by an increase or decrease, from the guidelines.  


When faced with a child support issue, contact us today to discuss your situation.  We represent both custodial and non-custodial parents on child support issues.


Helpful Link: Oklahoma Child Support Calculator


​Spousal Support


Spousal support, also referred to as "alimony", "support" and "maintenance", may be available to a party when going through a divorce, as well as for a period of time after the divorce is final. However, spousal support is not automatic.  There are several different types of spousal support, and an award of such will depend on a number of factors.  The basic analysis for whether a party will be awarded spousal support is their need, and the other party's ability to pay.  Today, spousal support is available to both men and women.  


Legal Separation


Legal separation is appropriate when a party does not want be divorced from their spouse, perhaps on religious, emotion, or practical grounds.  Legal separation formalizes an arrangement in regards to custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of property and debts.  We understand that this is often a confusing and emotion time, and are committed to providing our clients with competent legal representation so that they may choose the best route for their individual situation.  


Guardianship


Guardianship over an individual may be desired if that person is a child, or perhaps because they are an adult who has been determined to be "incapacitated," and unable to manage certain daily functions.  Guardianship may be an option of last resort, but can provide much needed protection and legal solutions to a complicated and complex issue.   


Often a guardianship or co-guardianship of a child is requested by a family member.  However, this does not necessarily have to be the case.  If the parents are deceased, or are unwilling, unable, or unfit to properly care for their child, a guardianship may be appropriate.  Guardianship over children is not meant to be permanent, and will only last until the child reaches the age of 18 years.  A guardianship may be terminated if the parent(s) have corrected the conditions that led to the guardianship.  


When faced with the need to obtain guardianship over another individual, whether that person is a child or an "incapacitated" adult,  or if you are faced with another individual being awarded guardianship over your child, contact us today to discuss your rights.


Adoption


Adopting a child is an incredible responsibility, regardless of the circumstances.  You may be a step-parent, family member, foster parent, or other caring individual.  Regardless of the relationship, one of the Court's primary goal is to ensure the adoption is in the best interests of the child.  


If the proposed adoptive child still has legal parents, you will also need to undertake obtaining the relinquishment or termination of those parent rights, before you can proceed with adoption. Although a home study is generally required prior to adoption, there may be circumstances when it is appropriate to request that the Court waive this requirement.  


Modification of Orders


The most important members of your family are your children.  We understand that it is important to maintain stability in their lives.  However, there are circumstances that may necessitate your request for a modification of custody, visitation or child support.  Alternatively, you may have received motion to modify paperwork from the other parent, and are now not sure what to do or what your rights are. 


There are various reasons why modifications may be necessary.  Unfortunately, there are times when the need to modify an Order to protect your children is urgent, especially if you believe your child is in danger, or you are concerned for his or her welfare.  If this is the case, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.  


We have handled countless modification cases, and have represented both parents requesting modification, as well as parents who do not believe modification is necessary or appropriate.  To discuss modification of orders and what your rights are, contact our office today.  


Enforcement of Orders


Once you have a court order in place, you may find yourself in a position where the other party fails to comply with it.  The most common are the failure to pay child support, spousal support, and the denial of visitation rights.  This can be very emotional and frustrating, and it may be necessary for you to pursue enforcement sooner rather than waiting to see if the issue will resolve itself.  


There are a number of ways we can help you.  If there is a way we can help you resolve the issue without additional court intervention and unnecessary expense, we will work hard towards that outcome.  Our main goal is to work with you and for you to achieve the best possible outcome, and we will aggressively represent you in court should additional intervention be necessary.  


Contempt Citations


Contempt Citations and a finding of contempt by the court may be necessary to enforce specific orders that a party has failed to comply with.  A contempt action may be filed in the middle of the case, during a modification, or even on its own.  The most common reason to request a contempt citation is a failure by the other parent to pay child support.  However, any court order that a party has failed to comply with may be subject to a contempt action.  


If the requesting party has reached their burden, the court can punish the other party for failing to comply with the court order.  This may include fines or incarceration, and can have long lasting effects on the responding party.  For this reason, we will aggressively represent you for your contempt citation issue.  


Victim Protective Orders


Requesting an order to protect you and your children may be necessary, and many people in that situation will request a Victim Protective Order (VPO).  It may be necessary to request an emergency order, although this is not always the case.  The court can make a number of orders in a protective order case which they believe is necessary to ensure the safety of you and your children, the most common of which are restricting the other party's right to possess firearms, be at a specific address, and visit with the children.


Unfortunately, sometimes requesting a protective order is an abuse by the filing party.  This can occur when no facts or circumstances exist that make protection necessary, but the filing party has falsified or included incorrect facts on the petition.  A protective order will have long-lasting consequences that you may not realize,  We handle protective order cases and will represent both filers who are in need of protection for themselves and their children, as well as a party who is the defendant in an unnecessary and fraudulent protective order filing.  


Department of Human Services


Family law client's may be dealing with the Department of Human Services (DHS) for two main reasons. The first is if there is a child support case, and the second is if there is if Child Protective Services (CPS) receives a report regarding the family and/or children. For more information on CPS, please continue to the next section.


A child support order does not necessarily involve DHS.  However, if a child support action is initiated in DHS, or if a parent is receiving state assistance, such as TANF or a Child Care Subsidy, DHS will likely be involved in your case.  An action through DHS does not allow for specific custodial and visitation rights, which will need to be requested and ordered in District Court.  However, DHS is able to establish orders such as child support and child support arrearage, as well as assist with collection of child support through avenues such as an income assignment, bank account levy, and seizure of tax returns.  


Child Protective Services


Child Protective Services (CPS) are provided through DHS, and will identify, treat and prevent child abuse and neglect.  If necessary, CPS will not only intervene to protect children, but will also provide services to help parents rectify the situation that lead to CPS involvement.  CPS involvement does not necessarily mean the children will be removed from their home, as CPS may also simply provide a safety plan for the parent/provider.  However, sometimes CPS involvement does mean that the children will be removed from the home, and a petition will be filed against the parents. 


If you find yourself dealing with CPS, contact us as soon as possible to help protect your rights and guide you through the process in order to reach a successful outcome.  

Family Law Practice Areas


Divorce

Paternity

Child Custody

Child Visitation

Child Support

Spousal Support

Legal Separation

Guardianship

Adoption

Modification of Orders

Enforcement of Orders

Contempt

Victim Protective Orders

Department of Human Services

Child Protective Services

Nicole B. Rupp, P.C.

1415 NW 43rd St.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118


Phone:     (405) 445-3535

Fax:         (405) 708-6731

E-mail: nicole@nicolerupplaw.com

Nicole B. Rupp, P.C.

Call Today

(405) 445-3535

Attorney and counselor at law