Category Archives: Tulsa Family Law Attorneys

Violating a Protective Order

Violating a protective orderIn Tulsa County Violating a protective order is a criminal offense. When discussing violating  a protective order It’s first useful to understand what a protective order is and why people use them.  First, a protective order intends to protect someone from another person’s harmful actions.  This is most often the case in spousal abuse, stalking, or harassment incidents.  For example, in the 1984 Oklahoma case of Marquette v. Marquette, the ex-wife was granted a protective order against her ex-husband.  He harassed her, verbally threatened her, and threw clothing, children’s toys, and other items at her in front of their children.  This situation is typical for protection orders.

Levels of Penalties for Violating a Protective Order

Violating a protective order is punishable in Oklahoma.  Violations include anything that is expressly prohibited in the order.  This is often communication through phone, text, or in person; any personal contact; or being present within a certain vicinity of the victim.  However, the degree of punishment is dependent on certain matters.  The following will discuss and explain these in detail.

First Offense w/out Physical Harm:  Upon the first violation of a protective order and if no injuries to any party occur, the offender may receive misdemeanor charges.  This carries a maximum of one year in county jail.  The prison sentence may also couple with a fine up to $1,000.

First Offense w/Physical Harm:  If physical injuries or harm occurs to anyone present during a first time violation of the protective order, then it is a misdemeanor.  The fines can reach up to $5,000 and jail time is 20 days to one year.

Second Offense:  If the protective order has been violated before and this is a repeat offense, the penalty is a felony.  This is subject to 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine between $300 and $10,000.

Further, any of these penalties can include court ordered treatment programs such as: anger management, domestic abuse programs, substance abuse counseling, etc.  The programs last 52 weeks and subject to review 120 days after completion.  If the issues are severe enough, penalties may also require a GPS monitoring device.  The offender will be liable for all fees regarding the GPS device.

Let our Tulsa County Lawyers Help You:

If you are struggling with the legal ramifications of a protective order call us.  Our attorneys have experience navigating these channels and can help. Our first consultation is free. For more information read our Tulsa County Lawyers blog or call us at 918.379.4864

Tulsa County Child Support Attorneys

When it comes to divorce it’s that the children suffer the most. regardless how you look at it, there is usually aTulsa County Child Support social stigma about divorce. Also the children experience a sadness that continues for months after the divorce. Its is the intent of Oklahoma Child Support Laws to make sure that the children dont also suffer financially. This is done by setting certain child support guidelines.

Tulsa County Child  Support Guidelines:

Based on a parent’s income and the number of children in the family, Oklahoma has standard guidelines for child support. The guidelines determine each parents obligation in the event of a divorce or paternity case. The guidelines lay out a parent’s obligation to pay medical and dental expenses, as well as child care expenses. Child support usually deducts directly from the payee’s wages unless the custodial parent agrees otherwise. Alimony and public assistance payments are also a consideration. Child support must be paid until the child’s 18th birthday or the child’s graduation from high school, whichever comes later.

Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines also take in to account the amount of time each parent spends with the children. The parties to the agreement can ask the court not to follow the guidelines. In the event they can demonstrate that failing to follow the guidelines wont harm the children the court may allow them to deviate.

Free Consultation: Call Our Tulsa County Child Support Attorneys:

As experienced Tulsa County child support attorneys, we are here to answer all your questions. We take the time to  the Oklahoma child support guidelines in detail. We can explain to you how much you can expect to receive or pay based on your income and other factors and can counsel you as to how to protect your rights as a parent in all divorce-related issues. Give us a call today at 918-379-4864.

Tulsa Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorney

Getting a divorce and filing for bankruptcy are two very important life decisions.  They can beTulsa Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorney confusing without the assistance of a Tulsa divorce and bankruptcy attorney. If you are contemplating bankruptcy and you have a pending divorce, or if you have an active bankruptcy proceeding and are contemplating divorce, you need to be aware of all consequences that may result if you file for bankruptcy or divorce. The consequences may significantly differ depending on whether you and your spouse choose to file for bankruptcy prior to finalizing a divorce, or divorcing first and filing for bankruptcy as single individuals following divorce.

Filing for Oklahoma Bankruptcy First:

If you and your spouse choose to file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce, you will be able to eliminate your debt in a more economical way. For example, the filing fees for a joint and individual bankruptcy filing are the same, so filing jointly with your spouse before divorce will prevent each of you from having to pay the same fee on your own if you file for bankruptcy after your divorce.

Further, filing for bankruptcy prior to divorce will allow both spouses to handle their debt collectively.  If spouses wish to resolve their bankruptcy matter as quickly as possible so that they can then finalize their divorce, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the better option if they qualify, as Chapter 7 bankruptcy is completed much sooner than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As such, spouses choosing to file for bankruptcy first may have to wait four or more years before their bankruptcy proceeding completes and all debt discharges if they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Filing for Divorce First:

Spouses wishing to resolve their marital disputes prior to Oklahoma divorce may find that it is in both spouses’ best interests to handle their debt-related issues individually after finalizing their divorce. By filing for divorce first, spouses will know the actual amount of debt they face.  They will also know what assets each of them has after dividing their property. It may turn out that some property can sell to satisfy debt without the need to file for bankruptcy. Otherwise, each spouse will have a better understanding of his or her own debt when filing bankruptcy following divorce.

If two spouses feel separation is more important than filing debt jointly, filing for divorce first is better. There are both benefits and drawbacks to approaching bankruptcy and divorce from opposite ends. Regardless of whether spouses file for bankruptcy or divorce first, the potential overlap could create a complex and stressful situation.

Working With a Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorney:

Whether you choose to file for bankruptcy first or divorce first, you must consider how your attorney’s role change. If you choose to jointly file for bankruptcy prior to divorce, then one attorney may represent both of you. However, if you divorce first, and then file for bankruptcy, or file for divorce before your bankruptcy proceeding is complete, there may be a conflict of interest.  Thus, one attorney will not be able to represent both of you.

If you are contemplating both divorce and bankruptcy, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney dealing with divorce and bankruptcy matters has an understanding of both processes and their effects on each other. Given that conflict generally occurs between two divorcing spouses, each spouse should meet with his or her own attorney.  This ensures protection of  both spouses’ rights and interests.

Contact a Tulsa Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorney Today

If you are facing a divorce and may need to file a bankruptcy call our attorneys today. Sometimes filing them both is the better solution depending on your particular case. Call our Tulsa divorce and bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation.

Adoption Attorneys in Tulsa

Tulsa County Adoption Attorneys

Limiting Oklahoma Adoption Expenses with Tax Credits and Deductions

The attorneys at the Tulsa County Lawyers Group know that adoption places a significant financial burden on families. Many ofTulsa Adoption Attorneys | Tulsa County Lawyers | our clients face adoption expenses well over $20,000, depending on a variety of circumstances, such as the birthmother’s circumstances, country fees, travel expenses, application fees, and medical expenses. Thankfully, tax credits and deductions can help offset the high costs of adoption. This article briefly covers some tax saving options for Oklahoma families that have adopted or are seeking to adopt. Of course, it is only intended as general information, as individual tax questions should be answered by professional legal and tax counsel based on your unique circumstances.

Federal Tax Credits For Adoption

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 permanently enacted a tax credit for “qualified adoption expenses” incurred to adopt a child under the age of 18, or an older individual physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself. Qualified adoption expenses generally covered by the credit are items such as adoption fees, court costs, legal fees, travel expenses, lodging, and other similar expenses. Qualified adoption expenses do not include expenses to adopt the child of the taxpayer’s spouse. Since 2013, the non-refundable tax credit limit equals $12,970 per child. The credit is further subject to income limitations and dollar limitations based on modified adjusted gross income.

Note the 2013 tax credit is non-refundable. This means taxpayers receive a refund of federal income taxes, but only up to the amount of taxes otherwise due. A refundable credit is one that a person can receive regardless of their tax liability. The only years the credit was refundable were 2010 and 2011. Bills to amend the Internal Revenue Code to continue the refundable adoption tax credit are currently pending in the House and Senate.  But these bills will not impact the 2013 tax year unless retro-active changes occur.

Generally, the credit is allowable whether the adoption is domestic or foreign. However, the tax years for which you can file for the credit vary based on this distinction. When you can claim the credit also depends on whether the adoption has been finalized and when expenses are paid. Credit may be allowable even if the adoption is never finalized, except in foreign adoptions. Additionally, there are special exceptions for credits in the case of an adoption of a U.S.-born special needs child. For purposes of the adoption credit, foreign children do not classify as special needs.  Further, the definition of U.S. children with special needs is very narrow.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file their Federal income tax returns.  Starting in 2013, adoption credit forms are available to e-file. The adoption form is Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses. The taxpayer should save significant documentation in support of the credit.

Oklahoma State Tax Deductions

In addition to the federal tax credit, many states have tax credits or deductions for families adopting children from their state. Oklahoma statute (Title 68 O.S. Section 2358) provides for deductions not to exceed $20,000.00 per calendar year for “nonrecurring adoption expenses paid by a resident individual taxpayer.”

Free Consultation Family Lawyers in Tulsa County

If you are planning to adopt or need additional advice on adoption tax credits available in Oklahoma, contact the experienced family law attorneys at Tulsa County Lawyers Group for a free consultation. Our accomplished and compassionate attorneys and staff will provide you with all of the knowledge you need to determine if adoption is the right step for your family. Call us today to schedule a free consultation. You may fill out our convenient online form, or you may call us at (918) 379-4864. Our staff can assist you in both English and Spanish.