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I live in Oklahoma and this all deals with Oklahoma laws.

I was common-law married to...
I live in Oklahoma and this all deals with Oklahoma laws. I was common-law married to my spouse for approx 1.5 yrs and we completed divorce proceedings on aug. 18th. I work in the oilfield, so i signed the waiver to appear in court based on our verbal agreement that she would inform me of the court date so i could try to appear. Well she never informed me so i wasnt present. in the petition for divorce we agreed(she told me) that my child support for my ONE son would be 1500/mo based on my income but she is fine with 1300. I conceded and signed the petition. Well i recently got the decree when i went to the courthouse and they did a CS calculation that came up to 1100, however it was overridden because i agreed with my sig on the petition to pay 1300. So i am paying on time bi monthly 650. My method of payment is a direct transfer from my acct to our old joint acct that she can access and then transfer to her acct(because she said she does not want to give me her acct number, so i have to keep the joint acct open) with notation on each transfer(which shows on the bank statment) that it is specifically for child support. She knows my unusual work schedule, but will not let me see my son unless its my weekend, which IS the law, but is unreasonable because of my work schedule. Also my pay fluctuates, so some months i cannot afford the full 1300, but i pay anyway, at the peril of my own personal bills. She initially said she would work with me on my lean months but she now refuses to and calls at 5am on the 1st and 15th demanding her money, even though i have NEVER been late.   I want to know what my rights are as a father in this voluntary child support agreement, and if i can change my bank to a bank of my preference and CLOSE my joint acct without looking bad in the court(if she takes me in the future). Also what are the enforcement rules for voluntary child agreement, what is the difference between garnishment and automatic deduction from my paycheck through my company and all legal implications/consequences of that option. Also, can i get this lowered to what the courts calculated? Finally, how can i find out if my sons daycare is supplemented by Oklahoma Child Care Services? I'm currently paying 100% of daycare(600/mo for daycare) and all of his Dr bills, and he is on my health insurance. She threatens to me that if i try to get CS adjusted she will tell them that she isnt making as much and that they need to factor in the 2 other children that she has by 2 other men as her expenses to increase my child support higher. Im sorry im rambling but my thoughts are all over the place and i need some organization because i feel like i'm being taken advantage of. Please help! I would also like to know if you have any knowlege of GOOD lawyers in Oklahoma that specialize in my issues...i would eventually like to fight for full custody of my son when i am more stable.
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
12/1/2010
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello,



Thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.



I am sorry for your situation. I will answer your questions one by one, but I need to clarify something - you cannot exercise custody right now because the visitation schedule is in conflict with your work, correct?



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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
yes, i have a very unorthodox schedule which was the same while she and i were together so she was already aware of this before we broke up. my job pays very well, but i can work as long as 90days at a time with only 3-4 days off inbetween. there is no fixed schedule. I recently was lucky enough to be off on the thanksgiving holiday from thursday until sunday but she said i could not see the kids because it was HER holiday according to the schedule, and the holiday supercedes all regular visititation schedules(it was also my weekend) however the thanksgiving vacation extended until the monday after thanksgiving.
I want to know what my rights are as a father in this voluntary child support agreement...


Unless it is dictated in the decree or signed in WRITING and placed with the Court, it is not valid for custody agreement. Therefore, you have to go by what the decree states unless you can get an agreement in writing and filed it with the court.

...and if i can change my bank to a bank of my preference and CLOSE my joint acct without looking bad in the court(if she takes me in the future).


As long as it does not look like you are trying to hide money, it should be fine.


Also what are the enforcement rules for voluntary child agreement, what is the difference between garnishment and automatic deduction from my paycheck through my company and all legal implications/consequences of that option.

Like I said, unless the agreement is in writing and filed, it is not legally binding. As for difference between garnishment and automatic deduction - automatic deduction is agreed upon by the Court at time of the hearing. Garnishment is the same thing, but is brought executed if you do not pay. Both have the same end effect.


Also, can i get this lowered to what the courts calculated? You file a Motion for Modification of Child Support and set it for a hearing.


Finally, how can i find out if my sons daycare is supplemented by Oklahoma Child Care Services? All you have to do is to call them and ask - they will know since they have this all the time.I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you unless you press ACCEPT.



If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the INFO button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions after an accept should you wish to continue in this thread and I encourage you to do so should you need clarification!



While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are ethically wronged but have limited legal avenues seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault, but the way of circumstance.



If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!



You can always request me for a future consultation through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/profile.aspx?PF=7286322&FID=7 If you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”








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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
on the petition i signed that i agreed to the 1300 amount and on the decree it shows the calculated amount, then below there is a checkbox for other agreed amount. it is checked and 1300 was written. Since she agreed verbally to 'work with me' on my low months, does that have any legal standing? where can I find the specific laws on what my rights are as a FATHER in this matter? is there a resource i have been missing? I need to know what the specific process is for payment of child support and actually how long it goes before garnishment and the other penalties will actually begin, so they she doesnt have this power of threatening me with garnishment if i dont pay at 6am on the day its due. If i go to another bank and it takes a couple of days for the transfer goes through is that held against me? What do you mean by 'hide' money? I dont understand. I know i am asking a lot, it will reflect in my payment...thanks for all your help!
"Since she agreed verbally to 'work with me' on my low months, does that have any legal standing?"As I explained, I am afraid not - only written agreements that are filed with the court may be enforced.I am confused about the rest of your questions. I do not know what you mean by 'rights as a father' and 'recourse in the matter.'
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Basically what i need to know is, what are my rights? I spent the past 5 years with her just listening to whatever she said and doing it, i took what she said as the final word. Thats just the way she is. Well i dont want to and cannot do that anymore. So i have been searching to find out what MY rights are as a father so i can stop the intimidation. i already have guilt about not being in my sons life like i would like(he is 2 years old) and she likes to play on that. I think i would be a lot stronger if i knew what my actual rights were. i understand this is information only, but if you can tell me where i can find out this information it would greatly help me. She tells me that if i close the account she is going to have my checks garnished. she tells me if i do get him for the weekend i need to have him back in daycare on monday by 8am or im in contempt of court and she will call the police for kidnapping. She also tells me that i need to take all 3 kids on the weekend or she will tell the courts im neglecting children that i took in as my own for the past 5 years( i did not adopt the other 2). She has called me and told me that the children were taken by the state and were in state custody because someone filed a report to DHS on her(report WAS filed by someone, but she lied about the kids being taken away to upset me while i was at work). She calls me and tells me one day that im a great father, then the next day calls me and tells me that i cannot be a father to the two oldest anymore and if it was up to her i couldnt be in my sons life either. I feel like i have no control over anything and its driving me crazy! I just need a firm legal foundation i can stand on so i can STOP this madness! I want to change my bank account, I will not stop payin this high child support, but i just want control of my life, i want my life back.....
So to boil all this down, you need to know if (1) you can change your bank account and (2) you can modify your amount, and (3) if you can stop her from abusing you, correct? Did I miss anything?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
yes, and where i can go to find out my legal rights as a non-custodial parent. like a book or a document i can purchase or read or whatever.
Okay, no problem - just one question - is child support currently being taken out automatically or not?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
no, we have the same bank. I have a personal acct, she has a personal acct and there is still a joint acct from when we were together. she told me i have to leave the joint acct open, transfer the money from my acct to the joint acct and she will withdraw it from the joint acct. this is because she does not want to give me her acct number to transfer it directly.
So you are paying her directly, and not via the state agency? Do you have a copy of the divorce decree?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
yes im paying her directly, and yes i have a copy of the decree right here.
Does the decree state that you are to pay her directly or to pay via a state agency that then passes the money unto her via a debit card issued to her?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
It only says "That the Respondent is ordered to pay child support to the Petitioner in the amount of $1,300.00 per month."
After the decree, an account SHOULD have been set up with the Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services where you pay the money, and she receives it via a debit card. You do not in most cases pay directly. So go here...http://www.okdhs.org/divisionsoffices/visd/ocss/...and call the agency to speak with a representative to open said account - the numbers are on the right. Then you can show the proof of continued payment to ensure credit for the previous amounts paid, and pay her VIA THE AGENCY so as not to have any problems with the bank.Then you can do whatever you wish with your bank account.As for modification, you can file a MOTION FOR MODIFICATION and ask the Court to lower it. Again, verbal agreements ARE NOT LEGALLY BINDING and you have to have the Court change the amount.As for the rest of the abuse you've suffered - follow the decree! Whatever she claims, as long as the decree contradicts it, is not true. She cannot file kidnapping charges - she is just trying to unnerve you, and it seems to be working. As long as you follow the decree, you do not have to return the children any sooner or at a different date than stated.See here for a list of your rights in article form (scroll down past attorney names):http://articles.directorym.com/Father_Visitation_Rights_Minnesota-r970543-Minnesota.htmlAnd here:http://www.divorcehq.com/articles/parentingtime.shtmlI hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you unless you press ACCEPT.



If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the INFO button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions after an accept should you wish to continue in this thread and I encourage you to do so should you need clarification!



While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are ethically wronged but have limited legal avenues seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault, but the way of circumstance.



If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!



You can always request me for a future consultation through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/profile.aspx?PF=7286322&FID=7 If you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”








Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Ely and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Per your feedback, you say that you have another question - I'd be happy to help - what is it?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
With visitation, and my unorthodox schedule....is there anyway i can 'make' her let me see my son? Doesnt this fall under Parental Alienation Syndrome? What can i do to see my son? Also, I want to change my job to a 9-5 so i can have more time with my son, however this will SIGNIFICANTLY change my income. I'm currently making $100k + per year, and changing jobs can drop me down to about ~45k/yr. I have a bachelors in mechanical engineering but there isnt much out there. I dont want the courts to think i'm trying to 'avoid' paying the high amount, i just want more time with my son. So how do i go about making this transition??
Not really, I am afraid. This is not the best news. You are bound by the EXISTING decree unless you modify it in Court. The Judge SHOULD allow modification if you explain your situation, and fit the visitation with your work schedule 'in the best interest of the child.'I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you unless you press ACCEPT.



If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the INFO button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions after an accept should you wish to continue in this thread and I encourage you to do so should you need clarification!



While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are ethically wronged but have limited legal avenues seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault, but the way of circumstance.



If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!



You can always request me for a future consultation through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/profile.aspx?PF=7286322&FID=7 If you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”








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Ely
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