Changing to 50/50 Is Easy to Enter if There’s an Agreement
Video Transcribed: How do you get custody changed in Oklahoma where there’s an agreement to modify to 50/50 custody? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and that’s the question that we had, actually came in through the website or through one of our Facebook groups, is how do you get a change of custody to 50/50 if there’s an agreement?
If there’s an agreement in the case, that makes it a lot easier to do. And we would say that once there’s an agreement, you want to strike quickly to get it entered before either party changes their mind. So you can get it in place as an enforceable order, which means it’s got to be signed by a judge, and filed with the court. So how do you do that? So you’ve already got an existing order in place that says something different. You’ve got an agreement to do something different from that now.
So you need to file a motion with the court in order to open the court’s jurisdiction. You can do that, either one party filing the motion or you could file jointly and have both sign off and it says we’re both jointly moving the court to modify the custody. And then you need an agreed order that’s got all of the terms in it and complies with Oklahoma law that says that we want the schedule to be 50/50 joint custody. Here’s the schedule. Now under this circumstance, where I foresee there could be some problems is that when you update custody and visitation, the court by Oklahoma law is going to want to update child support as well. And that could cause some problems because when we move to 50/50 if we’re moving from something else, that could mean that child support is going from something to nothing or from a lot of child support to a very little amount of child support, which could be a cause for disagreement if the parties didn’t consider that in advance.
Also, if the parties of the children are receiving benefits from DHS such as SoonerCare, daycare assistance, and TANF, then DHS may be an interested party in the case that has to sign off on any modification. That can cause complications. They like things drafted a certain way and may take them time to review it and sign off on it. You’re going to certainly have to follow the Oklahoma Child Support guidelines if DHS is going to sign off on it. So that could be a problem that occurs.
If that is not an issue, it can be smooth if it’s agreed upon. You file a motion with the court, you draft an agreed order modifying that has all of the terms. You put that in the judge’s inbox, the judge reviews it, signs off on it, you pick it up, you file it with the court and make sure you’ve got a certified copy so you have proof of that and now it is an enforceable order from the court done by agreement. So that’s how you do that. Issues could come up, as I explained.
It’s always best to talk to an attorney privately, confidentially, to get their advice so you can try to avoid those problems. Try to make it as smooth as possible. If you’d like to do that with an Oklahoma child custody lawyer at my office, you can go online to get that scheduled. Go to makelaweasy.com.