Modifying Child Support Payments in Oklahoma

If you have gone through the process of establishing child support payments in the court system and the proper Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines were followed and all required provisions were addressed, you may be under the impression that you are locked into the amount that was set.  However, this is not necessarily true.  If you have undergone a change in circumstance, such as serious illness, job loss, job relocation, or other life-altering event, then we may be able to help you modify your payments to reflect your new circumstances.

For obvious reasons, child support is one of the most closely scrutinized facets of family law.  It is imperative that children have the necessary resources to live healthy and productive lives, which is why stringent guidelines are established by the state and enforced by the courts.  A relatively small decrease in income or other adjustment will not justify a modification, even if the change requires you to go without certain things to meet your obligations.  This means that you will need to give up all luxuries, such as going out to dinner, cable, the Internet, and even your cell phone, rather than reduce your support payments.  However, there are circumstances where you have done all that you can and you still do not have the means to satisfy your obligations.  That is where an experienced attorney can make a difference.

A child support order may be modified based on a significant change in circumstances if:

  • You have a verified permanent medical disability;
  • You have a significant change in your income that is not short-term or temporary;
  • There has been a change in the custody arrangement;
  • There is a permanent change in medical or daycare insurance coverage; or
  • The child is no longer eligible for child support payments.

Although an attorney can expedite the process and ensure that the court has all the necessary information to make an informed decision, it is possible for a parent to file for a modification pro se (on your own).  Even if you do opt for this route, having an attorney review the paperwork to make certain that you have fulfilled all the requirements will be a beneficial extra step.  If the Oklahoma Department of Human Resources is involved in your case, you may request a review of your payments and a determination of whether a modification is justified.  If you and the other parent of the child(ren) affected by the support order are able to reach a voluntary adjustment of support payments, that modification request will need to be reviewed and approved by the court.

If you are facing changed circumstances in Oklahoma that impact your ability to make child support payments, contact The Handley Law Center for a free confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.   You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment.  We look forward to providing you with advice and representation in your child support case.

Bar and Restaurant Owners May be Liable for Injuries Relating to Serving Alcohol in Oklahoma

If you are the victim of an accident where the person responsible was drinking prior to the incident, you may have the right to recover from the bar, restaurant, or other establishment that served that person.  A bar or restaurant must have the right protections in place against a bartender serving or over-pouring for an obviously intoxicated person.  Although the harm from such an act may be as immediate as a bar fight that results in both personal injury and property damage, it also may be less direct by equally foreseeable, such as the inebriated individual getting behind the wheel of a car and injuring or killing someone.

If the appropriate controls are not in place and enforced, the establishment may be liable for harm that an intoxicated individual does to other people.  These actions arise from dram shop laws that impose an affirmative obligation on establishments to prevent serving a person who has had too much to drink, or serving alcohol to someone under the age of twenty-one.

Although litigation involving pouring alcohol for an intoxicated person involves a tough challenge for the plaintiff as the proof needs to show that the bartender knowingly served an intoxicated person, it is possible to navigate the system and prove dram shop liability.  Cases involving alcohol invoke an emotional response in those involved in the case, including juries who react to injuries and deaths resulting from an alcohol related action with large verdicts.  Finding a fair solution for all parties involved, including restitution for the person injured and imposing blame on the individual who directly caused the accident as well as the establishment that served the alcohol, is the goal of all legal actions that this firm pursues.

Dram shop cases, as they are known based on the historical origin of shops selling alcohol in drams, or spoonfuls, typically involve two different scenarios:

  • A case involving an establishment serving alcohol to a person under the age of 21; or
  • A bar or restaurant continuing to serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual.

In a case of over-serving an inebriated individual, it is necessary to prove that the person was clearly intoxicated.  It is necessary to investigate the facts of the case, involving tracking credit card statements and bar tabs, interviewing witnesses and obtaining statements, and compiling a timeline of the events on the date in question as those drinking will, oftentimes, frequent multiple locations and it is important to determine how much was consumed in each location and what signs of intoxication were on display throughout the relevant time period.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in an accident involving alcohol, call us now at 405-295-1924 to schedule a confidential case evaluation.  Our attorneys are very experienced in the field of dram shop liability and can work with you to obtain the best possible outcome.  We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation and in helping you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

 

Bringing a Claim Involving Asbestosis or Mesothelioma in Oklahoma

Despite the fact that Oklahoma is widely-regarded as an agricultural state, there are many industries within the state that historically had high asbestos exposure.  In Oklahoma, exposure is often from power or energy plants or oil refineries.  The airline maintenance industry also has resulted in asbestos-based illnesses.  In fact, exposure may be ongoing with some older planes.  If you or a family member has been exposed, there is a lot of information that you need to digest quickly.  You may have been inundated by information about serious long-term health effects from asbestos exposure, including asbestosis and mesothelioma (see our practice page for some general information on the various diseases).  Although the facts concerning the health ramifications for you or your loved one are important to understand, it also is important to be aware of the process of the litigation so that you can preserve your rights.

When you are faced with a diagnosis of asbestosis, mesothelioma, or asbestos lung cancer, the time limit in which you must file your claim begins.  The statute of limitations in Oklahoma is two years from diagnosis.  This is different from state-to-state, with the most common statutes falling within the three to five year time period.  It is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible as your claim may involve extensive research to determine the source of exposure.  In some cases, the injury may have been caused by multiple sources.  For instance, you may have served on a ship in the navy where asbestos was pervasive and then worked for a private employer in the energy field where you worked with insulation that was made from asbestos.  Having the time to properly investigate the sources of exposure is critical to a successful claim and multiple parties may be included in the litigation.  This is particularly important if one of the parties is no longer operating or is in bankruptcy.  Our attorneys can work with you to analyze the different types of exposure and where the various liabilities fall.

You may be tempted to see how the disease progresses or be hesitant to pursue an action because you are not aware of any obvious exposure and are not certain about the underlying causes of your illness.  However, by the time you determine where you may have come in contact with asbestos or the illness is significantly impacting your quality of life, it may be too late to seek legal redress.

It may be tempting to join a class action that is pursuing a large settlement against the military or big industry that may be the source of your exposure.  You should consider that fact that this results in a very generic process where the specifics of your case are not addressed.  The impact of the different asbestos caused diseases is very personal and it is important that those unique details factor into your case.  Our experienced attorneys can work with you and the parties that caused your illness to reach a resolution that meets your specific needs.  If the claim proceeds to litigation, we will work with you throughout the pre-trial and trial period to make sure that you are comfortable with each step.

If you or someone you know has contracted an asbestos-based illness, call us now at 405-295-1924 to schedule a confidential case evaluation.  Our attorneys are very experienced in the field of asbestos litigation and can work with you to obtain the best possible outcome.  We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation and in helping you obtain the compensation you deserve for your illness.