Tulsa Archives | Cordell & Cordell

Oklahoma law protects military child custody

A new law that was recently signed by the governor of Oklahoma will protect military members from losing child custody because of their service to their country.

According to the Tulsa World, House Bill 1603 will not allow for military deployment to be used as a reason to modify child custody agreements. In addition, the law will prohibit courts from enacting final orders while a parent is deployed. It will also allow for service members to appoint a family member to represent them on matters related to custody and visitation.

A number of other bills related to military members were also signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin, who spoke of their importance.

“We owe our very freedom to the servicemen and women who risk their lives to defend this state and this nation,” she said. “I am proud to be able to sign into law a series of bills that protect their families and their rights. They deserve nothing less.”

A similar bill protecting the child custody rights of men and women in the military was recently passed by the Ohio House, according to the Hudson Hub Times.

Oklahoma child support cases hit record high

Child support cases in Oklahoma recently hit a record high, according to data from the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS).

The Tulsa World reports that there are more than 200,000 open child support cases in the DHS’ Child Support Division for the first time. These 200,240 cases represent 222,740 children, Child Support Division spokesman Jeff Wagner said.

The news source reports that Oklahoma has experienced the second-highest rate of growth in its collection of child support over the past decade. Specifically, in 1998 the state collected $96 million in child support and in 2010 that number increased to more than $300 million.

“Parents who pay child support regularly are also shown to be more involved with their children, providing them with emotional as well as financial support,” said Wagner. “It’s critical to our whole society that parents take responsibility for raising their children.”

A number of factors go into computing child support payments in Oklahoma, including gross monthly income, child care expenses and the percentage of nights the child spends with each parent, according to the DHS.