MDR BLOG

February 16, 2018:  Elder Law Mediation Article

Our attorney partner, Jamie Miller of J. Miller Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is writing an article on elder law mediation. This article will be geared toward caregivers/families and will be published later this Spring.  Stay tuned!

January 25, 2018

Paternity:  Misconceptions on Custody Rights

We mediate family disputes on a regular basis, including disputes between unmarried parents regarding child custody, visitation, and child support.  One of the common misconceptions amongst unmarried parents is how and when custody is determined.  Many unmarried parents believe that if the father has acknowledged paternity and is on the birth certificate, then that means the father also has custody.  That is most often not the case.  Under Oklahoma law, “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law, the mother of a child born out of wedlock has custody of the child until determined otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.”[i]  (emphasis added).

Even if the father has acknowledged paternity, he does not have custody (or visitation) rights until a court has determined otherwise.  Sometimes unmarried parents will have come to an informal arrangement after the birth and sometimes even a regular schedule where the father has the child or children in his care.  That does not mean that custody and visitation have been established by the court.

An informal arrangement may work for a while, but at some point, if the parents do not agree, they may want to formally establish a visitation schedule and other issues for a parenting plan.  There are generally two ways for this to be established.  One, the parties can come to an agreement themselves, such as through mediation.  That agreement is then submitted to a judge for approval and enforcement by the court.  Alternatively, either the father or mother can file a petition to establish paternity, and the court will decide on custody, visitation and child support.

It should be noted that child support is determined by a formula set by the state.  Child support is not dependent on either parent having visitation with the children.  “Both the mother of a child born out of wedlock and an individual who has been legally determined to be the father of a child by acknowledgment or by judicial or administrative order are each liable for the support and education of the child.”[ii]  Simply put, if either parent owes child support under the state formula, child support is still owed regardless of whether issues of custody and visitation have been determined by a court.

There are a lot of issues for unmarried parents to consider.  Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC can help you think through issues to resolve a dispute and come up with a parenting plan for the future.

[i] 10 O.S. §7800 (OSCN 2018)

[ii] 10 O.S. §83(A) (OSCN 2018)

Blog Disclaimer:  This blog is made available for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  This blog is not legal advice and you should not act upon this information without seeking advice from a lawyer licensed in your own state or jurisdiction.  Your use of the blog is at your own risk as the materials presented may not reflect the most current legal developments, and may be changed, improved or updated without notice. Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this blog or for damages arising from the use or performance of this blog under any circumstances.

January 13, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:  Impact on Divorces

There has been a lot of attention recently on different provisions of The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.   Couples considering separation or divorce may want to pay attention to the provision regarding alimony.  Currently, alimony is tax deductible for the paying spouse and is counted as taxable income to the spouse receiving alimony.  Under the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, couples who divorce (or enter separation agreements) after December 31, 2018 will be subject to the new rules where the ex-spouse paying alimony will not be allowed to take the tax deduction, and the ex-spouse receiving alimony does not count it as income.

The new rules will not affect divorces finalized before December 31, 2018.

These new rules have the potential to make negotiations more difficult, which makes mediation an even more attractive option for couples wishing to resolve a divorce amicably and with lower costs for both parties.  Mediation can help couples identify creative, fair, and equitable solutions when dividing assets and debts.

If you are considering divorce or a prenuptial agreement and have questions or want to schedule a mediation, please contact us at     918-921-5310.

Blog Disclaimer:  This blog is made available for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  This blog is not legal advice and you should not act upon this information without seeking advice from a lawyer licensed in your own state or jurisdiction.  Your use of the blog is at your own risk as the materials presented may not reflect the most current legal developments, and may be changed, improved or updated without notice. Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this blog or for damages arising from the use or performance of this blog under any circumstances.

August 17, 2017:  EEOC Mediation

Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC (MDR) is pleased to announce that Jeffrey Miller and Jamie Miller have recently been approved to serve as mediators on behalf of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Jeffrey and Jamie have been working with the EEOC on this process for the last few months, and both have recently been approved to begin accepting mediation cases.

We are excited to be able to expand our mediation services and assist parties in resolving discrimination claims.  We will begin scheduling mediations soon at our office in south Tulsa, or downtown upon request.

Fact sheet about EEOC Mediation:  https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/mediation/facts.cfm

As always, MDR continues to conduct private mediation sessions for a variety of types of disputes, including business and employment, probate, general civil and small claims, and family.

March 16, 2017:  The Importance of Comprehensive Parenting Plans

In addition to Co-Mediation, one of the other factors that separates  Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC apart from other mediators and mediation firms, is that we include as part of our standard mediation service, a written comprehensive “Parenting Plan, Custody and Visitation Order Attachment” that typically becomes a key component of your final divorce decree.  Having this kind of all-inclusive plan assists you in taking away the “gray” areas that often cause anxiety, frustration and aggravation, which ultimately can lead to misunderstandings, anger and resentment in the future.  Co-parenting with an ex-spouse is actually more like a business relationship, you are in the business of raising your children with a person who you are no longer related to or live with.  Having a broad and complete business plan is a major component to the success of all businesses. Our comprehensive Parenting Plan is essentially your business plan to co-parent your children and it can make a significant difference in your overall success.

March 9, 2017: Tulsa County Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators

Jeffrey and Cindy Miller at Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC are both “Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators.”  They have been approved by the Tulsa County District Court’s Quality Assurance Panel (QAP) and are listed on the Tulsa County Family Court’s approved list of Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators. To be listed on the approved list, Mediators must meet the requirements of the Oklahoma District Court Mediation Act, 12 O.S. Section 1825.

Question?

Mediation & Dispute Resolution, LLC.

7136 S. Yale Avenue, Suite 300,
Tulsa, Ok, 74136  

Call Us Today:

918-921-5310

Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC.

7136 S. Yale Avenue, Suite 300, Tulsa, Ok, 74136

Jeffrey and Cindy Miller at  Mediation and Dispute Resolution, LLC are both "Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators".  They have been approved by the Tulsa County District Court’s Quality Assurance Panel (QAP) and are listed on the Tulsa County Family Court's approved list of Qualified Divorce & Family Mediators. To be listed on the courts approved list, Mediators must meet the requirements of the Oklahoma District Court Mediation Act, 12 O.S. Section 1825.