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Divorce & Family Law


Steven E. Chlouber | R. Michael Cole

At Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, we provide comprehensive family law representation. We recognize that family law issues, such as divorce, can involve a great deal of emotional and financial stress. We are compassionate and effective divorce & family lawyers, with the skill and experience needed to successfully guide you through the process, and protect your interests at every stage.

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The law firm of Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. extensive experience handling divorce and family law cases throughout Northeast Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, the term divorce prceeding has been changed to a disollution of marriage proceeding. We know that divorce and/or family law is stressful for all involved and take this into consideration to help provide an understanding of the rights and obligations involving custody issues, property rights, visitation rights and many other issues that may arise between the parties involved in the divorce proceeding.

We are available to assist in both Uncontested and Contested cases.

An uncontested case means that the parties agree on all issues which include:

  • Custody
  • Support
  • Visitation
  • Maintenance
  • Division of property
  • Division of debts
  • Division of retirement benefits

A Contested case is one in which the parties have not reached an agreement and thus, issues are in dispute. In contested divorces, numerous hearings and a trial may be required to resolve issues on the case.

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Child Custody

At Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P., we will take the time to learn about you, your child, and both of your needs. Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. will build a legal strategy to meet those needs.

Custody can be broken down into two components: decision making and parenting time. Decision making refers to the power to make important decisions about a child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other matters. Parenting time is the amount of time spent with each parent. Each component can be divided between the mother and father, or it can be held solely by one parent. Decision making and parenting time are based on a wide variety of factors, including the age of your child, the distance between parents, the child’s relationship with the parent prior to divorce, whether a parent has a history of alcohol or drug abuse and domestic violence issues.

Because children are the most precious product of a marriage, custody and visitation are two of the most emotionally draining issues that arise when marriages or other relationships fail.

Your children are a priority and your legal team at Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. will work with you to limit conflict and protect your children.

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When a child is born out of wedlock, a legal proceeding must be conducted to legally determine the biological parents of the child. An order of paternity must be entered before such things as child support, visitation, and custody can be ordered.

Paternity cases will be initiated by one of the following:

  1. Administrative Court
  2. District Court

A paternity case may be initiated by the state of Oklahoma through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, otherwise known as DHS. This is an administrative proceeding that will establish paternity of the child, child support, and issues concerning medical and child care. The administrative court will not consider issues involving custody and visitation and you must address those issues in District Court.

A paternity case can also be filed in the District Court. If the case is initiated in District Court, all issues may be addressed including custody, visitation, and assessment of attorney fees.

It is important that you contact us at Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. immediately upon being served with a paternity suit. There are certain time limitations in paternity proceedings. If you fail to hire an attorney timely your case can be damaged or even be lost by default.

If you or someone you know has been served with court documents for a paternity case, please feel free to contact us as soon as possible! You do have rights when you find yourself in this situation, and we can help.

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Pre-nuptial Agreements

A Prenuptial Agreement, also commonly referred to as a Premarital Agreement, is a contract entered into by the parties before marriage that defines what will happen when the marriage ends, either by dissolution or the death of one of the parties. Parties contemplating prenuptual agreements need lawyers who understand the delicate balance necessary for the marriage to occur or be preserved when negotiating for the financial results the parties seek to achieve. Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P has extensive experience in dealing with the fine line between negotiating a favorable financial settlement while preserving the parties’ relationship.

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Decree Modifications

The law regarding Modifications of final orders in Oklahoma requires that the provisions of a final order pertaining to maintenance, support, and child custody may only be made upon a showing of changed circumstances. The changed circumstances should be those that were unforeseeable at the time the final decree was drafted and those changes that are so substantial and continuing so as to make the continuation of those terms, as ordered, to be unconscionable.

Three main areas are in Property, Child Support and Child Custody Modifications.

Property Modfications

A final order regarding property division is non-modifiable. This rule is understandable by its simple logic. Rather than being treated as an issue concerning an ongoing support or child custody relationship, the Family law Courts in Oklahoma treat the divided property as would any Civil Court treat any other transfer of a property interest. That is, when we transfer an interest in real or personal property to another person the final order should be as final and non-modifiable as possible. If it were not this way, the legal process involved for the transfer of property would be unmanageable in all respects of our economy. Oklahoma Child Custody and support is not a question of real or personal property division, and as such a final order of this nature is modifiable upon a proper showing.

Child Support Modifications

A typical change in circumstances exists when the income of one or both parents changes since the issuance of the latest final order of child support. In this case the party’s child support obligation can either be made higher, or in the case of a reduction in income, reduced. For assistance in a child support modification, or if the other parent is seeking a modification, Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. knows how to advance your legal rights in a manner which protects your future rights to pay or collect child support.

Child Custody Modificaitons

Oklahoma require that in order to modify a custody arrangement there must be a final order and that a change in circumstances has occurred since the Court issued its last custody order. This change in circumstances further requires that prior to being successful in a modification of child custody the moving party, normally the non-custodial parent, must show that a change in custody will be in the best interest of the child. The showing of changed circumstances must be strong because the presumption is that that the child custody decree currently in place and its continuation is in the best interest of the child especially when custody is based on an agreed order.

At Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. we have dealt with countless motions to modify child custody. Some of the reasons we have seen that constitute a change in circumstances which justify a child custody modification range from the current custodial parent engaging in drug and alcohol abuse on to inappropriate behavior on the part of the custodial parent or his or her acquaintances or physical or psychological abuse.

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Child Support

Oklahoma child support guidelines dictate the amount of child support to be paid after a divorce. The amount of child support is based upon the combined income of each parent and the number of nights each party has physical custody of the minor children, Oklahoma child support guidelines calculate earned income and passive income when determining the combined or gross income of both parents. Salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, severance pay as well as the sale of goods or services are included in determining earned income. Examples of passive income are benefits from social security, unemployment or workers compensation as well as stock dividends and gifts. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Food Stamps are not considered income when calculating the gross income.

When determining the amount of child support to be paid, Oklahoma will always act in what it deems in the best interest of the child. The amount determined to be paid will be paid until the child/children reach eighteen (18) years of age. Oklahoma child support laws follow a standardized system dictating the amount of child support to be paid to the parent who has custody. However, if you can not afford to pay the child support, it is an unfair amount or the amount of child support is not in the best interest of the child, Oklahoma child support laws allow the court to change their determined amount of child support.

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. is experienced in Oklahoma Child Support, child support guidelines, and child support laws and we can help you with your Oklahoma child support questions and/or concerns.

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A Separation Agreement is an agreement between parties who remain married but are no longer going to live together and who want to define their legal obligations and responsibilities to each other and to their children. These agreements provide the roadmap for the parties’ financial future and their relationship with their children. They must be thoroughly and carefully done by lawyers with experience in negotiating and drafting such agreements.

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. attorneys spend a major portion of their time doing just that.

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Seeking the proper amount of visitation can be a difficult task to address. There is no specific guideline other than that there be reasonable visitation to the non-physical custodial parent. A typical visitation schedule may include alternating weekends, one or two nights during the week and alternating holidays.
The court will seek to have the parties reach an agreement on their own, if possible. The parties know better than anyone their particular schedules and desires.

Fuller, Chlouber & Frizzell, L.L.P. is here to help you estabish a visitation schedule that is workable for all parties concerned and for what is in the best interest of your child or children.


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