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Sweeney, Draper & Christopher is one of Ada's newest and most dynamic law firms.

We regularly practice in the following counties: Pontotoc, Coal, Atoka, Johnston, Murray, Garvin, Seminole, Hughes and Pottawatomie as well as Federal Court and the courts of the Chickasaw Nation.

We are located in new offices on Ada's north side at 1320 Stone Bridge, Suite A (next door to the Santa Fe Steakhouse).

SD&C partner's case forges new child support law

Posted by Preston Draper on 01/29/2014

Earlier this year, SDC partner Preston Draper, had a Seminole County child support case upheld on appeal by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals (OCCA) on a matter of first impression.  The OCCA considered Mr. Draper's argument that proceeds from the sale of real property should be counted as income for purposes of calculating child support.  In reviewing the case, the OCCA noted that whether "gain from the sale of property is income for the purpose of child support computation in Oklahoma appears to be a question of first impression." 

After assessing the particular facts of the case, which included evidence that the father was "willfully underemployed" and that he had "paid cash for several parcels of real property over the years, including $300,000.00 for the Denver condominium in which he currently resides," the OCCA determined that "capital gains are properly included as income for the purposes of child support calculation in Oklahoma."  The Court also considered father's argument that the income from the sale of a homestead property should not be counted as income when those proceeds are reinvested in another homestead.  Finding that "[t]he purpose of the homestead exemption is to protect the family in its occupancy of the home and from the improvidence and demands of creditors," the OCCA, held that "[a]s a matter of public policy, the homestead exemption many not be used to avoid supporting the children it was created to protect."  Again, the OCCA noted that father "chose to become cash poor and property rich" and that he cannot use that condition to avoid child support.

Because the case was one of first impression, the OCCA released the opinion for publication.  The opinion in its entirety may be found here