There are many ways couples who are seeking a separation in Oklahoma can make the process less expensive for themselves. When a couple can agree to split up and can reach agreement all the terms of their separation, they may file a joint petition for an uncontested divorce. Along with this petition, they will submit a mutually satisfactory agreement that details how they will handle:
• Child custody arrangements
• Child support payments
• Alimony payments
• Division of shared property
• Payment of shared debts
• Visitation rights
Such an agreement may be easily drafted without the help of a lawyer if both parties can reach an agreement. Many templates online can be used to create a legally valid joint petition for divorce. If this is the case, the divorce may be granted in as little time as 10 days. This will guarantee the lowest possible accurate estimate when determining how much does a divorce cost in Oklahoma.
Whether filing jointly or singly, some people may be unable to pay the filing fee requested by their county, which can vary between $100-400. It may be possible to obtain a waiver for the fee if you do not have the necessary fiscal resources to pay. For couples who agree to file jointly, they may not have to pay for anything else, making the expense of how much does a divorce cost in Oklahoma low.
In some instances, one spouse may file a petition for divorce. Their spouse must be served with the papers notifying them of the complaint against them. If they choose to waive their right to file an official response disputing any aspect of the petition, couples will be able to proceed with negotiating the terms of their separation.
Sometimes couples may find it useful to share the expense of a lawyer experienced in offering mediation. This attorney will work closely with both sides as a neutral advisor in an attempt to draft an agreement to be presented to a judge. This can add to the estimate you must make of how much does a divorce cost in Oklahoma, but is worthwhile if both spouses commit to ensuring they emerge with an agreement to present the judge.
If these measures fail, one or both spouses may decide the help of private legal representation to prepare them for an appearance in court. Such a professional partnership can be expensive, as many divorce lawyers charge by the hour for their services. Should you decide to hire a divorce attorney, be sure to receive a detailed, written estimate during your first meeting of the expense you can reasonably expect to incur.
In awarding child custody payments, judges officially only have three factors to consider:
• Official state guidelines
• The income of both parties
• The property and other assets of both parties
However, the amount prescribed by state guidelines may be altered if it is shown to be financially ruinous to the person making payments or otherwise inequitable. The final responsibility of determining how much does a divorce cost in Oklahoma lies with the judge.