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Divorce in Oklahoma

Divorce in Oklahoma



Over the past ten years, Oklahoma’s divorce laws and regulations have undergone significant changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to modernizing its legal framework while ensuring fairness, transparency, and the welfare of families involved in divorce proceedings. This article provides a concise overview of key developments in Oklahoma’s divorce laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023.

2013: No-Fault Divorce Facilitation

   – Simplification of the process for seeking a no-fault divorce.

2014: Child Custody Evaluation Criteria

   – Emphasis on evaluating child custody arrangements based on the best interests of the child.

2015: Property Division Guidelines

   – Clearer guidelines for the division of marital property during divorce.

2016: Alimony Award Parameters

   – Establishment of parameters for awarding alimony, taking into account various factors.

2017: Child Support Calculation Adjustments

   – Adjustments to child support calculations to better align with changing financial needs.

2018: Mediation Promotion

   – Encouragement of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method.

2019: Parenting Plans Enhancement

   – Introduction of enhanced parenting plans outlining custody, visitation, and support arrangements.

2020: Digital Filing Options

   – Introduction of digital filing options for divorce petitions, enhancing accessibility.

2021: Collaborative Divorce Emphasis

   – Emphasis on collaborative divorce methods to reduce adversarial litigation.

2022: Online Divorce Resources

   – Provision of online resources to guide individuals through the divorce process.

2023: Spousal Support Adjustments

   – Consideration of adjustments to spousal support guidelines.

Oklahoma’s commitment to evolving its divorce laws underscores the state’s dedication to supporting families through challenging times while upholding principles of fairness and justice. As the legal landscape continues to evolve, it remains crucial for stakeholders and the public to engage in discussions that prioritize the well-being of families navigating divorce.

A Brief Guide to Divorce in Oklahoma

Couples experiencing marital difficulties in Oklahoma who wish to separate temporarily or permanently should be aware of the following:

Oklahoma State Divorce Laws

At least one part of a couple filing jointly filing for divorce or the plaintiff must be a resident of the state for six months before filing for divorce in Oklahoma.

Grounds for Divorce

Except in cases of no-fault divorce, there are ten reasons a plaintiff may claim cause for an at-fault divorce in Oklahoma:

• Impotence

• Adultery

• Abandonment of a year or longer

• A wife who is pregnant at the time of marriage with another man’s child without her husband being aware of it

• Physical and emotional cruelty

• Fraud

• Regular alcohol abuse

• A spouse’s imprisonment or conviction of a felony

• Neglect of marital duties

• Insanity lasting at least five years

Legal Separation

Couples who are uncertain whether they wish to file for divorce in Oklahoma or who wish to separate without violating their religious beliefs may petition for legal separation. This is a court-binding agreement which sets out the terms of separation, including child custody, alimony and other concerns. There is no residency requirement to file for this kind of separation in Oklahoma.

Types of Divorce

Couples who can agree upon all aspects of their separation can file a joint petition for an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma. If the spouses are unable to agree upon all details of their divorce or one party does not consent to separation, they will enter the court system to resolve their contested divorce.

No Fault Divorce

Couples may file for a no fault divorce in Oklahoma on grounds of incompatibility without pressing any charges of wrong-doing.

Steps in the Divorce Process

A petition must be filed in the district court where the person or couple filing for divorce has been a resident for at least 30 days. In cases of uncontested divorce where no children are involved, separation may be finalized in as little as 10 days. If children under the age of 18 are involved, a 90 day waiting period will apply.

If a defendant is served with notice of a divorce and decides to contest it, both parties will attempt to come to an agreement during the pretrial process. When no agreement can be reached, the couple will appear in court to let a judge decide on the terms of their separation.

Spousal Support

Alimony may be awarded by the court through either money awarded monthly or all at once, or in the form of property.

Child Support

One parent may be required to make regular monthly parents in support of their child. The earnings and property of both spouses will be taken into consideration.

Fathers’ and Mothers’ Rights

No custodial judgments are issued on the basis of gender in Oklahoma. The state’s guidelines require judges to consider which parent is most likely to allow their child to see the non-custodial parent as ordered.