How to File For Divorce in Oklahoma
Every state's divorce laws are different. If you want to file for divorce in Oklahoma, you need to know the exact rules for filing in the state. This guide will give you a step by step overview of the divorce process so that you can better understand the steps you will need to take.
1. Determining Your Eligibility
Not all residents of Oklahoma are eligible to file for divorce in Oklahoma. You or your spouse must have lived in the state as a resident for six months before the divorce petition is filed. You should file for divorce in Oklahoma in the county where you live, not where your spouse lives.
Many states allow you to file in either county, but it is rare to file in your spouse's county unless you have not been living in Oklahoma for at least 6 months and your spouse has lived in his or her county longer than 6 months.
2. Filling Out the Paperwork
You will need to fill out several divorce forms before you can file for divorce in Oklahoma. A petition for divorce will require your information and your spouse's, including details about your marriage, your property, and any children you may have.
You will need to list grounds for the divorce. Almost all divorces in Oklahoma are filed on the no-fault grounds of incompatibility, because fault divorces take longer and are substantially more expensive. You will also request relief from the court when you file for divorce in Oklahoma. Relief can take many forms, including child custody, child support, alimony, or a restraining order against a spouse who has abused or threatened you.
3. Filing the Papers
Once your divorce forms have been completed, you will be able to file for divorce in Oklahoma by going to your local county courthouse with the paperwork. The clerk of the court will charge you a filing fee that pays for the court costs of your divorce.
If you cannot afford to file for divorce in Oklahoma due to the filing fee, a fee waiver may be granted but you will have to give a substantial amount of financial information. The clerk will sign, date, and file your divorce petition and you will be given information on your legal rights during the divorce process.
4. Notifying Your Spouse
Your spouse will need to be notified as quickly as possible after you file for divorce in Oklahoma. Usually this is done by paying the sheriff's office or a private process server to “serve” the paperwork to your spouse at his or her workplace or home. This is generally a fairly inexpensive process. If your spouse cannot be located after a search, the judge may allow you to give notice in the newspaper rather than serving papers directly to your spouse.
Your spouse will be told at the time of service how long he or she has to file a response to your petition. If no response is filed, you will win a divorce by default and be given anything you asked for in your initial divorce petition.