Men and fathers going through a Oklahoma divorce face an array of challenges that threaten to upend their lives. Cordell & Cordell’s Oklahoma divorce lawyers focus on representing men during the divorce process and that gives them a better understanding of how the state’s laws affect them and their families.
Read through our Oklahoma divorce and child custody articles to gain a better understanding of the road ahead. Educating yourself about the divorce process in Oklahoma will improve your ability to communication with your divorce lawyer, which goes a long way toward helping your reach your goals in Oklahoma family court.
- Oklahoma Discovery Process
- Oklahoma City Fathers Rights
- Oklahoma Child Custody Questions
- Oklahoma Divorce Questions
Residency Requirements for Oklahoma Divorce
The divorce is initiated by filing a petition. The petition should be filed in the court in the county where one of the spouses has been a resident for 90 days. Also, at least one spouse must have lived in Oklahoma for at least six months.
There is a 90-day waiting period before a divorce can be granted if there are minor children involved. If no children are involved, there is only a 10-day waiting period.
Grounds for Divorce in Oklahoma
A divorce in Oklahoma may be granted upon one of several grounds. The vast majority of divorces are granted on a no-fault basis, meaning that the marriage is beyond any reasonable hope of reconciliation. A divorce may also be granted for adultery, abandonment, fraud, cruelty, imprisonment, conviction of a felony, living apart, and others.
In the divorce decree, the court must divide all the marital property. Marital property is all the property acquired during the marriage by the industry of the husband and wife. How property is titled not determinative of its character.
Separate property is that owned before marriage or acquired by gift or inheritance before or during the marriage. The court cannot give the separate property of one spouse to the other spouse, except with the owner’s agreement. Therefore, the court must decide whether each item is marital or separate property.
Generally, property acquired and debts incurred during the separation but before the divorce is final are considered separate property. Unless proven otherwise, the court will presume that all property owned by the parties is marital property. No agreement by the parties and no court order in a divorce proceeding can affect the right of creditors to attempt collection from either party. However, a court can order one party to pay particular debts.
Oklahoma Alimony and Spousal Maintenence
In Oklahoma there are two types of alimony (1) support alimony and (2) property division alimony. Support alimony is awarded to provide the receiving party with some level of financial assistance while they transition post-divorce. Support alimony can be paid as a lump sum or through installments. Support alimony may be modified based on a showing of a permanent substantial change of circumstances.
While some states have formulas on how to arrive at an alimony award Oklahoma has a guideline. The person seeking alimony must prove (1) a need for alimony and (2) that the payor has the ability to pay. It is in the Court’s discretion as to amount and duration of the alimony.
Property division alimony is ordered in cases where the property is disproportionate. The property division alimony is paid to offset the difference and in not modifiable.
Settlement Agreements in Oklahoma Divorce
A divorce settlement is one in which the parties resolve all of their differences between themselves and without the necessity of a court hearing. It is then necessary to ask the court to approve the terms of their agreement.
Divorce settlements reduce the bitterness that may exist between the parties and benefit everyone. The agreement is reduced to a Decree of Divorce entered by the Court.
Child Support in Oklahoma
Oklahoma follows the income sharing approach when calculating child support based on the combined gross income of the parties. The law contains a child support guideline which is used to determine the amount of child support. Both parties will be responsible for payment of the child’s health insurance premium and day care through the child support amount.
Child support orders generally continue until the child reaches age 18, but can last longer under certain conditions. All court orders dealing with children from a divorce are modifiable if there is a material change in circumstances. The court in Oklahoma cannot order a parent to pay for college and in Oklahoma there is not a child support cap.
Child Custody and Visitation in Oklahoma
In deciding child custody and visitation, the court considers the best interests of the child. The court will consider such factors as: parental abilities; emotional and physical; emotional and physical needs of the child; the desires of the child; plans of the parents; stability of the homes; acts or omissions of the parent.
In Oklahoma custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody concerns the decision making authority for the child, while physical custody concerns the amount of time the child spends with each parent.
Under a sole custody arrangement one parent has the sole decision making authority for the child and has physical custody of the child, while the other parent has visitation time with the child. Joint custody provides the parties share decision making authority and time with the child.