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Divorce in Oklahoma FAQs

Cordell & Cordell Oklahoma divorce lawyers provide answers to frequently asked questions with regards to divorce in Oklahoma.

What are the grounds for divorce in Oklahoma?

A divorce in Oklahoma may be granted on the basis of adultery, abandonment, fraud, cruelty, imprisonment, conviction of a felony, living apart, and others. However, the vast majority of divorces are granted on a no-fault basis, meaning that the marriage is beyond any reasonable hope of reconciliation.

What is a divorce going to cost me? Can I afford it?

Each case is different and cost varies depending on the circumstances involved in each matter.

Do I really need to hire an attorney?

You probably need to hire an attorney unless your divorce is amicable. If your case involves minor children an attorney is necessary to ensure that your custody and visitation rights are properly established.

Does Oklahoma grant divorces based on marital fault?

Oklahoma does allow for a divorce to be sought and granted based upon the grounds of adultery, abandonment, fraud, cruelty, imprisonment, conviction of a felony, living apart, and others. However, most divorces are granted on a no-fault basis.

Can I get maintenance or will I have to provide maintenance to my spouse?

Maintenance in Oklahoma is based upon two factors: the party seeking maintenance must prove that they have a demonstrated need for payment of maintenance to the court and the party they are seeking maintenance from must have the ability to pay.

Can I change my name at the time of divorce?

Oklahoma allows for an individual to be restored to their maiden name upon entry of the divorce decree.

Can I get an annulment in Oklahoma?

Yes. In Oklahoma an annulment can be granted under very limited and specific circumstances.

When can I file for divorce in Oklahoma?

A party can file for divorce in Oklahoma at any time.

When is my case going to be over?

Oklahoma imposes a 10-day waiting period before a divorce without minor children can be granted. Likewise, Oklahoma imposes a 90-day waiting period before a divorce with minor children can be granted. However, each case is unique and the time frame from beginning to end of any given case varies.

Do I have to go to court?

In Oklahoma, there are mandatory proceedings that a party must attend. However, not all cases go to trial nor do they have adversarial proceedings.

If attempts to serve my spouse do not work, what is my next step?

If you are unable to serve your spouse there are various remedies you can seek from the court, including service by publication.

At what point during the process can a spouse remarry or start dating?

A party in Oklahoma is restricted from remarrying within the state for a period of six months following the entry of the divorce decree. Oklahoma does not place restriction upon when a person can start dating.

What if my spouse does not want the divorce?

In Oklahoma, the courts may grant a divorce upon a single party petitioning the court regardless of whether the opposing party chooses to participate.

Do the other issues – child support, child custody, alimony, and property – have to be decided before the divorce is final?

In most instances, all issues are resolved prior to a final resolution being entered.

How long do I have to live in Oklahoma to obtain a divorce?

Oklahoma requires that you live within the state six months prior to the filing of the petition for divorce and reside within the county for a period of 30 days prior to the filing of the divorce petition.

After I file for divorce, do I have to continue to live in Oklahoma?

You may be restricted to living within the state if your case involves minor children unless a court grants you permission to relocate. If your case does not involve minor children, then you will be free to move outside of Oklahoma. However, you would still be subject to Oklahoma’s jurisdiction for purposes of your divorce proceeding.

What forms do I need to file for a divorce in Oklahoma?

In order to initiate a divorce a party must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a cover sheet, and in some instances a summons.

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

A petition for divorce is filed in the county where either party has resided for the previous 30 days.

How do I serve the divorce complaint on my spouse?

A Petition for Divorce is served upon your spouse by a private process server, county sheriff, or by certified mail.

How is a divorce granted? Will I have to go to court?

A divorce is granted upon conclusion of a your case either by trial or by agreement. In most instances you will be have to go to court on at least one occasion.

How do I prove fault for divorce?

Fault is proved in Oklahoma by presenting evidence to establish that the opposing party has engaged in and/or committed adultery, abandonment, fraud, cruelty, imprisonment, conviction of a felony, living apart, or others.

At any time can a parent change a minor child’s last name without the other parent’s permission?

No. A parent cannot change a minor child’s last name without express permission or leave of court.

Can a couple become legally married by living together as man and wife under the state’s laws (common law marriage)?

It depends. Oklahoma has certain requirements that must be met in order for a court to establish the existence of a common law marriage.

Frank Murphy

Edited By Frank Murphy

Chief Compliance Officer
Frank Murphy

Frank Murphy is the Chief Compliance Officer and an Executive Partner at Cordell & Cordell. His responsibilities include oversight of the Firm’s compliance with Legal and Ethical obligations as well as contributing to the day-to-day operations of the Firm as an Executive Partner.

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