Oklahoma Divorce And Family Law Resource
U.S. Divorce Laws are enacted by each state using their respective legislative process. Once legislation is enacted into law, the divorce courts in Oklahoma have the authority to manage the divorce proceedings, including, spousal and child support payments, custodial rights of parents and the division of community property.
Since state laws are repealed and amended frequently, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before making any important decisions about your marriage. You can also visit the GotTrouble Divorce Resource for a more in-depth understanding of related divorce and family law topics.
As of 2016, all states allow for “no fault” divorce. Yet many courts still factor in the respective parties past behavior when determining the division of community property, debts, custody, support and related issues.
SAME-SEX DIVORCE –UPDATE
On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states. It follows, therefore, that the rights and obligations between same-sex divorcing parties are subject to the same dissolution laws of that state. Reference: US Supreme Court Opinion: Obergefell v. Hodges. (For more information visit ProCon.org).
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: NO-FAULT AND STATUTORY FAULT AVAILABLE
No fault with waiting period. The statutory fault system is also available without requiring a waiting period.
SEPARATION WAITING PERIOD
If the divorce is uncontested and the parties have minor children, there is a 90-day waiting period after the petition is filed and before the court can grant the divorce.
One or both of the parties must, in good faith, be an actual resident of Oklahoma for six months preceding the filing of the Petit
STATUTORY GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
A divorce may be granted for any of the following statutory causes:
- Abandonment for one (1) year.
- When the wife at the time of her marriage, was pregnant by another than her husband.
- Extreme cruelty.
- Fraudulent contract.
- Habitual drunkenness.
- Gross neglect of duty.
- Imprisonment in a state or federal penal institution under sentence thereto for the commission of a felony at the time the petition is filed.
- The procurement of a final divorce decree without this state by a husband or wife, which does not in this state release the other party from the obligations of the marriage.
- Insanity for a period of five (5) years.
An action for legal separation may be brought in the county in which either party is a resident at the time of the filing of the petition.
SPECIAL DIVORCE PROCEDURES:
In an action for divorce where there are minor children involved, the court shall not issue a final order thereon for at least ninety (90) days from the date of filing the petition which ninety (90) days may be waived by the court for good cause shown and without objection by either party.
MEDIATION OR COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS:
In all actions for divorce, separate maintenance, guardianship, paternity, custody or visitation, including modifications or enforcements of a prior court order, where a child under eighteen (18) years of age is involved, the court may require all adult parties to attend an educational program concerning the impact of separate parenting and co-parenting on children, the implications for visitation and conflict management, development of children, separate financial responsibility for children and such other instruction as deemed necessary by the court. The program shall be educational in nature and not designed for individual therapy.
Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state. The court shall enter its decree confirming in each spouse the property owned by him or her before marriage and the undisposed-of property acquired after marriage by him or her in his or her own right. Property which has been acquired by the parties jointly during their marriage, shall be divided between the parties in a just and reasonable manner, subject to any valid antenuptial contracts in writing. This may be accomplished by a division of the property in kind, or by setting the same apart to one of the parties, and requiring the other thereof to be paid such sum as may be just and proper to effect a fair and just division thereof.
In Oklahoma, there are two kinds of spousal support: spousal maintenance and alimony. Alimony is not a legal right, but a remedy for the financial disparity that may exist between spouses after they divorce. The courts determine the amount and duration of alimony based on a number of factors. Alimony may be allowed from real or personal property, or both, or in the form of money judgment, payable either in gross or in installments, as the court may deem just and equitable. The court shall also provide in the divorce decree that upon the death or remarriage of the recipient, the payments for support, if not already accrued, shall terminate.
The provisions of any divorce decree pertaining to the payment of alimony as support may be modified upon proof of changed circumstances relating to the need for support or ability to support which are substantial and continuing so as to make the terms of the decree unreasonable to either party.
When a divorce is granted, the wife shall be restored to her maiden or former name if she so desires.
The court may grant the care, custody, and control of a child to either parent or to the parents jointly. In awarding the custody of a minor unmarried child or in appointing a general guardian for said child, the court shall consider what appears to be in the best interests of the physical and mental and moral welfare of the child.
When awarding custody to either parent, the court: the court must consider, among other facts, which parent is more likely to allow the child or children frequent and continuing contact with the non-custodial parent, and must not prefer a parent as a custodian of the child because of the gender of that parent.
Oklahoma used the Income Shares Model to determine child support. It is required that all families incur certain child-rearing expenses and includes an average amount to cover these expenses for various levels of the parents’ combined adjusted gross income and the number of children, such as housing, food, transportation, basic public educational expenses, clothing, and entertainment.
Except in those cases where parties represented by counsel have agreed to a different disposition, there shall be a rebuttable presumption in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the following guidelines is the correct amount of child support to be awarded. The district or administrative court may deviate from the amount of child support indicated by the child support guidelines if the amount of support so indicated is unjust, inequitable, unreasonable, or inappropriate under the circumstances, or not in the best interests of the child.
ENFORCING OKLAHOMA SUPPORT ORDERS – FEDERAL OPTION:
FIND LOCAL FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY NEAR YOU