Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law & Divorce in Oklahoma
Marriage is a lifelong proposition—at the start. However, reality can sometimes get in the way of that prospect. The two partners may grow apart and find living together no longer tenable. In these situations, separation and divorce can loom large.
In Oklahoma, divorce can either be no-fault or fault-based. If one spouse files based on fault— because of the actions or inactions of the other spouse—then the situation can be quite complex. If it’s no-fault, then divorce can typically proceed more seamlessly, even to the extent of the spouses’ agreeing on a settlement outside of the courtroom.
There are plenty of other important distinctions to understand when it comes to divorce and family law in general. If you are considering divorce or you are experiencing any kind of family law issue, contact me at Military Law Group. As a family law attorney, I’m ready to answer your questions and address your concerns. My team and I will help you navigate the legal process while advocating for your rights.
My firm proudly serves clients throughout the Tulsa metro area, including Rogers County, Creek County, and the Creek and Cherokee Nations.
Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law in Oklahoma
What are the grounds for divorce in Oklahoma? Oklahoma offers both no-fault and fault-based divorce petitions. No-fault is generally just a statement that the two partners have reached a point of irreconcilable differences, or in another phrase, the union is irretrievably broken. Fault-based can be hinged on other factors, such as adultery, abandonment, cruelty, habitual drunkenness, neglect, and insanity.
How long does a divorce take in Oklahoma? The answer to this depends on whether children are involved, among other factors. If there are children, you must wait 90 days before a divorce hearing can be held. If there are no children, the waiting period is generally only 10 days. The hearing can be waived in an uncontested divorce, but only if there are no minor children involved.
I just got served divorce papers. What should I do? Whenever you are served with legal documents in a civil proceeding, you must answer the complaint or you can be subject to a default judgment. In Oklahoma, you have only 20 days to answer any civil petition. If you fail to answer, your spouse may potentially prevail on all issues in a default judgment.
Will I be awarded alimony? It depends. In a contested divorce, the judge will handle the issue of spousal support, or what is commonly called alimony. The basis in Oklahoma for awarding spousal support hinges on the concept of “arising from the marriage.” What this means is that if one spouse stayed home to care for children while the other spouse pursued a career, then alimony would be justified. That being said, judges have wide discretion in determining spousal and child support arrangements.
When is mediation a good option? Mediation can be used to lay the groundwork for an uncontested divorce or an out-of-court agreement on all the issues involved in the dissolution of the marriage. This can save time and money and also help heal any wounds between the spouses. Mediation is not binding, but it is a useful vehicle for achieving an uncontested divorce settlement. The Military Law Group offers divorce mediation.
Who gets to keep the home? Oklahoma uses the standard of equitable distribution of assets in any divorce, which is in contrast to community property states where everything is assumed to be 50/50. The question of who gets to keep the home and reside in it is best resolved between the two partners—but if the court has to decide, it will weigh factors such as who gets custody of the children, if there are children, as well as the economic and financial prospects of each spouse, the length of the marriage, and more.
Is legal separation available in Oklahoma? A spouse seeking a legal separation has to file a petition for legal separation with the court as well as a supporting affidavit. The couple will remain legally married but then live their separate financial lives.
What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement? Most people think their marriage will last forever. But the truth is, not every union will endure. A prenuptial agreement is useful for all sorts of couples, especially if you have accumulated assets on your own prior to tying the knot. A prenuptial agreement can help protect those assets against “equitable distribution” should a divorce happen. Of course, separate property—what’s acquired before marriage—is generally exempt from distribution during a divorce, but separate property can become what is called “commingled” and thus subject to distribution among the partners.
Do I need an attorney if I’m considering or entering into divorce proceedings? You have rights as well as responsibilities when it comes to the issue of divorce, and you must be clear on what those are. This is where an attorney can be incredibly helpful. A skilled lawyer can help you understand your rights and uphold these rights in all matters relating to the dissolution of a marriage. Your future is at stake, so why wouldn’t you reach out to legal counsel?
Legal Guidance You Can Trust
Divorce can be a time of great emotion and confusion. To make matters worse, there is so much conflicting information out there about divorce and family law in general. If you are considering a divorce or already entering into one in or around Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact my team at Military Law Group. You deserve to move forward with confidence.