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How Long Does Divorce Take in Oklahoma?

Military LawGroup
Divorce Documents Between Husband and Wife

When facing a divorce, one question that persistently arises is, "How long is this going to take?" In Oklahoma, the answer varies, reflecting the unique circumstances of your individual case.  

For example, a simple, uncontested divorce where there are no children can take as little as ten days. An uncontested divorce where there are minor children requires a minimum waiting period of 90 days from the initial divorce filing. However, many divorces aren't always as simple; many times, there are issues involved in the divorce, such as child support, alimony, and property division, which can significantly impact how long the process takes. 

At Military Law Group, our divorce attorneys are here to help you through the divorce process and make it as smooth and quick as possible, while advocating for your best interests and wishes. In general, the time frame for a divorce can be broken down into three main stages: filing the petition, discovery and negotiation, and finalizing the divorce. 

Filing Requirements 

Before a divorce can be initiated, understanding the prerequisites under Oklahoma law is essential. The state mandates that either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least six months before the divorce petition is filed. This jurisdictional requirement is fundamental, ensuring the state's ability to make decisions on child custody, support, and visitation rights. 

Oklahoma also operates on a no-fault divorce principle, which means that you don't need to demonstrate spousal misconduct to end your marriage. You can cite 'incompatibility' as grounds, signifying the irrevocable breakdown of the marital relationship. 

Filing the Petition 

The first step in getting divorced in Oklahoma is to file a petition with the court. This document outlines your reasons for seeking a divorce and any other relevant information, such as whether there are minor children involved. Once the petition is filed, it must be served to your spouse by a process server or through certified mail. 

After the petition has been served, your spouse has 20 days to respond. If they do not respond within this timeframe, you may seek a default judgment, which means the court will proceed with the divorce without their participation. 

Discovery and Settlement 

With the basic paperwork set, the next phase, discovery, unfolds, allowing both sides to gather information and evidence relevant to the divorce. This could include asset and debt documentation, witness statements, or financial appraisals. 

Ultimately, the spouses can reach a settlement agreement independently or with the help of mediation, which is then submitted to the court for approval. Should an agreement remain elusive, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions on contentious matters. 

The specifics of your individual case will influence the timeline, but most divorces in Oklahoma are finalized within six months to a year. The more issues you and your spouse can agree upon, the faster the process will be. 

Custody and Support Impact 

Child custody and support can extend the divorce timeline. The well-being of children is a primary concern for the court, and decisions on custody and visitation strive to serve their best interests. This may involve court-ordered mediation or the appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent the child's rights. 

Financial matters regarding spousal support and child support can also prolong the process. Ensuring a fair resolution often demands full financial disclosure and accurate calculations, which can take time to compile and analyze. 

Property Division and Spousal Support Disputes 

The division of assets and debts can be one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, meaning that property is not necessarily divided on a 50/50 basis, but in a manner that the court deems fair, often taking into account the duration of the marriage and the economic circumstances of each spouse post-divorce. 

Similarly, spousal support or alimony can be a source of disagreement. The need for support and each spouse's ability to pay are evaluated, with factors such as length of the marriage and contributions to the marriage's economic success playing a role in determining the amount and duration of payments. 

Making the Divorce Process Smoother and Faster 

Getting through a divorce smoothly requires a blend of strategy and flexibility. Here's how to ease the process, making it less of a marathon and more of a collaborative sprint: 

  • Open Communication Is Key. Keeping the conversation channels open with your spouse can do wonders for speeding things up. When you both are ready to talk things out, settlements can be reached much quicker, keeping you out of lengthy court battles. 

  • Give Mediation a Chance. Mediation isn't just about saving time; it’s about taking control and making decisions together with your spouse. With a neutral third party's guidance, you can resolve matters in a way that’s less confrontational and more cooperative. 

  • Be Prepared with Your Paperwork. Having your ducks in a row document-wise from the get-go can sidestep delays. This means gathering everything from financial statements to parenting plans beforehand. Proper, complete paperwork keeps the process moving without unnecessary pauses for missing info. 

  • Quick on the Filing. Getting your paperwork in swiftly and accurately cuts down on wait times. Knowing what you need and preparing it before heading to file can slice off weeks from the process, keeping things flowing smoothly. 

Adopting these approaches can make your divorce proceedings in Oklahoma smoother and quicker, easing the transition for everyone involved and reducing stress along the way. 

Take Your Situation in Your Hands 

Ihe length of a divorce in Oklahoma depends on a multitude of factors, many of which are within the control of the divorcing couple. By understanding the legal process, being prepared, and seeking legal support, it is possible to move through the process efficiently and with an understanding of the involved timeline. Divorce may be a challenging chapter to traverse, but with the right approach, it can lead to a brighter future for all parties involved. 

If you are in Tusla, Oklahoma or the surrounding areas—including the Tulsa metro area, such as Rogers County, Creek County, and the Creek and Cherokee Nations—get in touch with our attorneys at Military Law Group today. Getting the help of a family law attorney can provide the specificity necessary to chart the best course for your individual circumstances. It's the first step towards a new beginning, and an investment in the future well-being of both you and your loved ones.