Filing for Divorce in Oklahoma

Filing for Divorce in Oklahoma

Getting a Divorce in Oklahoma? Divorce Law Cheat Sheet for the State of Oklahoma

1. What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Oklahoma?

You or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing for a divorce in Oklahoma. You also may file in the state if you’ve been a resident of a military base there for six months.

You must file in the county in which you or your spouse has been a resident for at least 30 days.

2. Does Oklahoma have a waiting period?

Yes, if you have children, the state will not grant you a divorce until at least 90 days after you file, unless you can provide a good reason why the waiting period should be waived. The court may require you and your spouse to attend a parenting education program during this time. If you take part in marital or family counseling during this time and the court finds that your chances of reconciliation are unlikely, it may hold a hearing before the 90 days is up.

The waiting period does not apply if you file for divorce on any of the following grounds:

  • Your spouse has abandoned you and been gone at least a year.
  • Your spouse is extremely cruel.
  • Your spouse is habitually drunk.
  • Your spouse is in prison for a felony.
  • Your spouse has been granted a divorce from you in another state that isn’t valid in Oklahoma.
  • Your spouse has been insane for at least five years, living in an institution for the insane and with a poor prognosis for recovering.

3. Does the state have grounds for divorce?

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Yes, in Oklahoma you may file for a divorce on these grounds:

  • Your spouse has abandoned you and been gone at least a year.
  • Your spouse has committed adultery (had an affair).
  • Your spouse is impotent.
  • Your wife was pregnant by another man when you married.
  • Your spouse is extremely cruel.
  • Your spouse misrepresented something significant to you that would have changed your decision to marry (fraudulent contract).
  • You and your spouse are incompatible.
  • Your spouse is habitually drunk.
  • Your spouse refuses to contribute toward basic necessities (gross neglect of duty).
  • Your spouse is in prison for a felony.
  • Your spouse has been granted a divorce from you in another state that isn’t valid in Oklahoma.
  • Your spouse has been insane for at least five years, living in an institution for the insane and with a poor prognosis for recovering.

To determine this, your spouse:

  • Must have been evaluated by three physicians, one of whom is the superintendent of the institution where your spouse has been living (the other two will be court-appointed). Two of those three physicians must agree that your spouse has little hope of recovery.

If your spouse is living in an institution outside of Oklahoma, then you:

  • Must have been a resident of the state for at least five years before filing. You may still be responsible for supporting your spouse.

4. How does Oklahoma determine the division of property?

You and your spouse are encouraged to come up with a settlement on your own and present it to the court. If you can’t agree, the court will divide your property for you.

The court will divide the property that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage in whatever way it finds is most equitable, or fair, regardless of whose name is on the title. If you have a prenuptial agreement, the court will honor that first. It may award alimony to one of you from the other’s property. And it may set aside a portion of the separate property of one of you to the other for the support of your children.

5. Does Oklahoma require mediation before a divorce is granted?

Mediation is not a requirement in all cases. But the court may order it in yours, especially if you and your spouse disagree over custody or visitation. If you and your spouse have children younger than 18, the court may require each of you to attend a parent education program that covers co-parenting, conflict management, child development and more.

6. How does the state determine child custody?

Legal custody and physical custody are two different things. Legal custody outlines how involved each parent is in the major decisions of a child’s life —” where a child goes to school, what faith he or she is raised in and other biggies.

Physical custody addresses where a child will live and with whom. Visitation is then negotiated based on your physical custody arrangement.

If you or your spouse is requesting joint custody, you must file a plan (together or individually) with the court that addresses your child’s living arrangements, child support, medical and dental care for your child, your child’s school and visitation. The court may approve your joint plan or one of your individual plans; it may modify and approve your plan; or it may develop its own in the best interest of your child.

Your child’s preferences regarding custody and visitation also may be factored in.

In every case, the court is required to consider whether anyone seeking custody or visitation:

  • Is or has been required to register under the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act or any similar act in any other state.
  • Has been convicted of a crime listed in the Oklahoma Child Abuse Reporting and Prevention Act or in Section 582 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
  • Is an alcohol-dependent person or a drug-dependent person (the court requires clear and convincing evidence) who can be expected in the near future to seriously hurt or try to hurt him- or herself or another person as a result of this dependency.
  • Has been convicted of domestic abuse within the past five years.
  • Is living with someone who is or has been required to register under the Oklahoma Sex Offenders Registration Act or any similar act in any other state.
  • Is living with someone who has been convicted of a crime listed in the Oklahoma Child Abuse Reporting and Prevention Act or in Section 582 of Title 57 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
  • Is living with someone who has been convicted of domestic abuse within the past five years.

Custody or visitation will not be granted if the court finds it likely that your child will be put at risk for harm.

7. How does the state calculate child support?

Oklahoma determines child support based on a set of state guidelines. These guidelines designate the non-custodial parent as the paying parent (obligor) and the custodial parent as the parent receiving support (obligee).

Child support is calculated as a percentage of you and your spouse’s combined gross incomes. After the total combined child support amount is figured, the amount is divided between you and your spouse in proportion to your percentage of your combined incomes.

The formula is different if you and your spouse have shared parenting time, meaning each of you has physical custody of your child overnight for more than 92 nights each year. It will vary based on the specific number of nights your child spends with each of you.

In both situations, once you have determined how much support each of you is responsible for, the parent who is responsible for more pays the difference between the two amounts.

If you and your spouse have split custody, meaning each of you has custody of one of your children, child support is figured separately for each situation. The parent who ends up with the larger obligation pays the other parent the difference between the two amounts.

The cost of medical and dental insurance for your child is split between you and your spouse in the same proportion as the basic child support amount and then added to that figure.Work-related child-care costs (minus the annual child care tax credit, if any) are added on to the basic child support amount.Monthly contributions for medical, transportation or other costs may be added to the base monthly child support obligation.

Medical, dental, orthodontic, optometric, psychological or other physical or mental health expenses for your child not reimbursed by insurance may be divided between you and your spouse in the same proportion as your incomes. The same goes for expenses related to transporting your child between you and your spouse’s homes.

8. How does the state determine and calculate alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is not standard in divorce cases, but you or your spouse may request it.

Oklahoma does not have a specific list of considerations in determining whether to award alimony and if so, how much. How your property is divided may be influenced by an alimony award and vice versa. Alimony may be ordered as a lump sum or in a series of payments.

Alimony ends when the recipient dies or remarries. If the recipient is living with someone, that is a ground to modify or end alimony payments.

9. Is there a waiting period before remarriage in Oklahoma?

Yes, you must wait six months after the date of your decree before remarrying in Oklahoma. In addition, if your spouse appeals the divorce judgment, it won’t be final until the result of the appeal is determined.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

The Oklahoma state statutes are online here.

The state’s child support chart of basic support amounts is online here.

Oklahoma’s Child Support Enforcement Division can be found here.

Please note: local and state laws change constantly. This information is for educational purposes only. We do our best to keep state-specific information up-to-date, but please contact us to discuss your unique situation.

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