Oklahoma Divorce Laws
The state of Oklahoma has unique divorce laws for people who wish to terminate their marriage.
We are providing this online divorce information to you as an easy divorce reference guide to help you while you are doing your own divorce. This information (and much more) is available inside your personal 3StepDivorce account area in order to help you understand how Oklahoma addresses the most important issues in the divorce process and certain elements throughout your divorce forms.
The following overview of Oklahoma divorce laws will help you understand the filing procedure and other primary issues concerning your divorce. Please keep in mind that our Oklahoma online divorce service and support staff will make the process easy for you from start to finish. We take the difficulty out of doing your own divorce.
Residency Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Oklahoma, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. These requirements permit the court to have jurisdiction of your case, resulting in allowing you to use their judicial system. These requirements are only a concern for spouses who have recently relocated or plan to relocate in the near future. They are as follows:
Either the plaintiff or the defendant in an action for divorce must have been an actual resident, in good faith, of the state, for six (6) months next preceding the filing of the petition.
Provided, any person who has been a resident of any United States Army post or military reservation within the State of Oklahoma, for six (6) months next preceding the filing of the petition, may bring action for divorce or may be sued for divorce.
The divorce is typically filed with in county in which the filing spouse resides. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 102 and 103)
No-Fault Grounds: Most uncontested divorce cases are filed according to a "no-fault" ground. We are using the term "no-fault" in a generic fashion by labeling all grounds that do not actually declare a "fault" as "no-fault". In the state of Oklahoma the "no-fault" grounds are as follows:
1. Incompatibility. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 101)
Filing Party Name: The Petitioner. This is the spouse who is recognized as the initiator of the divorce and is the one who actually files the Petition for Divorce with the county court.
Non-Filing Party Name: The Respondent. This spouse plays a lesser role in an uncontested divorce versus a contested divorce. He or she will be required to sign and/or respond in a timely fashion to the documents filed by his or her spouse.
Family Law or Domestic Relations Court: State of Oklahoma, In the District Court, __________ County. All divorce cases in the state of Oklahoma are facilitated through this court for that particular county.
Clerk's Name: All correspondence with a Oklahoma clerk of the court should formally address him or her as follows: District Clerk's Office.
Property and Debt Division: Oklahoma is considered an "equitable distribution" state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on how the marital property will be divided, the court shall use a three step process. First, it will determine what property is marital. Second, it will put a value on the marital property. Third, it will divide the marital property in an equitable fashion, which is not necessarily equal, but rather what is considered to be fair.
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.
As to such property, whether real or personal, which has been acquired by the parties jointly during their marriage, whether the title thereto be in either or both of said parties, the court shall, subject to a valid antenuptial contract in writing, make such division between the parties as may appear just and reasonable, 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. The court may set apart a portion of the separate estate of a spouse to the other spouse for the support of the children of the marriage where custody resides with that spouse. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 121)
Changing Name: When a divorce is granted, the wife shall be restored to her maiden or former name if she so desires. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 121)
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony: Determining the amount of spousal support, if any, is not as objective as determining child support. Spousal support, whether permanent or temporary, is typically decided on a case-by-case basis, because it is very likely that unique circumstances and factors regarding the marriage and the property award will play a significant role in allowing the court to arrive at the appropriate amount.
Either spouse may be allowed such alimony out of real and personal property of the other as the court shall think reasonable, having due regard to the value of such property at the time of the divorce. 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.
Alimony, temporary support or any similar type of payment will be made through the office of the court clerk, then it shall be the duty of the court to transmit such payments to the payee by first class United States Mail, if requested to do so by the payee. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 121 and 136)
Custody and Visitation: Shared or joint child custody has become more and more popular with the Oklahoma courts. If you and your spouse request to have joint or shared "legal" custody, it will almost always be granted. As for joint or shared "physical" custody, the court will examine this a bit more closely to determine if it is a realistic choice that would result in an arrangement that is best for the children.
When it is in the best interests of a minor unmarried child, the court shall: a. assure children of frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, and b. encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy.
There shall be neither a legal preference nor a presumption for or against joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or sole custody.
When in the best interests of the child, custody shall be awarded in a way which assures the frequent and continuing contact of the child with both parents. When awarding custody to either parent, the court: a. shall consider, among other facts, which parent is more likely to allow the child or children frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent, and b. shall not prefer a parent as a custodian of the child because of the gender of that parent. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 109 and 112 and Title 10 - Sections: 21.1)
Determining Child Support: The basis for determining a monthly support amount is best achieved by referring to the Oklahoma child support worksheet. The worksheet utilizes the child support guidelines that are defined by state law. The court will use this same worksheet as a building block for determining the support obligation, that is if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on this issue.
All child support shall be computed as a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents. The Child Support Guideline Schedule shall be used for such computation. The child support obligations of each parent shall be computed.
The court will also examine the following deviation factors: A. The actual medical and dental insurance premium for the child. B. In cases of split custody, where each parent is awarded custody of at least one of their natural or legally adopted children, the child support obligation will be offset by one another C. Child care expenses shall be added to the base child support obligation. D. By order of the court or by agreement of the parties monthly contributions for medical, transportation, or other costs may be added to the base monthly child support obligation.
If a judicial order, judgment or decree directs that the payment of child support be made through the office of the court clerk, then it shall be the duty of the court to transmit such payments to the payee by first class United States Mail, if requested to do so by the payee. (Oklahoma Statutes - Title 43 - Sections: 110,112,118,119,121 and 136)
Copyright Notice: These Oklahoma divorce laws above are copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.
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