OKLAHOMA DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
|This is a divorce reference guide to understanding divorce in Oklahoma. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.|
- Time Frame: In an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma without minor children, a hearing may be held and a divorce granted ten 10 days after the filing of the Petition for Divorce. When minor children are involved, the final hearing cannot take place until at least 30 days have passed since the filing date. Further, in divorces involving children, the divorce cannot be finalized until at least 90 days have passed since the filing date.
- Where to File: District Court. "State of Oklahoma, in the District Court, _____________ County."
- State Statutes: Oklahoma Statures Annotated; Title 43.
- Name of Action: Petition for Divorce.
- Name of Parties: Petitioner, the name of the filer, and Respondent, the name of the other party.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both no-fault and fault.
- Primary Documents Filed: Petition for Divorce and Decree of Divorce.
- Physical Separation Required: No. There is no requirement that a couple live apart in order to divorce in Oklahoma.
- Separation Time to File: No.
- Legal Separation Permitted: Yes, on a variety of grounds.
- Grounds: No-Fault, which means Incompatibility; fault grounds are as follows, abandonment for one year, adultery, impotency, wife pregnant by another, extreme cruelty, fraudulent contract, habitual drunkenness, gross neglect of duty, imprisonment and insanity for a period of five years.
- Residency Requirement: One or both spouses must reside in the state of Oklahoma for 6 months immediately before filing for divorce. A divorce may be filed in the county where the Petitioner has lived for 30 days immediately before filing or in the Oklahoma county where the Respondent lives.
- Mediation Required: Some Oklahoma county courts require mediation; in other counties the parties may attempt mediation but it is not mandatory. The court may order mediation when the spouses disagree over custody or visitation of minor children. Mediation is available through professional mediators, who are typically attorneys and retired judges. After a divorce is final, the court may appoint an arbitrator for joint custody disputes.
- Counseling Required: There is no mandatory counseling in Oklahoma.
- Parenting Classes Required: Parents of minor children and divorcing on the grounds of incompatibility must attend parent education classes. Judges determine the number of required hours and whether spouses take the course separately or together. The parent education program deals with co-parenting, conflict management, and child development during and after the divorce.
Most district courts have written rules that require divorcing parents to attend these parenting classes. Proof of completion must be provided to the court before a divorce is granted. This is typically done by filing a certificate of completion with the Clerk of the Court. Approved courses vary depending on the provider, but typically range from $15 to $60 per person. There are also online classes available by independent providers. These providers must be approved by the state or county court and the certificate of completion should be recognized by all the county courts in Oklahoma that allow distance learning.
- Filing Fee: The fee for filing in Oklahoma varies from county to county, but is typically $180 -$250. (See OK Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: Information about Oklahoma Child Support Enforcement can be found at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: Oklahoma uses the Income Shares Model, which estimates the support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed by applying percentages to each parents monthly income.
In Oklahoma, child support is a calculation of the combined gross income of each parent, as described in Oklahoma Statute s §43-118 et seq. Child support, a percentage of the combined gross income of the parents, is divided between both parents, and it excludes income from any source other than child support payments, public assistance, income of the child, and payments for foster children. Children from outside the case may entitle the payor to a deduction. Child support includes ford and clothing, shelter and medical and dental expenses, transportation, and educational expenses, clothing, and entertainment. Support ends at 18 or 20 when the children is in school unless the child cannot support himself or herself because of physical or mental problems.
- Property Division: Oklahoma divides property upon divorce on the equitable distribution regime and follows the dual classification model.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is separate.
- Attendance at Hearing: Yes. The petitioner attends a brief divorce hearing. If the parties have no minor children, the hearing cannot be held until at least 10 days have passed from the filing. If the parties do have minor children, the hearing cannot be held until at least 30 days have passed from the filing.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Fault may reduce the share of the marital property.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: The respondent may waive service by signing a waiver of service and entry of appearance. If the divorce papers are served personally, the summons and petition are served together.
- Divorce Records: The Oklahoma State Department of Health Vital Records
The Oklahoma State Department of Health Vital Records does not keep divorce records. If the record of a divorce is desired, one should contact the Clerk of Courts or Clerk in the Oklahoma county where the Decree of Divorce was granted. The fee for the copy varies by county. A copy of the Decree of Divorce is not just a record of the divorce taking place, but rather contains the details of the orders granted by the court as well. Certified copies may be available upon request.