Family Law Commonly Asked Questions


Oklahoma Family Law Common Questions And Answers

Q:  How Long Do I Have To Be A Resident In Oklahoma Before Filing For Divorce?

A:  You or your spouse needs to be a resident in the state of Oklahoma for 6 months in order to file for divorce here. However, this does not necessarily apply if you are in the military. If you meet the residents' requirements, you can file for divorce in the county you have been a resident for thirty days preceding the filing of the petition.

Q. How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced In Oklahoma?

A:  An uncontested divorce without children has a 10 day waiting period. If minor children are involved, the waiting period is 90 days, even if the matter is uncontested. Additionally, if minor children are involved both parents are required to attend a class about children and divorce before the divorce can be finalized. Contested divorces take considerably longer, depending on the number of issues to be resolved. It is not uncommon for a contested divorce to take over a year.

Q:  What Are The Differences In A Contested And Uncontested Divorce In Oklahoma?

A:  A contested divorce is when you and your spouse cannot agree to the terms of your divorce. Contested divorce commences with litigation and typically either ends in mediation or a judge making the final decision on: child custody, division of assets, visitation rights, business ownership, spousal support, or child support. A non-contested divorce is when both parties have agreed to how assets, liabilities, and child custody issues will be handled without court involvement. Even in matters that are uncontested, it is highly recommended that you consult with your own attorney to avoid getting taken advantage of.

Q:  How Will Assets Be Divided In Oklahoma?

A:  Oklahoma law requires that marital assets are to be divided equitably. Note, an equitable division is not the same thing as equal division.

Q:  If A Child Is Born Outside Of Marriage, Who Generally Has Custody Of The Child?

A:  In Oklahoma, the mother of a child born out of wedlock has sole custody of the child until a court says otherwise. A paternity action can be  filed by a parent of a child out of wedlock to initiate parental rights.

Q:  After I Get Divorced In Oklahoma, How Long Do I Have To Wait Before I Get Married Again?

A:  Oklahoma law requires that you wait 6 months before you marry a new person from the date the divorce decree is finalized. The 6 month waiting period does not apply if you decide to remarry the same person you divorced.

Q:  What If I Want A Divorce And My Spouse Does Not Want A Divorce, What Happens?

A:  Once you start a divorce in Oklahoma in the court system, it does not matter if the other person does not want it, you can still get divorced. Unless your spouse can talk you into reconciliation, the divorce will still happen.

Q:  How Do I Start The Divorce Process?

A:  Once you have decided to proceed with a divorce and consulted a divorce attorney, they will file the Divorce petition or Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on your behalf. The Divorce Petition or Petition for Dissolution of Marriage states grounds for divorce and factual information about the divorce. The divorce Petition will be served on your spouse and the process begins. Personal service can be avoided if your spouse will sign an Entry of Appearance and Waiver which acknowledges receipt of the petition and agrees to a waiver of service.

Q:  What Is Legal Custody Versus Physical Custody?

A:  Physical custody is the person who provides care for a child on a daily basis. Legal custody is the ability to make decisions for the child.

Q:  Can Child Custody Be Changed/Modified Once It Is Entered? If So, What Do Need To Show?

A:  Yes. If substantial changes occur, then a parent can and often does request a modification of the custody order. The person asking for the modification must show:

  • A permanent, substantial, and material change in circumstances;
  • The change in circumstance will have a negative impact on the child;
  • The temporal, moral, and mental welfare of the child would be better off if custody is changed.
Q:  What Is Sole Custody And Joint Custody?

A:  Sole custody is where one parent is awarded the physical and/or legal care, custody, and control of the child. Whereas, joint custody is   shared by parents in all or some of the aspects of physical and legal care, custody, and control.

Q:  If My Spouse Had An Extramarital Affair Will That Result In Me Getting More Support Alimony Or A Greater Property Award?

A:  Since Oklahoma is a “no-fault” state, it usually does not help you to file adultery as your grounds for divorce. An affair becomes relevant if you can show your spouse dissipated marital assets on the paramour or exposed your children to the paramour.

Q:  What Is A Paramour?

A:  A lover, in an adulterous relationship.

For help with your divorce, child custody, property division, or other family law issue in Oklahoma County, Logan County, Canadian County, Cleveland County and surrounding counties, contact us online, call or text us today at 405-635-5578. Consultations can be scheduled, right now by clicking on the link below.

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