The Divorce Process In Oklahoma

The divorce process is different for everyone in Oklahoma, in large part because every marriage is different. For some couples who agree on everything in their divorce, the process may be as simple as filing a document with the court, attending a brief hearing and waiting for the final resolution. For others, the process can take months, even years, especially if there are disputes over child custody, property division, alimony and other divorce issues.

Because your divorce is unique, we strongly encourage you to contact a divorce attorney who can help you understand the divorce process in Oklahoma and how it applies to you. At Nichols Law Firm in Wewoka and Norman, our divorce lawyers are dedicated to providing knowledgeable legal guidance and representation to individuals facing divorce or other family law matters.

How To Get A Divorce In Oklahoma

How do you get a divorce in Oklahoma? What are the main steps you will need to take? Below is an overview of the Oklahoma divorce process.

Oklahoma Residency Requirements

The first step in filing for an Oklahoma divorce involves determining whether you meet the residency requirements. To file for divorce, at least one spouse must have lived in the county where you want to file for divorce for at least 30 days and in the state for at least six months.

The Divorce Petition

If you meet the residency requirements, you can file a petition for divorce, called a "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage," with your county. This form must be given, by mail or in person, to the other spouse (this is called "service").

The Discovery Process

If you and your spouse disagree on any issues in your divorce, there will be a time of discovery, during which you, your spouse and your attorneys will:

  • Identify issues, assets, debts and witnesses
  • Exchange information, including tax documents, health care information, bank statements, credit card statements, etc.
  • Ask and answer interrogatories (questions asked of you)

During the discovery process, it is important to provide information in a timely and organized manner. This will not only help speed up the process, but it will also keep your costs down. In some cases, we will work with a respected private investigation firm to get all of the necessary information from the other party.

Settlement Discussions And The Divorce Settlement Agreement

During the discovery process, you or your spouse and/or your attorneys may meet to discuss the terms of your divorce and determine whether you agree on certain issues. If you and your spouse agree on all of the issues involved in your divorce, you can complete and file a divorce settlement agreement. If you do not agree, you may need to attend one or more court hearings. Note: There is some give and take during settlement negotiations, but you will have more control over the final outcome than if you ask a judge to make the decisions for you.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is one tool that helps parties settle cases before trial. During mediation, you and your spouse will be able to discuss the issues of your divorce with a neutral mediator. The mediator will help guide you to come to your own decisions about those issues. In some cases, mediation may not be effective, but it should be discussed and considered. In many cases, it can save both time and money.

Court Hearings

During your court hearings, you and the other party will have time to present your side of the story, whether you are contesting:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Property division
  • Debt division

If you are going through a fault-based divorce, you will need to provide evidence for or against the grounds for the divorce.

The Waiting Period

If you do not have minor children and are going through an uncontested divorce, you must wait at least 10 days before the court will grant your divorce. In uncontested divorces involving children, the waiting period is 90 days. If you and your spouse have reached an agreement, the court may waive the 90-day waiting period for good cause and without objection from either party. If approved, a divorce could be granted 30 days after the initial case filing.

Contested divorces can take much longer. There may be multiple court hearings on a variety of divorce issues and the court will need time to issue a decision.

The Final Resolution

Once you have filed a settlement agreement and the waiting period has elapsed or once the court has made an order on all of the divorce issues, you will receive a final divorce decree. At this point, your divorce is complete. If, in the future, you want to make changes to the divorce decree, you may be able to seek a modification of certain child custody, support or visitation orders, depending on the circumstances.

It is also important to note that following the entry of your final divorce decree, you are prohibited from remarrying in Oklahoma for six months.

Speak With Our Divorce Lawyers In Norman

To learn more about the divorce process and discuss your own divorce with an experienced family law attorney, please call Nichols Law Firm at 405-217-4118 or send us an email.