Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Oklahoma Divorce Laws



Residency Requirements for Divorce in Oklahoma
Either spouse must have been a resident of Oklahoma for 6 months immediately prior to filing for divorce. The divorce may be filed for in the county in which the plaintiff has been a resident for 30 days or in the county where the defendant resides.

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Oklahoma

  1. No Fault Divorce: Incompatibility.
  2. General Divorce:
    1. Impotence
    2. adultery
    3. abandonment for 1 year
    4. imprisonment
    5. confinement for incurable insanity for 5 years
    6. cruel and inhuman treatment
    7. fraud
    8. habitual intemperance (drunkenness)
    9. the wife pregnant by another at the time of the marriage
    10. gross neglect
    11. a foreign divorce which is not valid in Oklahoma
Legal Separation in Oklahoma
A spouse may sue the other spouse for separate maintenance without filing for divorce. The action may be brought in any county where either spouse resides. The grounds for requesting non-divorce-based alimony are:
  1. impotence
  2. adultery
  3. abandonment for 1 year
  4. imprisonment
  5. confinement for incurable insanity for 5 years
  6. cruel and inhuman treatment
  7. fraud
  8. habitual intemperance (drunkenness)
  9. the wife pregnant by another at the time of the marriage
  10. gross neglect
  11. incompatibility

Simplified/Special Divorce Procedures in Oklahoma
Separation agreements are specifically authorized by statute.

Divorce Mediation or Counseling Requirements
The court may appoint an arbitrator for joint custody disputes which take place after a divorce.

Divorce Property Distribution
Oklahoma is an "equitable distribution" state. Each spouse is entitled to keep:

  1. the property owned by him or her before the marriage (and)
  2. any gifts or inheritances acquired during the marriage
All property held or acquired jointly during the marriage will be divided between the spouses in a just and reasonable manner. A portion of the jointly-held property may be set aside to 1 spouse for the support of any children who may live with that spouse. The only factors for consideration set out in the statute are:
  1. the way in which the property in question was held (and)
  2. the time and manner of the acquisition of the property
Marital fault is not a factor.

Alimony and Spousal Support
Alimony may be awarded to either spouse. The award may be in money or property, in lump sum or installments, having regard for the value of the property at the time of the award. Marital fault is not a consideration. There are no other factors for consideration set out in the statute. Alimony payments may be required to be paid through the clerk of the court.

Spouse's Name After Divorce
Upon request, a wife may have her former or maiden name restored upon divorce.

Child Custody After Divorce
Joint or sole child custody may be awarded based on the best interests of the child and upon a consideration of the preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age to form an intelligent preference. When it is in the best interests of the child, the court shall assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents and encourage the parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child-rearing. However, there is neither a preference for or against joint or sole custody. In determining custody, the court shall consider which parent is likely to allow frequent contact with the other parent. There is no preference either for or against private, public, or home schooling of children. The sex of the parent is not to be taken into consideration. Failure to allow visitation may be considered against the best interests of the child. The court may require that the parents submit a joint custody plan to the court if joint custody is desired.

Child Support After Divorce
The parent awarded custody of the child must provide for the education and support of the child to the best of his or her ability. If such support is inadequate, the non-custodial parent must assist in the support to the best of his or her ability. A portion of the non-custodial parent's property may be set aside for the custodial parent's use in supporting the child. The only factors for consideration set out in the statute are:

  1. the income and means of the parents
  2. the property and assets of the parents
There are official child support guidelines and compilation forms in the statute and forms are provided by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and are available from any court clerk. The amount of support as shown by the guidelines is presumed to be correct unless it is shown to be unjust, unreasonable, inappropriate, or inequitable under the particular circumstances of a case. Child support computation forms are available from the clerk of the court. Child support payments may be required to be paid through the clerk of the court. Security or bond may be required for the payments and income withholding may be used to guarantee the payments.


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