Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Oklahoma No Fault Divorce

According to Oklahoma no fault divorce laws, divorce can be obtained only on the basis of “no-fault” grounds where none of the spouses need to prove that the other spouse is at “fault”. Hence, the matter of blame-game is no more prevalent in the state of Oklahoma. Earlier, divorce could be obtained in the state of Oklahoma only on “fault grounds”, where the grounds were: adultery, abandonment, impotency, gross neglect of duty etc. now, in the state of Oklahoma, divorce can be obtained only on “no fault grounds” as the courts consider all divorce cases to be due to “incompatibility” which has caused the marriage to “irretrievably break down”.

Practically speaking, one can file for divorce in the state of Oklahoma even if the other spouse is not willing to accept the divorce. Divorce laws stipulate that unhappy spouses can not be forced to stay in the marriage, and the divorce would be granted even if there is unwillingness in the part of others.

Residential requirement in Oklahoma no fault divorce

In order to get a divorce in the state of Oklahoma, it is mandatory for at least one spouse to have stayed in the state for 6 months prior to filing of the divorce. Filing of the divorce is permitted in the county in which a person has been residing for the last 30 days or where the spouse is currently residing.

Waiting period in Oklahoma no fault divorce

After filing for divorce, a person has to wait for 90 days before the actual process of considering the ‘petition for dissolution of marriage’ takes place. This time period is to provide an opportunity of reconciliation between the spouses. If there is no scope of reconciliation, then the courts would award divorce depending on the “contesting issues” such as child custody or property division or spousal support etc. If the partners are not willing to settle these matters among themselves, then this becomes a “contested no fault divorce case”. The court calls for a trial in order to discuss the matter and the entire process of divorce would take longer.

If the grounds for divorce are based on “fault”, where the other spouse has indulged in some “wrongdoing” or is insane etc, then the waiting period of 90 days is waived off. The trial for the matter would begin at the earliest

Property division in Oklahoma no fault divorce

The matter of property division in the state of Oklahoma is “equitable distribution of property” where the property is divided among the spouses equitably and not necessarily equally. Courts would determine what the marital property is and what “separate property” is. “Marital property” is the one which has been acquired during the course of marriage and separate property refers to the property acquired before the marriage or after filing of divorce petition has been done. Property acquired in the form of “gift” is also considered here.

While equitably dividing the property, courts look into the financial needs of the spouses, health and age of each spouse, the contribution of each spouse in the making of the home etc. In most of the no fault divorce cases, spouses are willing to settle the matter of property division among each other “outside the courts” in order to avoid ugly court battles and also save money. If there are disputes regarding this matter, then courts would step in to equitably divide the property.

Child custody in Oklahoma no fault divorce

The matter of child custody is again a major point of debate among the spouses. In most of no fault divorce cases, spouses are asked to participate in child custody mediation programmes which help them to formulate a parenting plan and arrive at a visitation schedule so that both the parents are involved in the raising up of the child. If they fail to arrive at a consensus over custody matters, then courts would be bound to intervene. Courts then would follow OK child custody guidelines which are based on the “best interests of the child”. Also the child’s safety, security and welfare are most important according to child custody laws.

If a parent disputes over the matter that the presence of the other parent has detrimental effect on the child, then the matter of custody becomes more complicated, courts would determine all police records, criminal records etc to see which parent must get the custody of the child.

The decision to raise disputes in the court or try to settle “outside the court’ depends on the spouse filing for divorce. A divorce attorney is the best guide to let the person know of how much time and money might be involved if the case goes for trial. One must consider all the matters and then only file for divorce on fault grounds.

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