Oklahoma Divorce Law
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Divorce Residency Essentials to Get Divorce in Oklahoma
Either spouse must have been a resident of Oklahoma for six 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. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Sections 102 and 103].
Reasons for Divorce in Oklahoma
There are mainly two reasons of divorce in Oklahoma those are fault and general.In order to file for divorce in Oklahoma, the proper grounds must be established. Both spouses are involved in establishing these grounds, and both must substantiate and agree upon these, unless the divorcing spouse is trying to prove otherwise to the court.
No-fault grounds are fora dissolution of the marriage, and in Oklahoma,include:
- Incompatibility. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Section 101].
General reasons fordivorce in Oklahoma include:
- Abandonment for one year;
- Confinement for incurable insanity for five years;
- Cruel and inhuman treatment;
- Habitual intemperance (drunkenness);
- The wife pregnant by another at the time of the marriage;
- Gross neglect; and
- A foreign divorce which is not valid in Oklahoma. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Section 101].
Custody of the Children in Oklahoma
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. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Sections 109 and 112].
Property Distribution in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is an “equitable distribution” state. Each spouse is entitled to keep:
- The property owned by him or her before the marriage and
- 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 one spouse for the support of any children who may live with that spouse. The only factors for consideration set out in the statute are:
- The way in which the property in question was held and
- The time and manner of the acquisition of the property.
An automatic injunction against disposing or damaging of property or altering any insurance policy goes into effect at the time of the first court hearing. Marital fault is not a factor. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Sections 110 and 121].
Oklahoma Spousal Support Guidelines
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. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Sections 121 and 136].
Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines
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:
- The income and means of the parents and
- 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. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Sections 110, 112, 118, 119, 121, and 136 and Title 56, Sections 235+].
The court may appoint an arbitrator for joint custody disputes which take place after a divorce. [Oklahoma Statutes Annotated; Title 43, Section 109].