What are the different grounds for divorce?
In modern times incompatibility is the ground for divorce. Other grounds for divorce, e.g. grounds of neglect, abandonment and abuse still exist but they are not generally used and courts discourage their use.
No-Fault divorce means people can get divorced regardless of whether a spouse has been at “fault” or not. Years ago in order to get a divorce you had to have grounds for it such as abuse, neglect or abandonment. However, in modern divorces the basis for a divorce is that the parties are no longer compatible and the legitimate ends of the marriage have been destroyed. Therefore, there is no defense. If a person wants a divorce they can have a divorce.
An uncontested divorce is one in which the couple have no disputes over the divorce, custody or property and debt division. This means they agree they need a divorce and they agree on all the terms of the divorce.
How much does it cost to get divorced?
The cost of a divorce is dependent upon the complexity and the amount of time which has to be expended by the divorce attorney handling the divorce. A simple uncontested divorce of a couple with no children and little property and few debts can cost as low as around $1,000.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
The length of time necessary to complete a divorce depends on the complexity of the disputes between the couple and whether they have children or not. Again, an uncontested divorce of a couple with no children can be accomplished very quickly, within a few weeks.
A divorce in which there are minor children involved has a 90 day minimum requirement from the point in time when it is first filed until it can be finalized. If there are disputes over custody, money and debts it can take much longer to go through all the litigation processes and a trial to get the divorce finished.
A divorce is final as soon as the decree is signed by the judge and filed. Most states have a waiting period after a divorce is granted before a person can legally remarry but it is not enforced. Oklahoma family law requires a six-month waiting period before you can remarry, unless you are remarrying your former spouse.
How do I file for divorce in Oklahoma?
A divorce must be filed in either the county in which the petitioner has resided for the 30 days immediately preceding the filing of the divorce or in the county in which the respondent resides at the time of the filing of the divorce. When spouses file separate actions in counties that each have a proper venue, the county in which the first petition for divorce was filed is the proper county to adjudicate the divorce.
Upon the filing of a divorce, there is an order put in place to prevent either party transferring marital property unless it is in the usual course of the marriage, being used to retain a divorce lawyer or being used to purchase necessities. This is often referred to as ‘keeping the status quo’ until the divorce is finalized.
Will I have to go to court?
A divorce can’t be done without at least going to court once. In an uncontested divorce the parties are required to appear one time for the entry of the decree in order to announce to the judge that they are in agreement with all the terms of the divorce. Generally speaking any time there is a dispute between the parties that requires the judge to make a decision about the opposing positions the parties have to appear in court for a hearing. In this case a divorce attorney can help you to prepare for court and argue the case.
What do I do about custody, visitation, property, and other issues while the divorce is proceeding?
While the divorce is pending the normal course is for a temporary order to be made by the judge which governs the matters of:
and any other issues that require attention on a temporary basis. If the parties can agree on a temporary order there is no need for a hearing on it. However, if there are disputes about how things need to be handled while the divorce is pending then a hearing will be conducted to present evidence to the court so the judge can make a decision on how things should be handled temporarily while the divorce is pending.
How will our property be divided after the divorce?
The guiding principle for the court in dividing property is to do what is equitable and fair under the facts of the case. In making that decision the court looks at many factors such as how the property was obtained, for which person’s benefit was it acquired, who needs the property the most, and so forth. The courts generally start out with a 50/50 division of property attitude and then takes into consideration all the equitable and fairness factors relating to the division of the property.
Good to know: Equitable distribution is a method of dividing property at the time of divorce. Equitable distribution does not mean “equal” division. It means “fair” division. Oklahoma follows the principles of equitable distribution as do all U.S. states except for Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin
Who will have to pay off our debts?
Debts are divided between the parties to a divorce based on several different factors. Generally, the person that gets an asset also is held responsible to pay the debt on the property they receive. However, principles of equity and fairness under the circumstances are also taken into consideration. In the instance of credit card debt the court looks heavily at who was using the card and what the card was being used for in evaluating the fair and equitable division of the debt.
How is alimony determined?
Alimony is based on the need of the spouse requesting it and the ability to pay off the spouse payment is being requested from. In addition to need and ability to pay are factors of equity and fairness. The most common example of alimony being allowed is where one spouse passed up going to school in order to manage the household and support another spouse who was going to school to get a professional degree. Applying principles of equity and fairness the court may order the professional to pay the stay at home spouse alimony in order to be fair and give that spouse a chance to get started again.
How is child support determined?
Child support is determined by a statutory table. The amount of child support is based on the combined gross monthly income of the parties and the number of children of the marriage.
Do I need a divorce lawyer?
There is no legal requirement that a person have a divorce attorney to get a divorce in Oklahoma. In practice however the ordinary person does not have adequate knowledge of the law and factors of equity and fairness that courts apply to properly do their own divorce. There are forms that can be used but every case is different and the form based non-lawyer divorces many times wind up creating problems later that cost more to fix than the party would have spent to just use a divorce lawyer in the beginning.
Can my spouse and I use the same divorce attorney?
Yes, a couple can use one lawyer to do their divorce. However, this is a little misleading. An attorney can only represent one party. So, this only really works where the lawyer is technically hired by one of the parties and the other spouse is just unrepresented but agrees with everything.
Where we take divorce cases:
The experienced team of divorce attorneys at Ritchie, Rock, McBride and Atwood Law Firm serves clients across the state of Oklahoma. Our primary geographical practice regions for divorce are:
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