If you are like many people, your decision to get a divorce was a stressful on to make. Now that you have arrived at this decision, though, you want to move forward as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. Fortunately, getting a divorce in Oklahoma can be a straightforward process. Depending on your circumstances, it may be as simple as filling out the required Oklahoma divorce papers and submitting it to your local county court.
The simplest and least expensive divorces are possible when both spouses agree on all major components of the divorce, including the need to get a divorce, how the property will be divided up and how the children will be taken care of (if there are children). If this is the kind of divorce you are expecting, you can begin the process immediately and may even qualify to complete Oklahoma divorce papers online with CompleteCase.com.
Other married couples face a much more challenging situation. If there are major disagreements on issues like child custody, child support, spousal support and property division, these disagreements will need to be resolved. Oklahoma courts prefer for divorcing couples to come to their own terms, but if necessary, the court will make the final decision. The least expensive way to resolve such differences is through divorce mediation. If mediation is not possible, the only option left is to argue your position in front of a judge. At this point it is recommended that both parties seek representation from a divorce attorney.
We compiled the following information to help you to better understand how divorce works in Oklahoma, and how to begin your own divorce process.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2011 the divorce rate in Oklahoma was 5.2 for every 1,000 residents. This puts Oklahoma's divorce rate at the upper end of divorce rates by state, where only a few states having a higher rate.
Oklahoma requires that you or your spouse have been a resident of the state for at least six months for you to file for divorce. When you file, you can either file in either the county where your spouse is a resident, or in the county where you have been a resident for at least 30 days.
Oklahoma has both fault-based and no-fault divorce. In a fault-based divorce, you must choose one of 12 reasons for divorce, including adultery, extreme cruelty and abandonment for at least a year. In a no-fault divorce, you only need to claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and that it cannot be repaired.
Many people prefer to seek a no-fault divorce because it prevents the need to discuss embarrassing private matters in front of the court. However, there are some reasons why people choose a fault-based divorce. Issues like adultery and cruelty can help influence the court's decision on matters like child custody and spousal support.
If you have children that are under 18, Oklahoma also requires that your divorce not be finalized for at least three months after you file. You also have to wait on getting remarried for six months after your divorce is finalized.
Oklahoma requires two main forms to begin the divorce process, although there may be others you need depending on the county you are filing and your individual circumstances. The first required form is the “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage”, where you detail information about you and your spouse, along with your reason for getting divorced. The second form is the “Notice of Summons”, which shows that you are notifying your spouse of the divorce.
Because the specific forms you file will vary depending on your circumstances, many people in Oklahoma find it helpful to get their complete their divorce papers online with CompleteCase.com. Our divorce form preparation service will identify the forms you need, and will assist filling out those forms accurately and completely. Failure to submit the right documents or filling out forms incorrectly can result in significant delays in your divorce, making online divorce documents from CompleteCase.com a great option if you want peace of mind.
When you have completed all of your Oklahoma divorce papers, you will need to file them with your county clerk. It is best to contact your county clerk to verify that you are bringing all the necessary forms and documentation, along with an accepted form of payment to pay the state filing fee.
Make at least two copies of your original documents, one for your records and one to serve to your spouse. Also, avoid signing any statements or affidavits until you are in front of a notary public. The court may have a notary available to witness your signature.
The final step in filing your divorce papers is to serve copies to your spouse. The serving process is necessary to ensure that everyone knows what is going on, and it provides your spouse the opportunity to respond as he or she sees fit.
In Oklahoma, you have the option of hiring a sheriff's deputy to serve your spouse, or a private process server to deliver the divorce papers. A sheriff's deputy can sometimes be less expensive, but the deputy will usually only attempt to serve the documents one time for a set fee. A private process server will charge more, but will usually make several attempts to deliver the divorce documents before charging you again. You can also serve your spouse by certified mail, as long as you believe he or she will respond to the summons. Oklahoma will grant a divorce as quickly as 10 days – if there are no children and you are both in agreement. Otherwise it will take at least 90 days for the divorce to finalize.