Oklahoma is a South Central State in the United States. It is bordered by Kansas to the north, Texas to its South and West and Missouri to the northeast. It has New Mexico to the west, Arkansas to its east and Colorado to the Northwest.
The state is the 28th most densely populated state in the U.S. It is a major producer of agricultural products, oil, as well as natural gas. The state’s economy is reliant on sectors like aviation, biotechnology, energy and telecommunications. You may want to learn more about Oklahoma here.
For residents of the state who wish to go through a divorce, there are laid down guidelines they must follow. This will be discussed below.
Divorce in Oklahoma
Divorce or dissolution of marriage is a procedure for putting an end to a marriage. It typically entails canceling or reorganizing legal duties as well as the responsibilities of a marital union. This in essence dissolves the bonds of matrimony between two married people by the rule of law.
Divorce laws are considerably different all over the world and in each country. A common theme though is that most require the courts or some higher authority to sanction the process legally. Each state within a country can have laws that also differ from other states.
In the U.S, the states have the authority to decide on divorce and not the federal government. Oklahoma like any other U.S state has the authority to accept a marriage as well as issue a divorce. They also have jurisdiction rules on the time frame that a person filing for divorce must have lived in Oklahoma.
Typically, a person is required to have been a physical resident of the state for at least 6 months. This is important as, without proper jurisdiction, the state cannot issue them a divorce.
Issues around marriage dissolution may include child custody and visitation/access rights, property distribution, alimony payments, child support and so on. Therefore the court will be required to step in and rule on the matter. There are various reasons why a couple may want to dissolve their marriage. These can vary from incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, or sexual issues.
Please, note that divorce differs from annulment. This rather is a situation where a marriage is declared null and void. That is, the couple is not deemed to have married. There is also what is called legal separation and de facto separation.
All these are not the same as a divorce. It means a legal marriage is dissolved and the two people involved are no longer married. You can see the differences between them here https://www.verywellmind.com/difference-between-divorce-and-annulment-2302038.
Filing For Divorce In Oklahoma
The process of divorce in Oklahoma is unique to each couple due in part that each marriage is unique. If a couple agrees on everything about their divorce, the process is seamless and as easy as filing documents with the court. They will also attend a brief hearing and wait for the final dissolution of their marriage.
In fact, a spouse may sign the Waiver of Appearance and the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage and not appear in court. With this, only the petitioner will be required to appear in court before the marriage is dissolved. If children are involved, then there is a need to sign other documents. These documents include the Joint Custody Plan and Child Support Computation amongst others.
For other couples, things might not be as straightforward. The process can take several months or years. This is especially if they have disputes over different issues like alimony, property division, child custody and so on.
Although you can hire an attorney to represent you, it is not necessary. You can decide to go through the process without one. This means you are representing yourself and it is a much cheaper option.
This is referred to as uncontested divorce. That is, you and your spouse are in agreement and you do not have to pay high attorney fees.
To do this, you can engage people that are experts in helping couples settle their divorce outside of the court. This helps you not only to save money but you save time as well. This means that you can begin your new life as soon as possible.
If you decide to go this route and represent yourself, they will help you draft the required documents. They can also provide you with instructions on how to fill the forms, as well as when and how to submit them. They will coach you through the steps involved in the process and tell you whom to meet at the Court Clerk’s office.
Steps Involved in The Filing Process
The dissolution process requires that you fill certain forms and having the right set of forms is crucial. One of the most important of these is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage form. There are several other forms you may need to fill depending on your unique situation.
After filling the forms, you need to
- Sign and notarize the petition.
- File the petition at the Court Clerk’s office.
- Have your spouse sign and notarize any document that needs their signature. You must wait a minimum of 24 hours after you have filed a petition before letting your spouse sign. This is because any document signed before 24 hours will be made void. You will need your spouse to re-sign and re-notarize it.
- Take the documents you are yet to file back to the Court clerk the same day you are set to see the judge.
Ensure that your spouse appends their signature where the respondent’s signature is required at the back of the decree. Do not notarize this part. Before doing this, your petition must be filed with the court first before your spouse signs anything. You can click here to learn more about the Oklahoma divorce process and how to go about it.
When appearing in court, be calm and dress appropriately. Also, do not forget to be nice to your spouse. If there are any disagreements, divorce experts can try to help resolve them if you contact them.
Divorce can be painful and as much as possible, no one willingly wants to go through the process. However, there are grounds where it is inevitable and you may have come to the conclusion to go through the process.
If you live in Oklahoma, there are certain guidelines to follow if you want to. It does not have to be complicated. You can choose to hire a divorce attorney or represent yourself. The latter is much cheaper and more straightforward.