Understand the Oklahoma Divorce Laws, Alimony Guidelines, and Settlement Rules
Filing for divorce can involve headaches about how your finances will be affected by a judgment.
DoNotPay is here to help with a look at Oklahoma divorce laws—alimony does not need to be as frightening as you thought if you understand the system!
To be eligible to file for divorce in Oklahoma, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for the last six months and the county where you file for at least the last 30 days.
The state recognizes two types of divorce, namely:
- At-fault divorce
- No-fault divorce
This is now a less common option, which means that one spouse has to prove the other is guilty of:
- Alcoholism or drug addiction
- Infidelity resulting in a pregnancy
- Neglect of financial duty
If you are the plaintiff, the burden is on you to prove your allegations.
A no-fault divorce can be granted if one spouse claims that:
- The marriage has irretrievably broken down
- Irreconcilable differences exist between the two spouses
A judge is not allowed to question the motives for divorce in no-fault cases, but a spouse’s misdemeanors may be taken into account when it comes to deciding on a settlement.
No-fault divorces can be classified as:
|No-Fault Divorce Types||Explanation|
|Contested||The spouses cannot reach a compromise, so the matter must be decided in court and a judgment imposed|
|Uncontested||Both spouses agree on and sign a settlement document that they file with the court before the first hearing. In such cases, a judge will usually check the agreement and grant the divorce after a single court hearing|
There are three types of alimony available in Oklahoma, namely:
- Temporary support
- Rehabilitative alimony
- Permanent spousal support
This can be awarded to enable a spouse to live during the divorce hearings.
Temporary support ends as soon as the divorce is finalized.
A judge may grant rehabilitative alimony to enable a spouse to retrain or re-enter the workforce.
This can also involve the costs of relocating to find a job. It is also a finite, short-term type of alimony.
In the final judgment, a court may award permanent alimony to one spouse if:
- The marriage has lasted a long time
- One spouse is incapable of generating an income due to:
- Old age
- Long absence from the employment market
Oklahoma does not stipulate how long permanent alimony should last, and it is left to the discretion of the judge in each case to make a ruling.
When deciding on alimony, a judge will take the following factors into account:
- How old each spouse is
- What is each spouse’s ability to earn
- What ongoing expenses each spouse has
- How much disposable income the supporting spouse has
- What standard of living each spouse enjoyed before the divorce
- How much each spouse contributed during the marriage
Judges have a lot of latitude in deciding alimony rulings. If one spouse has been guilty of any of the grounds for an at-fault divorce, a judge can take this into account even though the divorce is a no-fault case.
The best way to avoid a judge making a ruling on how much alimony should be paid is to work towards an uncontested—or friendly—divorce.
This entails drawing up a divorce settlement agreement that regulates every aspect of your financial and family responsibilities after your divorce.
If the two of you can work out an out-of-court settlement, you may be able to solve the problem of alimony without the judge intervening.
Besides alimony, your settlement agreement needs to cover:
- Child custody, child support, and shared parenting arrangements
- Division of assets, real estate, and liabilities
A divorce settlement agreement is a legal document that needs to pass muster with a judge before your divorce can be granted.
You can use the following resources to have your agreement drafted:
|Settlement Agreement Resources||Explanation|
|Lawyer||Attorneys are the traditional choice to negotiate and draft settlement agreements, but this can quickly become expensive. An uncontested Oklahoma divorce can easily cost $6,000 per spouse in lawyers’ fees alone|
|Mediation||A cheaper alternative is to avoid lawyers and negotiate face-to-face with your spouse under the guidance of a trained mediator|
|Online divorce service||Various online providers offer settlement agreement templates for you to fill out. If no arguments exist between you and your spouse, you may be able to use this route, but you should be careful—these templates are frequently too generic to cover your needs and could be rejected as inadequate by a judge|
DoNotPay has the best solution—you can use our resources to generate a customized, watertight settlement agreement in a few clicks, with no lawyers’ fees necessary!
DoNotPay believes that your divorce settlement and alimony payments should be fair, but they should be your decision!
Our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature is designed to help you create an agreement that keeps your hands on the controls. You will get a document that reflects the terms you and your spouse have agreed on, and that will pass muster with an Oklahoma judge!
Here’s what you need to do to get your settlement agreement:
- Go to DoNotPay in your web browser and sign up
- Click on our Divorce Settlement Agreement product
- Follow the prompts and fill out the terms you have agreed on
Once you are done, your agreement will be ready in an instant.
You and your spouse can sign it and have it notarized.
Need specific info on divorces in Oklahoma County? Look no further than DoNotPay!
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