Divorce can be expensive and complicated. Separating your life from a spouse comes with many complications. Most of these you might expect, but there are probably at least a few that will catch you off guard. That’s why it’s important to understand the divorce process before you undertake it—educating yourself on what to expect can save you time, money, and stress. This article will look at what is required for an Oklahoma divorce and then the first few steps you can take to begin the process.
The residency requirements for an Oklahoma divorce are simple. At least one of the spouses filing for divorce must have lived in the county they are filing in for at least 30 days. Also, one or both spouses must have lived in Oklahoma for at least six months. Another requirement for divorce is the reason for the separation. Oklahoma allows spouses to sue for divorce based on a list of fault grounds that include things like adultery or abuse. However, most of the time, this is not required. Divorces are granted by the state when one spouse declares “irreconcilable differences.” This often means one or both spouses are unable or unwilling to continue the marriage, and they would prefer to keep the exact reason private.
The Divorce Petition
The first step in filing for divorce is to prepare and file a petition for divorce with the court clerk in your county. Your spouse will have a limited time to respond to the petition. It is then time to negotiate the terms of a possible agreement. Whether divorcing spouses agree on the issues or not, the process can move smoothly. If they cannot agree, a hearing before a judge is necessary.
In general, there are two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. The separation of assets, separation of debts, child custody and child support are examples of what an agreement may resolve. If the two divorcing spouses agree on these matters, it will be an uncontested divorce. If they cannot agree, the court must make these decisions for them in a contested divorce hearing. Contested divorces can take much more time and cost substantially more money than uncontested divorces.