The following information is to provide a basic understanding of the various aspects of Oklahoma divorce.
for more specific information regarding Oklahoma divorce laws.
Every effort has been made to assure that the information contained in these pages is accurate however, due to the ever changing nature of the law some material may be outdated or may no longer apply.
|Residency Requirements ||The petitioner or the respondent in an action for divorce or annulment of a marriage must have been an actual resident, in good faith, of the state, for six (6) months immediately preceding the filing of the petition. |
B. Any person who has been a resident of any United States army post or military reservation within the State of Oklahoma, for six (6) months immediately preceding the filing of the petition, may bring action for divorce or annulment of a marriage or may be sued for divorce or annulment of a marriage.
|Where to File ||An action for divorce or annulment of a marriage may be filed in the county in which the petitioner has been a resident for the thirty (30) days immediately preceding the filing of the petition or in the county in which the respondent is a resident|
|Grounds for Divorce ||The district court may grant a divorce for any of the following causes:
- Abandonment for one (1) year
- When the wife at the time of her marriage, was pregnant by another than her husband
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Habitual drunkenness
- Gross neglect of duty
- Imprisonment of the other party in a state or federal penal institution under sentence thereto for the commission of a felony at the time the petition is filed
- The procurement of a final divorce decree without this state by a husband or wife which does not in this state release the other party from the obligations of the marriage
- Insanity for a period of five (5) years, the insane person having been an inmate of a state institution for the insane in the State of Oklahoma, or inmate of a state institution for the insane in some other state for such period, or of a private sanitarium, and affected with a type of insanity with a poor prognosis for recovery; provided, that no divorce shall be granted because of insanity until after a thorough examination of such insane person by three physicians, one of which physicians shall be a superintendent of the hospital or sanitarium for the insane, in which the insane defendant is confined, and the other two physicians to be appointed by the court before whom the action is pending, any two of such physicians shall agree that such insane person, at the time the petition in the divorce action is filed, has a poor prognosis for recovery; provided, further, however, that no divorce shall be granted on this ground to any person whose husband or wife is an inmate of a state institution in any other than the State of Oklahoma, unless the person applying for such divorce shall have been a resident of the State of Oklahoma for at least five (5) years prior to the commencement of an action; and provided further, that a decree granted on this ground shall not relieve the successful party from contributing to the support and maintenance of the defendant. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the insane defendant, which appointment shall be made at least ten (10) days before any decree is entered.
|Voluntary or required mediation ||Yes|
|Voluntary or recommended Counseling||Yes|
|Property Distribution ||State statutes now provide for the "equitable" distribution of the marital property of the marriage at the time of the final divorce between the parties. "Marital Property" is defined as all jointly owned property and all other property, other than separate property, acquired by either or both of the parties during the marriage and up to the time of the final separation of the parties. "Separate Property" is property owned by one party at the time of the marriage or inherited property or gifts to one party from a third person and maintained as separate property.|
|Child Custody ||In awarding the custody of a minor unmarried child or in appointing a general guardian for said child, the court shall consider what appears to be in the best interests of the physical and mental and moral welfare of the child. |
The court may grant the care, custody, and control of a child to either parent or to the parents jointly. The terms joint custody and joint care, custody, and control mean the sharing by parents in all or some of the aspects of physical and legal care, custody, and control of their children.
If either or both parents have requested joint custody, said parents shall file with the court their plans for the exercise of joint care, custody, and control of their child. The parents of the child may submit a plan jointly, or either parent or both parents may submit separate plans. Any plan shall include but is not limited to provisions detailing the physical living arrangements for the child, child support obligations, medical and dental care for the child, school placement, and visitation rights. A plan shall be accompanied by an affidavit signed by each parent stating that said parent agrees to the plan and will abide by its terms. The plan and affidavit shall be filed with the petition for a divorce or legal separation or after said petition is filed.
The court shall issue a final plan for the exercise of joint care, custody, and control of the child or children, based upon the plan submitted by the parents, separate or jointly, with appropriate changes deemed by the court to be in the best interests of the child. The court also may reject a request for joint custody and proceed as if the request for joint custody had not been made.
The parents having joint custody of the child may modify the terms of the plan for joint care, custody, and control. The modification to the plan shall be filed with the court and included with the plan. If the court determines the modifications are in the best interests of the child, the court shall approve the modifications.
The court also may modify the terms of the plan for joint care, custody, and control upon the request of one parent. The court shall not modify the plan unless the modifications are in the best interests of the child.
The court may terminate a joint custody decree upon the request of one or both of the parents or whenever the court determines said decree is not in the best interests of the child.
Upon termination of a joint custody decree, the court shall proceed and issue a modified decree for the care, custody, and control of the child as if no such joint custody decree had been made.
In the event of a dispute between the parents having joint custody of a child as to the interpretation of a provision of said plan, the court may appoint an arbitrator to resolve said dispute. The arbitrator shall be a disinterested person knowledgeable in domestic relations law and family counseling. The determination of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the parties to the proceedings until further order of the court.
If a parent refuses to consent to arbitration, the court may terminate the joint custody decree.
|Child Support ||Except in those cases where parties represented by counsel have agreed to a different disposition, there shall be a rebuttable presumption in any judicial or administrative proceeding for the award of child support, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of the following guidelines is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.|
All child support shall be computed as a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents. The Child Support Guideline Schedule as provided in Section 119 of this title shall be used for such computation. The child support obligations of each parent shall be computed. The obligor's share shall be paid monthly to the obligee and shall be due on a specific date.
|Spousal Support ||In any divorce decree which provides for periodic alimony payments, the court shall plainly state, at the time of entering the original decree, the dollar amount of all or a portion of each payment which is designated as support and the dollar amount of all or a portion of the payment which is a payment pertaining to a division of property. The court shall specify in the decree that the payments pertaining to a division of property shall continue until completed. Payments pertaining to a division of property are irrevocable and not subject to subsequent modification by the court making the award. An order for the payment of money pursuant to a divorce decree, whether designated as support or designated as pertaining to a division of property shall not be a lien against the real property of the person ordered to make such payments unless the court order specifically provides for a lien on real property. An arrearage in payments of support reduced to a judgment may be a lien against the real property of the person ordered to make such payments.