Oklahoma Divorce Basics

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Oklahoma allows for the following fault-based grounds for divorce: abandonment of at least one year, adultery, impotency, habitual drunkenness, and impregnation of the wife by another man during the marriage.

Grounds for Divorce

Oklahoma allows for the following fault-based grounds for divorce: abandonment of at least one year, adultery, impotency, habitual drunkenness, and impregnation of the wife by another man during the marriage.

Oklahoma also recognizes incompatibility as a no-fault ground for divorce.

Residency Requirement and Waiting Period  

In order to file for divorce in Oklahoma, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before the divorce can be filed. The divorce can be filed in the county in which either of the spouses has lived for at least 30 days.

If a divorce involves minor children, the parties must wait at least three months from the day that the divorce was first filed before  the divorce can be finalized. A judge can waive that waiting period if one spouse can show good cause or if both spouses agree.  

After a divorce has been finalized, there is a mandatory six month waiting period before either of the parties can get married again. Exceptions to this rule are that the couple may marry each other again without waiting for the six months to pass, and a surviving spouse may remarry someone else after the other spouse's death before the six-month period has ended.

Property Division

Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will divide the marital property equitably between the spouses, rather than exactly in half. Property division only applies to marital property, so separate property (earned or acquired before the marriage or by gift or inheritance) remains with each individual spouse. If there was a prenuptial agreement, then the court will look to that contract first for the property division.  

Alimony

A judge may order alimony for either spouse, in the form of a money judgment or even an award of real or personal property. Alimony may be paid out in monthly installments or in one lump sum amount. If the paying spouse dies or the spouse receiving the alimony payments remarries, the alimony payments end.

The paying party may ask the court to modify the support order if that person can show changed circumstances giving rise to the inability to pay the support, or if the receiving party does not need the support anymore. Additionally, if the spouse receiving alimony cohabits with someone else, it may be grounds for terminating the alimony.

Child Support

Child support awards are calculated based on the combined gross monthly income of the parents and the number of children who need support. Oklahoma’s child support schedule covers amounts up to $15,000 in combined gross monthly income and a maximum of six children--once those numbers are exceeded, the court has discretion to determine the amount of support that's appropriate.

Generally, the court requires that all child support payments be paid through income assignment, which means that the child support will be directly taken out of the supporting parent's paycheck each month. If one of the parents shows the judge that there is a good reason not to participate in the income assignment or if the parents come to a different agreement, then the court may agree to make an exception to this rule. You can find more information about child support at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services website.

Child Custody

The Oklahoma court uses the best interest of the child standard when determining custody arrangements. This means that the court will consider what is mentally, physically, and emotionally best for the child. When making a custody determination, one of the most important factors a ja judge will consider which parent is more likely to allow the child to continue frequent contact with the other parent. A judge cannot prefer that one parent get custody of the child just because that parent is the same gender as the child.

Oklahoma Statutes

43-123: Remarriage after divorce
43-107.1: Waiting period

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