You can get an uncontested divorce (known as "dissolution of marriage" in Oklahoma) if you and your spouse can agree on how you'll handle the issues involved in ending a marriage, rather than going to trial and having a judge decide for you.
In Oklahoma, there are two ways to go about an uncontested divorce:
No matter when or how you reach a comprehensive settlement on all of your divorce issues, you will save on the expense of divorce—not to mention the time and stress of a trial—even if you need to pay for divorce mediation to help you get to the agreement. And if you can agree at the outset of the proceeding, what's commonly known as a "waiver divorce" is the least-expensive and quickest way to obtain a dissolution of your marriage in Oklahoma.
Many couples are able to go through a waiver divorce on their own or with the help of an online divorce service. Depending on your circumstances, however, it could be a good idea to have a lawyer review your marital settlement agreement to make sure it's fair and protects all of your legal rights. This is particularly the case when you have complex assets to divide, like retirement plans or a family business.
This article explains the basic steps and requirements for a waiver divorce in Oklahoma.
In order to get a dissolution of your marriage in Oklahoma, you or your spouse must have actually lived in the state (or been stationed there during military duty) during the six-month period immediately before you file. In addition, either you or your spouse must have lived for at least 30 days in the county where you file the divorce petition. (Okla. Stat. tit. 43 §§ 102, 103 (2021).)
Oklahoma doesn't have a procedure for filing a joint petition for uncontested divorce. Instead, one spouse (the "petitioner") must start the proceeding by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. Among other things, the petition must state the ground (or legal reason) for the divorce. Oklahoma allows fault-based grounds for divorce, but for an uncontested divorce you must choose the state's only "no-fault" ground: incompatibility (Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 101 (2021).)
The dissolution petition should request "relief" (such as how your property and assets will be divided, payment of alimony/maintenance, child custody, and child support) in line with the settlement agreement that you and your spouse have reached.
You may need to include other forms along with the petition. Oklahoma state courts don't provide self-help forms online, but you can check with the court clerk's office in your county to get the forms and instructions. Or, to simplify the process, you can use an online divorce service that will provide the completed forms once you answer some initial questions.
You will have to pay a fee when you file the paperwork. The filing fees vary from county to county and may be different depending on whether you have minor children. If you can't afford the fees, you may file an affidavit requesting that the fees be waived.
In standard divorce proceedings, the dissolution petition must be served on the other spouse (the "respondent"). In Oklahoma, however, the respondent may instead waive this service—hence, the term "waiver divorce." In order for the waiver to be valid, the respondent must sign an "entry of appearance and waiver of service"—no sooner than one full day after the petition was filed—and then must file the notarized, signed form with the court.
You must also file other documents before the final hearing in a waiver divorce, although couples typically include them with the petition and other initial paperwork. These documents include:
If you have children, you may be required to attend a class about the impact of divorce and coparenting on children. You may also need to attend a parenting plan conference. (Okla. Stat. § 107.2 (2021).)
After a short waiting period, you may request the final hearing on your divorce. If you and your spouse don't have minor children, the judge may issue your final divorce order once 10 days have passed after you filed the petition. If you do still have children under the age of 18, the waiting period is generally 90 days, unless:
There are also certain circumstances that make a case exempt from the waiting period (such as a parent's conviction for child abuse), but these aren't likely to apply in waiver divorce cases. (Okla. Stats. § 107.1, Okla. Okla. Dist. Ct. Rule 8 (2021).)