In Oklahoma, it is possible to obtain an uncontested divorce in as little as ten days through a process known as a "waiver divorce." A waiver divorce is an uncontested procedure that allows couples to end their marriage without the cost and delay common to traditional divorce. In some cases, you might be comfortable enough to file for divorce without a lawyer when using the "waiver" divorce method.
In Oklahoma, the court uses the terms "divorce" and "dissolution of marriage" interchangeably. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43 § 105 (E).) Also, instead of referring to the couple as plaintiff and defendant, the court uses the terms "petitioner" and "defendant" on all court paperwork. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43 § 105 (B).)
To file a dissolution in Oklahoma, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months. The spouses can file in either party's county of residence as long as the person has lived there at least 30 days. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43 § 102.)
A waiver dissolution of marriage is only available to spouses who agree on all the issues in their case, including the reason for the divorce. In Oklahoma, couples have the option to file a "fault" or "no-fault" divorce. With the waiver divorce process, couples may only utilize the state's no-fault process—meaning you can only tell the court that the reason for your breakup is that you and your spouse are incompatible. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43 § 101.)
In addition to agreeing on the "grounds" for your divorce, both of you must also agree on potentially complex issues such as property division, child custody, assignment of debts, distribution of retirement assets, child support, and spousal support. If the spouses have any outstanding disputes on any of the issues in their case, they must file a contested divorce.
In a waiver dissolution, the couple will agree on all of their divorce-related issues before they even file paperwork with the court—this allows them to submit all their dissolution documents at once. The "waiver" part of the procedure refers to waiving service of process. In the United States, the law entitles all parties to a lawsuit to receive notice that someone filed a lawsuit. Divorce is no different. In Oklahoma, a respondent can waive the service notification by submitting a piece of paper to the court, acknowledging receipt of the documents.
At a minimum, spouses must file the following forms:
Additionally, couples must file the following documents before the final hearing in their case:
In waiver cases, it is customary for the spouses to file their marital settlement agreement, parenting plan, and other forms at the same time they submit the petition paperwork.
Once you file your paperwork, couples without minor children must wait ten days before the final hearing in their case. There is a 90-day waiting period for couples with children. Additionally, the majority of counties require parents to attend a special class that explains how divorce impacts children. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43 § 107.2.)
A waiver dissolution of marriage is an attractive option for couples who want a fast alternative to a prolonged divorce battle. In many cases, it is possible for spouses with no children and uncomplicated assets to prepare their own documents. Working out issues and differences on your own can help you feel like you have control over your divorce.
Review the Oklahoma State divorce statutes, Title 43, beginning with Section 101.