Divorce is one of life’s most consequential events and it can have a profound and lasting impact on individuals and their families. At MM Legal Group, we provide legal guidance and affordable, flexible legal services to those needing assistance with the divorce process in Oklahoma. If you are contemplating divorce in Oklahoma, our team will walk you through each step of the divorce process, answering any questions you may have along the way. Below is an overview of how an experienced divorce attorney can help you through this challenging time.
How a Divorce Attorney Can Help You
At MM Legal Group, we understand the difficulties inherent in the Oklahoma divorce process. When you come to us for assistance, we will do everything in our power to make the process as smooth and painless as possible for you and your family. Our primary family law practice areas include:
Divorce: If you are considering getting a divorce in Oklahoma, it is essential that you take steps to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. When you come to us for assistance, our staff and attorneys will guide you through the divorce process while taking the steps necessary to ensure that your new future is secure.
Child Custody: At MM Legal Group, we understand how difficult divorce or separation can be when children are involved. When handling your divorce or paternity case, we will work to ensure that you maintain your relationship with your children while always keeping their best interests at the forefront.
Child Support: Finally, whether you owe or are entitled to child support, we will assist you in this area in your Oklahoma divorce case. Our legal experts can help ease the burden of child support enforcement, arrearage collection, and modification of existing child support.
What To Know About Divorce and Custody proceedings in Oklahoma
Timeline: It is impossible for our attorneys to determine the length of your divorce matter. However, we can tell you that when children are involved in a divorce there is a ninety (90) day mandatory waiting period from the time you file the Petition to the time you finalize the divorce. This may be waived by a Judge in certain circumstances, but that is not always guaranteed. When children are not involved, the mandatory waiting period decreases to only ten (10) days. In a Paternity action, these waiting periods do not apply.
Grounds for divorce: A divorce in Oklahoma may be granted on one of several statutory grounds, including adultery, abandonment, fraud, cruelty, imprisonment, conviction of a felony, and living apart. However, most divorces in Oklahoma are granted on a no-fault basis, which means that the marriage has deteriorated beyond the point of reconciliation.
Residency requirements: To obtain a divorce in Oklahoma, generally either the plaintiff or the defendant must have been a resident of the state for the six months preceding the filing of the divorce petition. If children are involved, the child must have also resided in Oklahoma for that period of time. The county in which your case will be heard is also mostly based upon where the child has lived, though they must have only lived in that county for thirty days.
Property distribution: Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court in a divorce case must divide marital property fairly. However, in this context, fair does not mean equal. In other words, each spouse in an Oklahoma divorce is not entitled to an equal share of marital property.
Child support: Like most other family law issues, the court determines matters of child support in Oklahoma divorce and custody cases. The court may order one or both parties to pay an amount necessary to support any marital children. Child support is considered to be the right of the child rather than the parent, so sometimes courts will not approve an order awarding NO child support.
Child custody: When making child custody determinations, Oklahoma courts consider, above all else, the best interests of the child(ren). When the parents are in agreement regarding child custody, they can submit a proposed arrangement to the court for approval. However, depending on the circumstances, the court may suggest modifications to the agreement.
MM Legal Group is here to assist you with all your family law needs. Whether you need assistance with divorce, child custody, child support, adoption or any other family law matter, our team will provide you with expert legal representation while working diligently towards a successful result in your family law case. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Divorce Lawyer FAQ's
Am I required to hire a divorce lawyer?
You are not required a divorce lawyer to assist you with your divorce in Oklahoma. However, your odds of a successful outcome drastically improve when you enlist the services of an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney. Furthermore, when a party proceeds “pro se” (without an attorney), he or she is held to the same standard as an attorney and expected to know the rules, procedures, and regulations as well as an attorney would. Keep in mind that if you don't hire an attorney now, there is a possibility that you will have to hire one later to fix any mistakes that were made - we can help with this as well.
How is a contested divorce different from an uncontested divorce?
A contested divorce occurs when a married couple cannot agree to the terms of their divorce. This type of divorce requires court intervention and is akin to a typical civil lawsuit. With an uncontested divorce, however, the parties come to an agreement concerning issues such as the division of real and personal property, the division of debts, child custody, child support, spousal support, and other matters that are often litigated in a contested divorce. The cost of litigation is often directly influenced by the level of contest between the parties.
What is the alimony law in Oklahoma?
Either spouse may request alimony in an Oklahoma divorce action. However, the spouse making the request must demonstrate a need for support and the ability of the paying spouse to afford payments and remain financially independent. Moreover, the need of the requesting spouse must be related to the parties’ marriage. Examples of factors judges may consider when making alimony decisions in Oklahoma include:
The length of the marriage
The earning capacity of each spouse
The income and liabilities of each spouse
The health and age of each spouse
The marital standard of living
How are assets divided in a divorce in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property in a divorce action must be divided fairly. Such division may occur either through a joint agreement by both spouses or through a decision of the court.
What is considered “marital property” and “separate property” in a divorce?
Separate property most often consists of property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage, property obtained by either party after separation, gifts from a third party to either spouse during the marriage, and property inherited by either spouse during the marriage. Each of these items can become marital property if they are “co-mingled”. Anything that isn’t separate property is considered marital property. Of course, the actual determination of whether property is “marital” or “separate” requires a much more in-depth professional analysis and we are happy to discuss further if you are unsure about your own assets.
Do grandparents have any rights in Oklahoma?
Grandparents have visitation privileges in Oklahoma, but this can be difficult process. Those privileges are secondary to, and cannot conflict with, the custodial rights of the biological parents. As with all other determinations of custody and visitation, the child’s best interests are paramount. When determining whether grandparent visitation is within the child’s best interests, the Court will consider the following:
the needs of and importance to the child for a continuing pre-existing relationship with the grandparent and the age and reasonable preference of the child,
the willingness of the grandparent or grandparents to encourage a close relationship between the child and the parent or parents,
the length, quality and intimacy of the preexisting relationship between the child and the grandparent,
the love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parent and child,
the motivation and efforts of the grandparent to continue the preexisting relationship with the grandchild,
the motivation of parent or parents denying visitation,
the mental and physical health of the grandparent or grandparents,
the mental and physical health of the child,
the mental and physical health of the parent or parents,
whether the child is in a permanent, stable, satisfactory family unit and environment,
the moral fitness of the parties,
the character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the homes of the parties and such person's interactions with the child,
the quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact the visitation will have on the customary activities of the child, and
if both parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining the preexisting relationship.