Oklahoma Divorce Law

Divorce – State Law Summary – Oklahoma

Notes:  This summary is not intended to be an all-inclusive summary of the laws of divorce in the State of Nevada, but does contain basic and other procedures.

Oklahoma law permits divorces based upon several different causes. Among the are:
1.  Abandonment for one (1) year.
2.  Adultery.
3.  Impotence.
4.  When wife at time of marriage is pregnant for someone other than her husband.
5.  Extreme cruelty.
6.  Fraudulent contract.
7.  Habitual drunkenness.
8.  Gross neglect of duty.
9.  Imprisonment for the commission of a felony.
10.  Insanity for a period of five (5) years, and
11.  the “no-fault” ground of incompatibility of the parties. OSA 43-101

Residency requirements
Oklahoma law requires that one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for a minimum of six (6) months immediately prior to the filing of the petition for divorce.  OSA 43-102

The petition may be filed in the county where the plaintiff has been a resident for at least thirty (30) days, or where the defendant resides. OSA 43-103

Name of court and title of action/parties
Actions for divorce in the State of Oklahoma are filed in the District Court.  The name of the action initiating the divorce is the Petition for Divorce, while the title of the action granting the divorce is referred to as the Decree of Divorce.  The party who files the action is the Plaintiff, while the other party to the action is the DefendantOSA 43-101

Legal separation
Oklahoma law permits a spouse to bring an action for alimony against the other spouse without a divorce. The defenses to this action are the same as for a divorce action.  OSA 43-129

Waiting period
In a divorce action involving minor children, the court will not issue a decree of divorce until ninety (90) days have elapsed from the date of the filing of the petition.  In addition, it is unlawful for a party to divorce action to remarry (except to each other) or cohabit with another for six months from the date of decree. Any person who violates this provision is guilty of bigamy and may be imprisoned for a term of not less than one (1) year and not more than three (3) years in the State Penitentiary.  OSA 43-107.1, 43-123

Either spouse may be awarded alimony out of real and personal property of the other spouse as the court deems reasonable. The court shall make such award either in a lump sum or in installments, as it deems reasonable and just.  The obligation to pay alimony terminates upon the death or remarriage of the recipient or upon the voluntary cohabitation of the recipient with a member of the opposite sex.  OSA 43-121

Distribution of property
Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court will divide the marital property between the parties as it deems equitable and just. The court may divide the property in kind, or by setting aside the property to one party and requiring the other party to be paid in such amount as may be fair and just to effect and equitable division. OSA 43-121

Child custody
Oklahoma courts will decide the issue of custody based upon the best interests of the child. Custody may be granted to either parent or to both parents jointly. When awarding custody, the court shall consider which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the other parent. Gender of the parties shall not be a consideration in determining custody of the child.  If either or both parents have requested joint custody, the party so requesting shall submit to the court parenting plans detailing the arrangements for the care of the child. Such plans shall include provisions relating to the medical and dental care of the child, school placement, physical living arrangements for the child, child support obligations, and visitation rights.  In determining custody, the child may express his or her preference, although the court shall not be bound by the preference expressed by the child.  The court may require the parties to a divorce involving minor children to attend an educational program concerning the impact of divorce on children and conflict resolution between parents. The court may also order individual counseling, as it deems appropriate.  OSA 43-112

Child support
The Oklahoma legislature has established child support guidelines which establish the presumptive correct amount of child support. Deviation from the guidelines require a specific finding by the court that application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate and such findings must be included in the judgment.  Child support orders may be modified upon a showing of material change in circumstances of the parties.  A child shall be entitled to support until the child reaches eighteen (18) years of age.  OSA 43-112

Name change
When a divorce is granted, the court may restore the wife to her maiden or former name if she so desires.  OSA 43-121

Inside Oklahoma Divorce Law