Non-Contested Divorce in Oklahoma

by Bernadette A. Safrath

    Noncontested or uncontested divorce is the process by which spouses file for divorce together or one spouse files and the other spouse elects not to protest. In Oklahoma, the spouse or spouses must file a petition for divorce in the district court located in their county of residence. Because neither spouse is contesting, a court can immediately move on to dividing the marital property and possibly awarding alimony.

    Residency Requirements

    In order to be eligible for divorce in Oklahoma, spouses must meet the state's residency requirements. This means that either spouse must live in Oklahoma for six months prior to the filing of the divorce petition. The petition must be filed in one spouse's county of residence where he has lived for more than 30 days.

    Grounds for Divorce

    A petition for divorce must include the grounds or reasons the spouses have for wanting to end their marriage. When spouses agree to file for a uncontested divorce in Oklahoma, they often file for divorce based on no-fault grounds. Oklahoma's no-fault ground is "incompatibility," also known as "irreconcilable differences." If the petition for divorce meets the state's requirements, an Oklahoma court will issue the divorce decree after a waiting period of 90 days from the date the petition was filed.

    Division of Property

    Oklahoma is an "equitable distribution" state. This means that each spouse will receive a fair percentage of the marital assets. First, each spouse is entitled to maintain ownership of any "separate property," including any inheritance she received during the marriage and any property she owned prior to the marriage. The court will then divide all "marital property," everything acquired by either spouse during the marriage, regardless of whose name appears on any title, deed or other ownership papers. According to Oklahoma law, division of the marital assets does not need to be equal, but instead should be "just and reasonable."

    Alimony

    Alimony is financial support paid by one spouse to the other if the receiving spouse does not have sufficient income and assets to be self-supporting. In Oklahoma, alimony may be awarded regardless of gender based on the receiving spouse's financial need and the owing spouse's ability to pay. Alimony payments may be made in installments or as a lump sum from the owing spouse's separate and marital assets. Payments are generally owed until the full amount ordered is paid. Early termination occurs if either spouse dies or if the receiving spouse remarries or cohabits with someone in a marriage-like relationship.

    About the Author

    Bernadette A. Safrath is an attorney who has been writing professionally since 2008. Safrath was published in Touro Law Center's law review and now writes legal articles for various websites. Safrath has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Long Island University at C.W. Post, as well as a Juris Doctor from Touro College.