Divorce Decrees in Oklahoma

By Elizabeth Rayne

A divorce decree serves to officially dissolve a marriage and determine the terms of the divorce, including alimony, property division, child custody and support. How long it takes to get a decree in Oklahoma depends on the circumstances of your case and whether you and your spouse can agree to the terms of the divorce. Once the decree is in place, if circumstances change, you may ask the court to modify its terms.

Divorce Overview

In order to get a divorce in Oklahoma, at least one spouse must have lived in the state for six months or more prior to filing. A divorce is initiated when a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed in the district court of the county where at least one spouse lived for the prior 30 days. After filing, the court will serve the paperwork on your spouse, meaning the petition will be delivered to your spouse by a sheriff or other appointed officer. After your spouse receives the petition, he has 20 days to file an answer, providing his responses to your allegations in the petition.

Default Divorce

If your spouse does not respond to the divorce petition within 20 days, you may seek a default divorce by filing a motion for default. The court will schedule a hearing and if your spouse does not show up, the court may award a default divorce. In the case of default, the court will dissolve the marriage and decide the terms of the divorce, including custody and property division, based solely on the petition and testimony provided by the spouse who initiated the case. The defaulting spouse may later ask the court to vacate the judgment, meaning the divorce decree will no longer be valid, if he can demonstrate that he was not properly notified about the divorce or the default hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Waiting Period

If your spouse responds to the divorce petition, Oklahoma law imposes a waiting period before a divorce may be finalized. Generally, if your spouse files an answer and you have minor children, you must wait 90 days before the court will finalize the divorce. On the other hand, if you and your spouse do not have children and you agree to the divorce and terms of the divorce, such as alimony and property division, you may obtain a divorce decree in 10 days. For the quickest divorce decree, your spouse must also waive his right to service, meaning the petition will not be officially delivered to him by a sheriff. In either scenario, once the divorce decree is entered, your marriage is officially dissolved. However, you must wait at least six months before remarrying or cohabiting in Oklahoma.

Modification

In some cases, if circumstances have changed since the court entered the divorce decree, you may ask the court to modify the terms of the decree. You may initiate the request by filing a motion for modification with the same court that issued the original decree. Except in rare circumstances, you cannot modify the property division portion of the decree. However, you may be able to change support orders if the need or ability to pay for support has changed, which may occur if one spouse loses a job, for example. Further, in order to change the custody portion of the decree, you must have evidence that circumstances have substantially changed and it would be in the child's best interest to modify the custody arrangement.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Change a Legal Name in Oklahoma
 

References

Related articles

Can I Amend My Divorce for the Court to Reserve Jurisdiction in California?

In California, the court can modify support and custody orders after a divorce decree has been entered if the requesting party can show a material change of circumstances. But a court cannot modify property division orders unless the parties asked in the final judgment for the court to retain jurisdiction for that purpose. In most cases, the court will also refuse to modify a spousal support waiver after the divorce is final.

Default Judgments in Kansas in a Divorce

By the time you get ready to file for divorce, you and your spouse may not be getting along well enough to cooperate during the divorce proceeding. Your spouse may decide to ignore the divorce paperwork you filed, thinking that will stop the divorce or make you angry. Unfortunately for your spouse, Kansas courts can grant default judgments in divorce cases, giving you a divorce even when your spouse does not want to participate in the process.

The Inability to Serve Divorce Papers in Texas

It's frustrating when the respondent in a lawsuit is dodging process, especially in a divorce case. Ordinarily, a divorce petition is served by hand-delivering it to the respondent. But the case can proceed even when the respondent is avoiding service of process. A petitioner can serve the respondent by having the process server tape the divorce petition to the respondent's front door, or by publishing a notice of the divorce suit in a local newspaper, with the permission of the court.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Is the Difference Between a Default Divorce & No Fault in Arizona?

Arizona’s no-fault divorce laws make it easier to obtain a divorce than in other states where you must prove wrongful ...

Wisconsin No-Fault Divorce Procedures

If you live in Wisconsin and your marriage has come to an end, the state has a relatively simple procedure for ...

How to Serve Divorce Papers Under Massachusetts State Law

Divorce is the termination of a marriage by court order. The person who wants a divorce starts a court action that ends ...

How to Get a Divorce When Your Spouse Doesn't Want One in New York

In New York, your divorce case will be heard by the Supreme Court of New York in the county where you and your spouse ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED