The Rules on Getting Divorced & Then Married in Oklahoma

By Heather Frances J.D.

If you divorce in Oklahoma, before you head down the aisle to remarry as soon as your divorce is finalized, it’s a good idea to read over your divorce decree. Most Oklahoma divorce decrees contain language consistent with the first part of Section 123 of Title 43 of the Oklahoma Statutes, expressly stating that it is unlawful to marry or cohabit within six months of the date a divorce decree is issued – and that doing so can result in criminal prosecution. However, some loopholes do exist.

Appeals

You or your ex-spouse can appeal the part of your divorce decree concerning the six-month waiting period. However, once the court grants the appeal, both of you must still wait at least 30 days before you remarry or cohabit. If you don't appeal your divorce decree or do not wait 30 days after a granted appeal to remarry, the court can find you guilty of bigamy, a felony punishable by imprisonment. If you decide to ignore the law by cohabiting rather than remarrying, the court can find you guilty of adultery, also a felony charge.

Exceptions

One way around the statute completely is to remarry your ex-spouse. The law specifically allows you to remarry, or cohabit with, your former spouse within the six month period. Additionally, If you were divorced in another state and then move to Oklahoma, there are no restrictions on your ability to remarry.

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Leaving Oklahoma

Another way around the Oklahoma statute is to marry outside the state of Oklahoma. It's perfectly legal to leave the state to remarry even if your divorce decree was issued in Oklahoma; however, you can't live together with your new spouse in Oklahoma within the six-month period. Therefore, if you remarry outside Oklahoma, but then return to Oklahoma to live before the six-month period is up, the court can still find you guilty of bigamy, which carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison.

Annulment

If you marry someone other than your former spouse before your waiting period has passed, your new marriage is subject to annulment at any time. You or your new spouse can petition the court for annulment -- and the court can grant that request even years into the future.

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How Long Do You Have to Wait Before You Can Remarry After Your Divorce in Alabama?
 

References

Related articles

How Long After Marriage Can You Get a Civil Annulment?

Annulment laws vary a great deal from state to state. The rules for statutes of limitation are especially complicated because they depend not only on state law, but also on the reason you're asking the court for an annulment. Depending on your circumstances, you might have a very limited period of time to use this option or you might have a lifetime -- but only if your spouse doesn't predecease you.

What Happens if You Marry Someone Who Was Not Legally Divorced?

In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act. This federal law rendered bigamy – the practice of marrying a second spouse without legally divorcing the first spouse – illegal. While the laws prohibiting bigamy have been challenged as a violation of some individuals' religious freedom under the First Amendment, the ban on bigamy remains in place. If your spouse did not obtain a legal divorce from a prior spouse before marrying you, he is guilty of bigamy.

Tennessee Law on Bigamy & Divorce

The law is firm that you can't get married if you're already married to someone else. If you do, it’s bigamy – unless you honestly believe that your first spouse divorced you or died. Bigamy occurs when a spouse knows he's still married and marries again. In Tennessee, it's grounds for divorce and also a criminal offense.

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