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Oklahoma Property Division
Preparing the Documents
The spouse who files is the petitioner; the other spouse is the respondent.
In order to initiate a divorce a party must complete a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a cover sheet, and in some instances a summons.
The Petition contains factual information about the parties and states the grounds for the divorce. Because Oklahoma is a no-fault state, the reason for the divorce is usually listed as incompatibility.
Filing the Paperwork with the Court
A petition for divorce is filed in the county where either party has resided for the previous 30 days.
Serving the Documents
A Petition for Divorce is served upon the other spouse by a private process server, county sheriff, or by certified mail.
Disclosing Financial Information
Oklahoma courts also require a completed Financial Affidavit when filing. This is an involved, eight-page document that might take time to complete. It requires detailed information regarding a party’s income, assets, debts and budget.
Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce
There are a number of possible benefits to an uncontested divorce. They cost less than the cost of a contested divorce. The spouses control the division of their assets and debts, and they create a custody and visitation plan that works for them. The process can also be completed much more quickly. Equally as important, the couple sidesteps the anger and hard feelings that often occur during a trial.
As of November 2014, both parents must attend a court-approved class about children and divorce before the divorce can be finalized.
Finalizing the Divorce
If the divorce is uncontested and the couple has minor children, there is a 90-day waiting period after the petition is filed and before the court can grant the divorce. Divorces that do not involve minor children can be finalized in as few as ten days after the petition for divorce is filed.
If the case is contested, the divorce takes longer to complete. The parties go through the discovery process, in which they exchange documents and information, and wait for a space on the court's docket if the case goes to trial.
Oklahoma allows divorce on no-fault and fault grounds. A no-fault divorce happens when the marriage simply breaks down due to incompatibility; neither spouse did anything to break the marriage contract. However, a petitioner can choose to file on grounds of fault as well, including adultery, impotency, abandonment (for one year), insanity (for five years), extreme cruelty, imprisonment, habitual drunkenness, gross neglect, when the marriage was devised by fraud, when the wife was pregnant by another man at the time of marriage, or when a prior divorce is not recognized by the state.
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