The Oklahoma Divorce Process
A divorce can be messy, amicable, traumatic or any and all. Regardless of how or why the decision to terminate a marriage comes about, the import of its seriousness is a scary thought for all involved parties. A marriage unites and melds two families. It sometimes brings brand new lives into the family tree through birth or adoption. You all grow together through life’s events; you share years of tears in joy and in sorrow. A divorce, no matter how amicable, leaves a gaping hole in a family’s fabric of life that only mends with the passage of time and restructuring of the family unit, both immediate and extended.
At the Mauldin & Bennett, PLLC, our Tulsa divorce attorneys are sensitive to the emotional trauma a divorce brings by its very nature. When you retain our services, we are a calming influence within the turbulence. We guide you through the process and around the pitfalls that mire the procedures in senseless arguments. We listen carefully and offer our learned and honest advice. When all is said and done, all parties want the same thing, and that is a fair and balanced settlement. It is our responsibility to get you there in the most expedient manner so that you can move ahead with the business of reshaping your family unit. Let our free consultation service help you make this important decision.
Oklahoma Divorce Process – What to Expect
Let us demystify some of the “unknown” ahead for you. The actual proceedings move through the court in an established pattern.
- First, a decision is made as to the type of divorce. An absolute divorce terminates the marriage relationship by judicial order and when proceedings are finalized, the parties are returned to a single state. A limited divorce is a legal separation in which the right to cohabit is terminated, but the spousal relationship remains. Another option is an annulment, which voids a marriage because it was invalid for a legal reason. Annulments are rare because there are specific grounds to meet and if the grounds do not meet, there can be no annulment.
- Next, residency requirements are verified. There is a six-month residency requirement for an absolute divorce proceeding.
- Fault or no-fault grounds for the divorce are established. An interesting fact is that Oklahoma first introduced the “no-fault divorce” in 1953. By 1970 most states adopted the same law. A no-fault divorce eliminates the need to reveal publicly and to the court the reason for the divorce and assesses no blame. It can also serve to set the tone of the proceedings to a more amicable environment.
- To allow for the possibility of reconsideration and reconciliation if there are minor children at issue in the marriage, Oklahoma family law statutes require a 90-day waiting period after a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been filed and before a judgment dissolving the marriage can be entered by the court.
- Once the petition is filed with the court and served upon the respondent, the process of defining the terms of the dissolution begin. During the divorce proceeding, all issues relative to the particular relationship must be resolved. This includes:
- Child support
- Child custody
- Mediation ordered for disputes relative to the children
- Spousal support
- Property distribution
- Restoration or name change
- The Petition is answered through a pleading called an “Answer” and often a counterclaim is lodged setting forth a response to the allegations of the original petition.
- After the initial pleadings are filed the parties may also file an Application for Temporary Orders. This application asks the court to determine child custody, debt and asset division, etc. for the time until the final trial. If the parties cannot agree on temporary orders a hearing may be necessary.
- While the case is pending the parties will participate in discovery which is the process of information gathering. This process differs greatly depending on the issues to be decided.
- Finally, once the parties have exchanged information the case is ripe for trial. Domestic trials are held in front of a judge and can last anywhere from half a day to an entire week or longer.
- At any time during this process the parties can come to an agreement either on their own or with the help of their attorneys or a mediator. Whether through trial or by agreement, the next step is the entry of a final decree of divorce.
Your Tulsa Divorce Lawyers
If you are considering dissolution of marriage or been served with divorce pleadings, we hope that you feel free to reach out to our legal team at the Mauldin & Bennett, PLLC. Just knowing that your divorce is in knowledgeable hands can instantly reduce your stress and set your mind at ease. That is our very purpose. You can contact one of our Tulsa divorce attorneys at 918.561.6704 or fill out and submit the contact form and we will contact you in a timely manner.
Your Tulsa Divorce Lawyers If you are considering filing for divorce or have received notice of a divorce call us today. Time matters and knowing that your divorce is being handled by the capable Tulsa divorce attorneys at Mauldin & Bennett, PLLC will reduce your stress and help you start the path toward healing. Contact us today for a free consultation.