Divorce Process in Oklahoma

How To File for Divorce in Oklahoma:

Prior to filing for a Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage in Oklahoma, the individual seeking the divorce must meet the Oklahoma Residency Requirements. Those requirements are that either the individual seeking the divorce must have lived in Oklahoma for the past six (6) months and the County in which they want to file for the past thirty (30) days.

The person seeking the divorce (the Petitioner) must then file a Petition, where they set forth: the reasons they are seeking a divorce, what they are seeking in terms of property and debt division, alimony if requested, custody and visitation of any minor children, child support, and even attorney fees.

The Petitioner must also have summons issued so that the other party (the Respondent) gets proper notice of the filed Petition.

If the divorce is filed in Tulsa County and involves minor children, then the court system will automatically set a Parenting Planning Conference within twenty (20) days. The Parenting Planning Conference is an attempt to get an early Temporary Order Agreement as to custody, visitation, child support, debt assumption, temporary property division, and alimony.

If the matter is not filed in Tulsa County or does not involve minor children, then it may also be necessary to file for a hearing to get in front of a Judge so that temporary orders may be entered.

At the first court appearance in any Divorce filing, the parties will enter a Scheduling Order, which will set out deadlines to request discovery, schedule the case for mediation and to exchange proposed settlement offers.

Keep in mind that Oklahoma Divorces with minor children cannot enter into a final Agree Decree until after ninety (90) days of filing their Petition.

If there is no agreement, then the parties will be required to attend a mediation session prior to moving the case towards trial. At mediation the parties will attempt to reach an agreement on any outstanding issues, utilizing a third party (often times an experienced attorney or former judge) to help facilitate final agreements.

Should mediation not be successful, the next step is a Pre-Trial Conference. There the parties will exchange exhibit books, inform the court about the issues to be litigated. The parties will also be assigned a trial date at that time.

The final step of course is the divorce and custody trial, where the parties would present their case to the Judge. Based on the testimony and evidence, the Judge would then make a ruling and issue a decision as to child custody, visitation, property division, debt allocation, child support, alimony, and any other issues presented at the Pre-Trial Conference