Sometimes marriage does not work out. If you and your spouse have reached the decision that divorce is best for both of you and your family, you may be able to seek an uncontested divorce. While divorce is rarely ever easy to go through, an uncontested divorce simplifies the legal proceeding involved and allows the divorce to be granted faster than if it were contested. Attorney Kristin R. Drake is here to make the uncontested divorce process go as smooth as possible. While providing sound counsel and affordable services, Attorney Drake will give you the tools you need to get through this process without issue.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the divorce and all of the terms of divorce. The majority of uncontested divorces are based on grounds of incompatibility, more commonly known as “irreconcilable differences.” The terms of the divorce to which you and your spouse must agree include:
- Division of debt
- Division of property
- Child custody arrangement
- Child support
- Spousal support
The division of property and debt refers to marital property and debt. This is acquired during the marriage. Property obtained prior to the marriage, gifts, and inheritances are not included in marital property. Additionally, any property purchased after you and your spouse were legally separated or after the filing of the divorce petition is not considered marital property.
Another important point to note is that, in Oklahoma, all child support orders must be computed by using the Child Support Guideline Schedule which takes into account the income of both parties and the number of minor children to provide for. Child support is meant to cover housing, food, clothing, public education expenses, transportation, medical expenses, and entertainment costs for each child. Child support payments usually continue until a child reaches the age of majority, 18-years old. If either you are your former spouse has a change in financial circumstances, you may go to court to seek a modification of the child support order.
As previously stated, you and your spouse must agree to all terms of the divorce in order to seek an uncontested divorce. The child custody arrangement can be one of the biggest hurdles in working towards an uncontested divorce. In Oklahoma, there is sole custody and join custody. Sole custody means that one parent has the child full time, the “custodial parent,” with visitation arrangements possible for the other parent. The custodial parent has sole legal authority to make all decisions regarding the child and their upbringing. This kind of custody arrangement usually does not happen in an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce will generally involve a joint custody situation. This means the child will live with one parent, but visit the other, and each parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the child and their upbringing. Visitation schedules can be difficult to agree on. When an agreement cannot be reached on the issue of child custody, an uncontested divorce is not possible and the court will determine child custody based on a best interest of the child standard.
Spousal support, more commonly referred to as “alimony,” can also be an uncomfortable discussion you need to have before seeking an uncontested divorce. Consider the earning abilities of you and your spouse as well as your financial needs before agreeing to anything. Uncontested divorces can be obtained easily enough, but modification of the divorce terms can be a lengthy and expensive process.
How do I get an Uncontested Divorce?
In Oklahoma, divorce actions are filed in the county’s District Court. Filing fees varies by county, but generally run between $240-$260. The general process for obtaining an uncontested divorce begins with a filing of the Petition for Divorce. A copy of the Petition is served on the other spouse and a response or waiver is filed. The spouse filing the Petition is referred to as the “Petitioner” and the other spouse is the “Respondent.” Usually, in an uncontested divorce, the Respondent signs a waiver which waives notice to all future court proceedings. Then, after the waiting period, a final Decree of Divorce will be issued. You must wait 10 days after the filing of the Petition to have the divorce finalized. If there are minor children resulting from the marriage, there is a 90 day waiting period. The 90 days may be waived to 30 days, but this is left to the discretion of the Judge. Additionally, if you have minor children, both parties are required to complete a “Parenting Through Divorce” class before the divorce can be finalized.
Make sure you meet Oklahoma residency requirement before you file for divorce. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the county in which you are filing for divorce for at least 30 days. Also, one of you must have lived in the State of Oklahoma for 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
Reliable Uncontested Divorce Legal Counsel
An uncontested divorce may be simpler than a contested divorce, but there is still required paper work that must be correctly completed and filed. As in all legal proceedings, an attention to detail and thorough knowledge of the law makes the difference in a successful outcome. Contact trusted attorney Kristin R. Drake for a free consultation. Affordable, flat rate packages are available to meet all your legal needs in seeking an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma.