Filing for divorce in Tulsa, Oklahoma begins with preparing and filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The petition is filed in the county in which you and your spouse live. Along with the petition, a summons must be served upon the responding spouse.
Among other things, a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage must include the legal grounds for divorce. This is “reason” you are seeking divorce. These grounds or reasons can be divided into fault and no-fault grounds.
Alleging that a spouse is at fault requires proof of that fault. Because this can make the divorce longer, messier, and more costly, most divorces have moved from alleging a spouse’s “fault” to alleging incompatibility. This makes divorce less acrimonious, and often less expensive.
Grounds for Divorce Must Be Stated
These grounds for divorce are all acceptable under Oklahoma law:
- abandonment for more than one year;
- wife impregnated by another man at the time of the marriage;
- extreme cruelty;
- fraudulent contract;
- incompatibility (no fault);
- habitual drunkenness;
- gross neglect of duty;
- imprisonment in a state or federal prison for a felony;
- an invalid divorce decree within the state; and
- insanity for a period of five years in which the party is committed to an institution and has a poor prognosis for recovery.
Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 101
How you frame the petition matters. Contested (fault) divorces always take longer and are more complicated than no-fault divorces.
In addition, all children of the marriage and their ages must be included in the petition.
Once Filed, It Must Be Served
There are particular rules regarding how these documents must be served upon your spouse. Once served, you have to show the court that you have served your spouse. This is often done with a Proof of Service — which is also filed with the court.
Once the petition is filed and your spouse has been served, your spouse (the Respondent), usually has 20 days to file a responsive pleading to your petition; this response is usually called an answer. The answer must also be served upon the Petitioner.
Filing for divorce triggers an immediate temporary injunction that freezes all marital assets other than regular day-to-day expenditures. This prevents either party from taking off with any assets.
Once that is done and you have been served with the responsive pleading, discovery begins. Thus, you and your spouse can move toward settlement. The more quickly you can resolve your divorce issues, the more quickly the divorce can be granted.
Some couples can even agree on all issues when the process is beginning. For those couples, the divorce process can take as little as 10 days if no children are involved.
Free Consultation with a Tulsa Family Law Attorney
Wirth Law Office is here to help when you need it most. We offer a free consultation with an experienced Tulsa family law attorney.
Call 918-879-1681 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.