The Person That Files First Gets to Choose Jurisdiction to an Extent
Video Transcribed: Where do I file my Oklahoma divorce? I’m Tulsa Attorney James Wirth and I’m answering frequently asked questions regarding Oklahoma family law, and that’s one of the questions that came in is where do I file?
And first off the person that files gets to choose jurisdiction to an extent because it’s first to file that makes that choice. That said, there are limited options for where you can file. In order to file a divorce in the State of Oklahoma either the petitioner or the respondent has to be an actual resident in good faith of Oklahoma for six months prior to the filing of the petition.
So as long as either the person filing for the divorce, or the person who you’re trying to divorce has been a resident of Oklahoma for six months at the time of filing, then you’re good in the State of Oklahoma.
And then it comes down to where do you file as far as which county, and that’s going to be based also on residency. So wherever the petitioner has been residing for at least 30 days prior to filing, that is where the petitioner can file.
Also, the petitioner could file where the respondent is residing and that doesn’t require 30 days as long as the respondent is residing in that county at the time that you filed.
So if you and your spouse are residing in different counties, you then have the opportunity if you’re going to file first to decide which county do I want to be in.
And then there’s another option as well, we’ve got tribal jurisdiction. If you’re a member of an Indian Tribe, Indian Tribes in Oklahoma, many of them, have family law courts that you could file in there. You’d want to talk to an Oklahoma divorce attorney about your specific circumstances and see which is best for you.
But those are your options for where you can file, and then you decide where you want to file, and then you can get it filed before the other side. If both parties filed, they file in different counties, first to file prevails. The second one to file gets dismissed and it goes on in the county of the one that filed first.
If you’ve got specific questions about your case and where you want to file you’re going to want to talk to an Oklahoma attorney about it. You can talk to somebody in my office by going to makelaweasy.com.