If you’re going through a divorce or child custody dispute, stop and breathe, and then find yourself a good attorney. Chances are you are experiencing one of the most stressful and exhausting periods of your life. According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States will divorce and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is higher. Keep in mind, unlike other states, Oklahoma is one of the few states where at-fault grounds can still be enforced. Oklahoma also still recognizes common law marriage. Legal grounds for an at-fault based divorce in the state of Oklahoma include a fraudulent contract, adultery, abandonment, and negligence. As well as extreme cruelty, impotence, insanity, incompatibility, and more. Therefore, using the free Tulsa Attorney Directory to hire a family law attorney in Tulsa Oklahoma can help minimize the difficulty and stress at this time in your life.
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If you do not want to go through the process of divorce and all that it comes with, you can see if you are able to file for an annulment. An annulment simply means that your marriage would be void. It is not a divorce per se, it is a null and void marriage. Your divorce may be eligible for annulment if:
You can talk to your attorney about your specific situation to see if you and your spouse will qualify for an annulment.
There are many laws regarding divorce in Oklahoma, and disputes may arise that ultimately delay the process. To avoid any conflict, it is best to use the Tulsa Attorney Directory to consult with a well-practiced Oklahoma divorce attorney who will carefully evaluate your case to help determine your best course of action. In the state of Oklahoma, there are multiple routes to divorce available. The simplest and quickest option is filing an uncontested divorce. In order to qualify for an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma, otherwise known as a “dissolution of marriage”, at least one spouse must have lived in Oklahoma for a minimum of six months. This divorce option is only available if both parties can agree to specific terms. Those terms include spousal and child support, distribution of retirement assets, assignments of debts, and property division.
For couples facing a divorce, involving minor children, an uncontested divorce is not an option. Oklahoma requires a ninety-day waiting period before a divorce can be granted if the couple has minor children. In the state of Oklahoma, there is no custody order from the court until a temporary hearing has been set. Until that time both parents are equally entitled to the custody of their children until a court rules otherwise. In order to receive full custody of your children, you are required to petition the court. If the child has not lived in Oklahoma for at least six months, the jurisdiction may fall into another court. Remember, no matter how amicable, divorce will affect all children involved, but so does arguing and other negative experiences that come with a rocky marriage. Research suggests that it’s not divorce in itself that harms children most, but the tension between divorcing parents, some of whom repeatedly appear before judges to battle over drop-off times or visitation rights. Be prepared to help your children throughout this process. One of the biggest factors on how a child mentally and emotionally handles a divorce is based on how amicable both parents work together in the best interest of the child.
Through the growing practice area of “parenting coordination”, psychologists are helping feuding parents call a truce, communicate, and work out their disagreements with the goal of better-adjusted children and less-burdened courts. Eight states have passed laws setting up parenting coordination procedures since 1989, including Oklahoma. Parenting coordination typically starts with a court-ordered parenting agreement establishing a detailed custody schedule, with exact drop-off and pickup times listed, plus arrangements for vacations and holidays. When a dispute arises, such as which sport a child should play, the parenting coordinator can step in, halt the angry back-and-forth between the parents, and gather feedback from all parties involved. Besides hearing from the adults involved, a parenting coordinator pays close attention to the child’s needs. After gathering the different perspectives, the coordinator either makes the decision or recommends a solution.
Another consideration to take into account when preparing for a child custody battle is the different types of child custody available. First, there is Sole Physical Custody which means the child lives with one parent and the other has specific visitation rights. Second, there is Sole Legal Custody. This means only one parent has the right to make legal decisions for the child about education, health care, religion, etc. Another option is Joint Legal Custody where both parents have the right to make legal decisions for the child about education, health care, religion, etc. Lastly is Joint Physical Custody. This means the child resides with each parent for a substantial amount of time during the calendar year.
While the child custody disputes during a divorce can be stressful, the financial toll it takes on a family can be overwhelming. In the state of Oklahoma, either spouse may be allowed alimony if the court thinks it is reasonable. According to Forbes, for an average divorce, you should expect to pay no less than $20,000. This would cover lawyers and experts, real estate costs to divvy up shared marital property, finding a second place for you to live, as well as financial advice, and therapy for you or your children.
Keep in mind, this estimate does not include alimony or child support. Alimony support is a set amount of support provided to one party, in a divorce, by the other party. The amount of spousal support can either be agreed on by both parties or ordered by the court. In the state of Oklahoma, there are two types of support offered. The first is called temporary spousal support, and is also known as “spousal maintenance”. This support is paid throughout the divorce proceeding and ends with the final decree.
The most common support is alimony. This support is ordered at the time of the divorce decree. In the state of Oklahoma, there are no guideline calculations for these types of supports. Factors that are evaluated include the length of the marriage and the other party’s ability to support his or her self. Short-term alimony may be granted to allow the receiving party time to gain the necessary skills. Long term, or permanent, alimony may be granted to a spouse who has significant needs and is usually reserved for lengthy marriages. Oklahoma law provides that alimony terminates upon the death of either spouse or when the spouse receiving the support remarries. A support agreement can also be modified when the receiving party cohabits with someone else.
Child support is based on a Child Support Guideline Schedule. Oklahoma uses the Income Shares Model, which takes into account each parent’s gross income. Oklahoma courts deviate from the standard computation only if one parent is paying dental or medical insurance for the child, when parents have joint custody, or when one parent pays child care expenses or compensates for a child’s special medical, educational, or transportation needs. If there is a disparity between the two parents’ respective incomes, the parent who earns more money may pay child support to the other.
Once the court is involved with your marriage or family, everything is under a microscope. In Oklahoma, neither spouse may remarry, or even live with another person, within six months of the date of the final decree. Use the Tulsa Attorney Directory to find a Divorce Attorney in Tulsa Oklahoma who can help minimize the difficulty and stress of this time in your life. He or she will help guide you through all the options available to you to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your children.