Sansone Howell handles all types of divorces. We help individuals who are dealing with contested divorces and uncontested divorces. Divorce can be a very difficult time for you and your family – even if you don’t have children. We understand what is at stake in a divorce case and have the experience to guide you through your case. As you proceed through the divorce process, it is not uncommon to experience stress and anxiety. A big part of our job is to help relieve some of the stress and be at your side each step of the way. Having an experienced divorce attorney to help you navigate the divorce process will help you gain the peace of mind that you are in good hands. We recognize that there are many complexities of family dynamics and how emotionally challenging this process can be. We will take the time to describe in detail each step to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what lies ahead for you in your case.
Oklahoma Divorce Requirements
Oklahoma law requires that you must have been a resident of the state of Oklahoma for a minimum of 90 days and a resident of the county you are filing the divorce in for 30 days prior to the date of filing. In Oklahoma, if there are minor children involved there is a 90-day waiting period from the day that you file for divorce and the divorce becoming final. Additionally, parents of minor children must attend a court approved parenting class before the divorce can be finalized. The waiting period is only 30 days for divorces without minor children.
We caution clients that an Automatic Temporary Injunction goes into effect immediately upon filing a Petition for Divorce. The Automatic Temporary Injunction, or “ATI”, prohibits the parties from certain actions and conduct, such as: hiding money, harassing each other, making significant changes to retirement accounts and insurance, hiding or secreting the children from the other party and more.
How Is Alimony Determined By The Court?
When couples divorce in Oklahoma, there is no automatic presumption that either party will walk away from the situation with an order to pay or receive alimony. However, either spouse can request alimony, which is also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance. Whether alimony will be ordered primarily depends on two things. First, does one party have a need for alimony? Second, does the other party have the ability to pay? A judge will want to see a budget from the party requesting alimony. If that budget shows there is a need for alimony then the judge will consider whether the other party has the ability to pay. Even if one party has a need for alimony, alimony will not be ordered if the other party does not have an ability to pay. When a judge determines that there is both a need and an ability to pay alimony, the final question is how much alimony will be ordered. There is no set formula for calculating alimony in Oklahoma. The judge may consider the length of the marriage, the health of the parties, the earning abilities of each party, and the age of the parties among other things. Alimony awards are very individually specific.
Asset and Debt Division
One of the most contentious issues in divorce is how to divide up the marriage’s assets and debts. After all, the resolution of this aspect of your divorce will to a large degree determine how easily you are able to move forward with your life. If you are deprived of your fair share of the marital estate, you could be left struggling financially for years to come as you try to rebuild your life and regain a position of stability. Beyond the purely economic considerations, there is also the aspect of being able to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you have been able to keep what is rightfully yours.
Further, your divorce cannot be finalized until arrangements have been made and court orders issued concerning who will be responsible for paying the debts that you and your spouse owe. Depending on the resolution of this issue, you could end up with a fair disposition, you might avoid paying much of the debt, or you could be ordered to pay not only your own debts but also those debts that were incurred by your spouse.
Oklahoma law requires that all martial property be divided equitably, not equally. Generally, all property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. Any property that each party brought into the marriage is separate property. However, there are some exceptions to this, for example inheritances received during the marriage are still considered separate property. Also, formerly separate property may become marital or partially marital property depending on how it is used during the marriage.
It is important that you hire any experienced attorney to assist you in navigating through this process. Call the divorce attorneys at Sansone Howell today to arrange a free consultation.