WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN UNCONSTESTED DIVORCE IN OKLAHOMA?
Divorce can be a very stressful process and many of our clients are unable to reach an agreement with their spouse on one or many important issues in an Oklahoma divorce case. However, some of our clients are more fortunate and have reached an agreement with their spouse on the terms of their divorce. In these instances the Oklahoma divorce process can be completed with very little stress and the assistance of an experienced Oklahoma City divorce lawyer. Divorce clients in this situation received the benefits that come from an Uncontested Divorce. This article explains the steps involved in an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma.
Hundreds of free resources are available on our website, come by our office to pick-up a FREE copy of our book, “Informed Divorce: Facing the Future with a Plan” or you may purchase it on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon! Also, you may call us anytime 405-591-3935 for a free confidential case strategy sessions
What Is an Uncontested Divorce in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma an “uncontested divorce” is the informal title for a divorce or dissolution of marriage, in which the parties to the divorce agree on all the terms to finalize the divorce.
Divorces without minor children are more often resolved in uncontested divorce in Oklahoma than divorces with minor children. However, you can obtain an uncontested divorce with minor children in Oklahoma, fi both parties are in agreement on child custody, child support, visitation, and the other issues necessary to complete a divorce in Oklahoma.
How Can I get an Uncontested Divorce in Oklahoma?
The first step in obtaining an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma is to identify the Oklahoma divorce lawyer you trust with the process and hire them to help you work through the process with as little stress as possible.
Once you have hired an experienced Oklahoma divorce lawyer, he or she will work with you to ensure you are on the same page about all your questions and concerns, including division of property and potential issues in the future.
After your Oklahoma divorce lawyer knows what you want in your divorce, the pleadings necessary to file your Oklahoma Divorce will be prepared for your review. Your Oklahoma divorce attorney should draft the following for you to review and ensure they state the terms you want in your divorce:
- Divorce Petition: often titled “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” this document states all the terms you are requesting in your divorce. You will be the Petition, the party filing the divorce, and your spouse will be the Respondent, party that must respond to the divorce. In uncontested divorces, our divorce lawyers work with the parties to ensure all the terms the parties want are contained in the Divorce Petition.
- Entry of Appearance: this pleading is rather self-explanatory; however, it is an important tool to notify the Court and the other party that the Oklahoma divorce lawyer in your case represents you, if the other party changes their mind and your uncontested divorce becomes contested.
- Automatic Temporary Injunction Notice (ATIN): this pleading notifies both parties that there are automatic orders that go into effect when a divorce Petition is filed, which are largely designed to protect your financial interests.
- Waiver of Summons and Entry of Appearance: the Spouse that did not file the Divorce Petition, the Respondent, is entitled to file an Answer and entitled to service of the Divorce Petition under Oklahoma law. However, in an uncontested divorce this right is waived by the Respondent in order to expedite the process. The other party does not need to file an Answer in an agreed divorce, because the terms are not contested. The divorce attorneys at Cannon & Associates will prepare the Waiver of Summons for you and your spouse and file it once it is signed by the other party to your divorce.
- Divorce Decree: often titled, “Decree of Dissolution of Marriage” the divorce Decree is the proposed Order for the judge in your Oklahoma divorce case to sign, which finalizes your Oklahoma divorce. In uncontested divorces, we make an initial draft of the divorce Decree for you and your spouse to review. Once you notify us of the desired changes or questions you have about the divorce Decree, we modify it until it reflects your wishes. You are officially divorced in Oklahoma once this document once signed by the family law judge and filed in your case in the County Court Clerk’s office
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney, if I have a Decree?
You can legally get divorced without a divorce attorney in Oklahoma, but you are risking exposing your investments and your property to unforeseen consequences. It is in your interests to work with an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney to at least review your proposed divorce Decree and ensure it legally enforces your desires.
The investment of hiring an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney to review your draft divorce Decree and ensure it reflects your intent is far less expensive than entering a divorce Decree that does not legally enforce what you think it does. Worse yet, your spouse could seek a portion of your investments or retirement years later and potentially win, if the division is not legally enforceable as written in your Decree. A small investment now may save you much much more in the future.
Do I need an Oklahoma Divorce Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?
In Oklahoma, you can file the documents to complete a divorce on your own, without a divorce lawyer; however, you do not have the protections that come with working with an experienced Oklahoma divorce lawyer to ensure your rights and your interests are protected, including retirement and other financial considerations.
How much does an Uncontested Divorce costs with a Divorce Attorney?
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates offer flat fees on uncontested divorces that give you certainty in the costs and compensate our office for our time and expertise in protecting your interests. We are glad to discuss this and other options with you in a free confidential strategy session.
How long does the Uncontested Divorce Process Last?
In Oklahoma, it is possible to complete an uncontested divorce in 10 days for a divorce without minor children or 90 days for a divorce with minor children. However, the process can be much longer, if issues arise during your divorce.
Read this article on our website for more information about uncontested divorce: Uncontested Divorce in Oklahoma
What are the Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Oklahoma?
The obvious point is that the parties to the divorce must be in agreement on all the issues necessary to complete their divorce in Oklahoma. However, another requirement for divorce in Oklahoma is that one party must be a resident of Oklahoma. It is sufficient for you or your spouse to have been stationed in Oklahoma, i.e. Tinker Air Force Base or Fort Sill.
You must have lived in Oklahoma during the past six-months before filing your divorce Petition. Additionally, you or your spouse must have lived in the county you are filing for divorce for at least the past 30 consecutive days.
For example, in order to file for divorce in Oklahoma County, you or your spouse must have lived in Oklahoma County for the past thirty days and the state of Oklahoma for the past six-months.
This residency requirement to file divorce in Oklahoma is found at Oklahoma Statutes Title 43 Section 102, 103.
How Do I File a Waiver Divorce in Oklahoma?
As stated above, there is no divorce procedure in Oklahoma to file a “waiver divorce.” Instead, one party files the divorce Petition and the other party does not file a Response. In lieu of a Response to the divorce Petition and the standard divorce process beginning, a Waiver of Service is filed on behalf of the Respondent, which tells the divorce judge that the parties do not need to be heard on the substance of the divorce and that an agreement or uncontested divorce will eventually be presented.
The Petition for Divorce in Oklahoma, including a waiver divorce or uncontested divorce, has necessary elements that must be present in order for the court to have authority to issue or even hear a divorce case. The Petition for Divorce must state the legal reason or grounds for divorce. Oklahoma is a no-fault state, i.e. you do not have to prove grounds for divorce beyond a legal justification. Most of our divorce client’s Petitions state “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for duivorce. This common ground for an un-contested divorce is called incompatibility and is found at Oklahoma Statutes Title 43 Section 101.
In addition to the “grounds” for divorce, the Petition must state the “relief” requested. The “relief” in a divorce is what you want to happen in all th eimportant issues in your divorce: property division, child custody, child support, payment of spousal support, etc. In an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma, the terms are settled prior to filing the divorce Petition. Therefore, the terms or “relief” in the Petition for Divorce are the same as the Divorce Decree.
Every county in Oklahoma pays for its operation, at least in part, by the fees paid by parties with cases before the Court. Therefore, in every divorce case in Oklahoma, the parties pay a “filing fee” for most pleadings filed in Court. The initial filing fee to open a divorce case is typically around $200 to $300.
How do I ensure the Waiver of Service is valid in my Divorce?
In order for a divorce to be granted in Oklahoma, the party that did not file the divorce, the Respondent must be served with the Divorce Petition. The good news for those seeking an uncontested divorce in Oklahoma is that the Respondent may waive or forfeit the right to service, which is the origin story of the term “waiver divorce” in Oklahoma.
In order for a waiver to be valid in an Oklahoma divorce, the Respondent must sign the above mentioned “Entry of Appearance and Waiver of Service.” Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates can work with you and your spouse together or separately to ensure you both understand this pleading and all the other pleadings that go into a waiver divorce or uncontested divorce in Oklahoma.
How do I finalize a Waiver Divorce in Oklahoma?
In order to finalize a waiver divorce in Oklahoma, you must have the family law judge over your case sign the divorce Decree and your Oklahoma divorce lawyer must with it with the county court clerk.
In Oklahoma divorces without minor children, you only need a divorce decree signed by the judge in order to finalize your divorce. However, in an Oklahoma divorce with minor children, whether waiver divorce or not, you need other docuents to finalize a waiver divorce with minor children. SPecificially, you need the following properly formatted and signed documents in order to finalize a waiver divorce with children:
- Divorce Decree
- Custody Plan
- Child Support Computation
- Parenting Certificate by both parents
See Oklahoma Statutes Title 43 Section 107.2
Finalizing Your Waiver Divorce in Oklahoma
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates have open communication and the correct contact information for the chambers (offices) of all the family law judges in the counties we practice. We will contact chambers, notify the Court that all documents and the parties are ready to finalize the divorce, and seek the first available court date to bring the divorce decree before the court.
Once we are able to get your divorce decree on the judge’s docket, calendar, we will schedule the hearing and seek to have your presence excused or ensure the court knows that you will be appearing, if you want to attend the final divorce hearing.
CONTACT YOUR FIERCE ADVOCATES® FOR OKLAHOMA DIVORCE CLIENTS TODAY!
If you are considering divorce, specifically waiver divorce in Oklahoma, it is important to work with an experienced Oklahoma City divorce attorney to increase your chance of obtaining the outcome you desire as quickly as possible. Additionally, by taking a strategic approach to the divorce process, you may be able to save time, stress, and money in this process. We offer flat fees that give you information up front on the cost of your uncontested divorce.
Your Fierce Advocates® at Cannon & Associates are dedicated to answering your questions and preparing you for the road ahead. We take pride in the responsibility of serving families facing divorce and the court system every day and are here to assist you through this confusing process.
More free resources on Oklahoma divorce are available on our website, you can stop by our office to pick-up a FREE copy of our book, “Informed Divorce: Facing the Future with a Plan” or you may purchase it on Kindle or Paperback on Amazon!
CALL NOW 405-591-3935 for your free confidential case strategy sessions to help you understand your circumstances and answer your questions about divorce in Oklahoma, whether you decide to work with us or not.