Divorce Court Procedure in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma divorce process or dissolution of marriage can be an intimidating and complicated process. Divorce in Oklahoma is especially complex when custody of your children is involved.   This page is intended to give clients facing divorce an overview of the procedure involved in divorce in Oklahoma. After reading this material, you should have a clear understanding of the procedure for an Oklahoma divorce case in our system.  Contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES for a free consultation and more information on the process of obtaining a divorce in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Divorce Procedure Summary

Step #1:  Divorce Petition

The filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage formally initiates divorce proceedings in Oklahoma. A Divorce Petition must state information about the parties seeking divorce; the jurisdiction of the court to hear the divorce; and the Petitioner’s proposal for settling the issues in a divorce, including custody, property division, alimony, and other issues.

Step #2: Summons

The Summons in a divorce action is the formal notice of the Petitioner filing a divorce case and notifies the Respondent, other spouse, that he or she must file a Response within twenty (20) days of the Petition or may suffer default judgement on the divorce. The summons must be served on the Respondent, unless he or she waives service by summons.

Step #3: Response

The Respondent, spouse that did not file for divorce, must file a Response, which states his or her position on each claim or allegation in the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

Step #4: Automatic Temporary Injunctions

Automatic Temporary Injunctions are provided for in Oklahoma Statutes Title 43 §110, which provide that upon the filing of a Petition for Divorce, Legal Separation, or Annulment, by the Petitioner, or upon service of the Petition and Summons on the Respondent, or upon waiver and acceptance of service by the Respondent, an Automatic Temporary Injunction shall be in effect against both parties until the final decree is entered or the Petition is dismissed, or until further Order of the Court. These automatic orders protect the interests and assets of the parties during the pending divorce action.

Step #5: Additional Temporary Orders

Divorce cases can take considerable time, especially when children are involved. Oftentimes, it is in one or both parties’ best interest to set ground rules beyond the Automatic Temporary Injunctions. These additional temporary orders can resolve a number of issues during the pending divorce, including, but not limited to: child custody, child visitation, child support, possession of the marital home, possession of vehicles, support alimony, and possession of specific assets.

Step #6: Motions

Motions in a divorce case are simply a request by one or both parties for specific orders of the court during the divorce case. Either party may submit a formal request to the family law judge for orders during the divorce. Some of the most common motions involve requests for protective orders, restraining orders, and motions to compel discovery.

Step #7: Hearings

Some issues must be resolved prior to the final divorce decree and cannot be reached by agreement of the parties. In addition to drafting and submitting motions to the divorce court as indicated above sometimes the court will have to hold a hearing to decide the outcome of issues in a divorce action. A common issue litigated in contested divorce in Oklahoma is where children will live during the divorce. Both parties may fight to have physical custody of their children during the divorce by filing a motion and holding a hearing before the divorce court. The outcome of hearings prior to the final divorce are generally temporary orders, which can or will be changed in the final divorce decree or child custody order.

Step #8: Discovery

Discovery in a divorce case, similar to other types of civil cases, is the process that allows each party to submit requests to the other party for information, admissions, or documents, which in theory allows both parties to learn more about the opposing party’s case and position in the divorce or child custody case. The primary tools in discovery are interrogatories (questions to the other party); requests for admissions; requests for production (documents and other tangible evidence); and depositions (questioning the other party under oath).

Step #9: Mediation

In Oklahoma, most family law judges require the parties to participate in non-binding mediation prior to having a contested divorce or child custody trial. Mediation is a process where both parties present their side of the case, including custody, assets, finances, and every other issue to a neutral third party attorney, mediator, that gives advice on what he or she thinks is reasonable and/or what the trial judge would likely order. Often times being properly prepared for this step in the process will allow you and your Oklahoma divorce attorney to convince the mediator of your position and potentially the other party. The divorce or child custody case can be resolved, if the parties reach an agreement during mediation.

Step #10: Divorce Trial

Divorce or child custody trials are the final hearing before the initial court. Both parties present evidence, witnesses, financial records, and even expert witnesses in some cases. The family law judge listens to both parties and will decide the outcome of all issues before the court, including: child custody, child support, alimony, division of assets, the marital home, and other issues. The non-prevailing party may seek review by appeal. Otherwise, the parties must draft the necessary documents to enforce the Judgement of the Court.

Step #11: Judgement

The final orders of the court, whether agreed or decided at a contested divorce trial, governs child custody, child support, division of the marital assets, spousal support, and all other issues in a divorce or child custody case.

Oklahoma divorce procedure

CANNON & ASSOCIATES is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for clients facing divorce and child custody cases in Oklahoma. Founder, John Cannon, is a father and dedicated to each and every client facing divorce in Oklahoma. It is my hope this page has shed light on the complex process of Oklahoma divorce procedure.

You should contact an experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorney, if you are facing divorce or child custody issues. Your interests demand you contact an Oklahoma divorce attorney that understands the unique issues and procedures in an Oklahoma divorce case.

Conclusion

Experience matters when you are facing divorce or child custody issues in Oklahoma. It is important to know the family law attorney you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in divorce and family law. John Cannon, owner of CANNON & ASSOCIATES, is an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney and will personally represent you during your Oklahoma divorce case. John has the experience you need and will bring it to bear in your divorce or child custody case.

Additionally, John Cannon has an outstanding record of reaching the best possible outcome for hundreds of clients, evidenced by receiving the highest possible AVVO rating – 10 (superb). Contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES, PLLC to protect your rights and Fight for you in your Oklahoma divorce or custody case. You may send an email inquiry, complete the contact form on our website, or call at (405) 657-2323 for a free confidential

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