What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce in Oklahoma?
There are two types of divorce in Oklahoma, uncontested divorce and contested divorce. These essentially depend on whether or not both spouses agree on all the issues surrounding the divorce, including the child support complexities, property division, and any other factor that could impact the divorce process and its outcome.
If you and your spouse cannot come to a full agreement on all the factors in the marriage (meaning you would be having a contested divorce), it is incredibly important that you have a capable and experienced lawyer at your side. Your spouse will most likely also have legal representation, and it is crucial to be properly represented during the mediation and settlement process. If not, you could end up with alimony or child custody decisions that are not in your favor.
We understand all types of divorces are extremely difficult, whether contested or uncontested. Here at Cannon & Associates, we have a wealth of experience ensuring divorcees receive fair terms in their divorce settlement.
Get the secure backing of an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney today by calling 405-591-3935.
What Is An Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is when both parties are able to come to an agreement about all of the issues that surround ending a marriage – such as how the property is divided and how child custody and child support arrangements are going to be handled in the future. This is known as a waiver divorce or a dissolution of marriage.
Essentially, uncontested divorce is what we typically see from a more amicable relationship. However, this does not mean that you have to be in agreement about everything. There are two common ways to handle uncontested divorce in Oklahoma, which we will cover below.
Uncontested Divorce When Both Parties Are In Total Agreement
If you and your spouse agree completely on what the outcome of your divorce process will be, then things should be relatively simple. There will be no need to go to trial.
Instead, you will need to sit down and create a marital settlement agreement, stating which items will become the separate property of each spouse, and how child support arrangements will be handled once both parties are separated. This will then be filed along with the other initial paperwork (which we will get to later) when filing for your divorce.
While you should count yourself lucky if you and your spouse agree, it always pays to be cautious. We would highly recommend getting a divorce attorney to look over your settlement agreement before you sign it. Experienced divorce attorneys will help you notice any potential serious mistakes before you commit yourself to them legally.
Uncontested Divorce With Mediation
It is common for spouses to be in agreement about many of the things that would result from their divorce, but still not be able to reach a satisfying conclusion between themselves.
In this situation, the divorcing parties do not necessarily need to drag themselves through the trial process in order to come to an agreement. Divorce mediation is still possible without the aim of going to court, and can often help to solve those delicate disagreements where too much personal feeling is getting in the way.
Divorce mediators are divorce attorneys who help both parties come to the best possible compromise between them. Having an Oklahoma divorce attorney for this purpose is a great idea if you want to get the best and most fair deal for yourself, avoid emotionally-charged conflict, and keep things civil and well-considered.
What Is A Contested Divorce?
Contested divorces are those where neither spouse can come to an agreement about the terms of the divorce.
Contested divorces are very common, and may be caused by disagreements over sensitive issues the care and visitation of children, alimony payments, division of contested assets, or just a divorce process that generally turned ugly and emotional.
A contested divorce is usually a litigated divorce, where the two parties take their case to court and let the judge decide the final outcome.
Does Every Contested Divorce Have To Go To Trial?
No, not every contested divorce has to end in a trial. However, in order to avoid the drama, time, and added expense of the trial process, both parties must reach a mutually agreed divorce settlement.
Contested divorce cases usually reach this settlement through a mediation process before the time of the trial. Each spouse and their attorney must come to an agreed-upon compromise about all of the major issues. This agreement must then be signed to ensure the divorce case does not need to go to trial.
What Are The Benefits Of A Uncontested Or Waiver Divorce?
Uncontested divorces, known technically as a waiver divorce, are the preferred option. Waiver divorces have many benefits, the largest of which are:
- They are fast. As soon as your divorce decree is agreed upon, you can be quickly legally separated. There is no need to suffer a lengthy waiting period of weeks or months, as with a contested divorce.
- They are less expensive. If you and your spouse are able to agree on all of the issues in your divorce decree, you will save a considerable amount of money on lawyer and court fees.
- They are more amicable. Emotional legal drama is not always in the best interests of parents with young children. By avoiding confrontation, dynamics can be kept civil to avoid impacting the mental or emotional health of any children involved.
When Is A Contested Divorce Case The Right Option?
While uncontested divorces are no doubt easier, we do not live in a perfect world and often a contested divorce process is the only option to secure a fair settlement for both parties.
You should strongly consider hiring an Oklahoma divorce attorney to guide you through your contested divorce if:
- You are unhappy with the way assets are being split, for example, if you want more money or both parties dispute what should be done with property.
- You are being threatened with unfair or unreasonable alimony or child support costs.
- You are being offered an unfair visitation or custody agreement concerning your children.
- You have a complex case, such as one where you both own a business together.
If you are facing a contested divorce and require mediation, having an experienced and capable attorney who you trust to have your best interest in mind can make a world of difference. To find out how we could help you, call today for a free consultation.
The Process For Filing An Oklahoma Uncontested Divorce
If you and your spouse are able to agree completely on all aspects of the divorce, filing your uncontested divorce should be simple.
Instead of serving your spouse divorce papers, a waiver divorce allows one spouse to waive their right to receive a divorce petition. The other spouse then files a dissolution of marriage petition, claiming a no-fault divorce based on incompatibility.
After this, both parties must create and sign a divorce settlement agreement that includes details of how assets will be divided, any spousal support, and a parenting plan.
This agreement must be accompanied by some divorce paperwork. As the divorce paperwork needed varies from county to county in Oklahoma, it is best to double-check this with your court clerk’s office. Or, better yet, hire an attorney and let them handle all the paperwork related to your divorce case.
You will also have to pay a filing fee for a dissolution of marriage. Again, the costs associated with this vary across different counties in Oklahoma. If you feel you cannot afford the fee, you may instead file an affidavit to request that the fee be waived.
The Process For Filing An Oklahoma Contested Divorce
If you are going through a contested divorce in Oklahoma, you must first serve a divorce petition to your spouse. This may be done by a professional process server or a county sheriff.
This petition should contain the reasons for the divorce, as well as the arrangements (in terms of care of the children, property division, child support, etc.) that you are proposing.
The other party must then respond within twenty days. If the other party does not agree with the terms you have proposed, they must file a counterclaim petition for divorce.
If, at this point, neither party can agree to the terms, the court will issue a summons and both parties will need to attend a hearing. At the hearing, both parties have the opportunity to lay out the disputed issues.
If no agreement can be made at the hearing, the divorce will proceed to trial. It may be possible to reach a settlement before the date of the trial, especially with the help of divorce mediators. However, if you cannot, then it will be the judge who determines the final outcome.
A Lawyer Can Help With Both Contested And Uncontested Divorces
It is hard to overstate the importance of securing experienced legal counsel whether you are going through a contested or uncontested divorce in Oklahoma.
When signing your divorce settlement agreement, a lot is at stake. If you do not have a lawyer by your side, you could end up with an unfair division of property or less visitation and access to your children than you deserve. On a more human level, legal representation can help you to solve lengthy and potentially bitter emotional disagreements in a civil and controlled environment – which is a particular advantage to parents of young children.
No matter what your circumstances, an Oklahoma divorce attorney from Cannon & Associates can help you. We offer all our potential clients a free consultation to get to grips with their case, where we will let you know what you should expect from the divorce process.
Do not settle for less than you deserve. Hire an Oklahoma divorce lawyer today by calling 405-591-3935.
Our Client Reviews
More 5-star Reviews Than 99% Of Lawyers In Oklahoma
"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."
"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."
"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."
"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."
"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"
"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"
"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."
"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."
"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."
"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."
"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."
"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"
"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"
"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."