If you decide to file for divorce on grounds of adultery, you must do so within six months of discovering that your spouse cheated on you. However, you cannot give adultery as a reason if you lived together as a couple for 6 months after you found out about it. You can only use the ground of adultery if you are the 'innocent' party i.
However, if you both had sexual relationships with other people, either husband or wife can file for divorce. There are essentially two distinct situations where the ground of unreasonable behaviour is given in a divorce petition: firstly where unreasonable behaviour has actually occurred - and secondly where none of the other grounds for divorce apply e. Although unreasonable behaviour can constitute serious accusations including domestic violence or drunkenness, it also encompasses rather vague issues such as lack of support in maintaining a household.
In reality, there is a very low standard when it comes to unreasonable behaviour, but some factual reason must be given and an incident of 'unreasonable behaviour' must have occurred less than six months prior to filing for divorce. It should be noted that, if your husband or wife has become intimate with someone else but has not had sexual relations with them, although adultery cannot be given as a ground for divorce, unreasonable behaviour can be used.
Similarly, if your spouse has a sexual relationship with a member of the same sex, this does not count as adultery but can count as unreasonable behaviour. If you and your spouse have lived apart for at least two years, and you both agree to get divorced, this ground can be used. If you have not been living with your husband or wife for at least five years, you can file for divorce on this ground, even if your spouse does not agree to divorce.
Understanding the impact of a new relationship on your divorce case.
If your husband or wife left you, without your agreement or a good reason and with the intention of ending the relationship, it may be possible to use the ground of desertion when filing for divorce. They must have deserted you for over two years within the last two and a half years and you can have lived together for up to six months during this period. In practice, this is a rarely used ground.
Courts divide debts in Oklahoma the same way they divide assets. If one spouse was found to have caused a considerable amount of marital debt during a marriage, they may be held to a different standard than the other spouse, meaning they might have to shoulder a larger part of that debt. Judges to have a fair amount of discretion and that means how all assets are divided, are subject to court review and approval to ensure a split is just and fair.
It may be possible preserve a gift or inheritance as sole ownership by having a spouse sign a pre- or postnuptial agreement agreeing that the asset belongs exclusively to the other spouse, no matter how it is characterized in the marriage. Just like other marital assets, pensions and retirement accounts must be considered when dividing assets in an Oklahoma divorce.
Generally, this applies only to the amounts accumulated during marriage.
Any amounts that a spouse accumulated before a marriage or after separation are considered separate property. Legally splitting pension and retirement accounts is done by executing a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO.
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The QDRO must be approved by the courts and then it is submitted to the plan administrator who must also approve it. This can take several months, but once in place it establishes the other spouse as an alternate payee and the account will be divided according to the specifics of the QDRO.
Determining the exact value of pensions and retirement accounts can be a complex process, and many times an expert such as an accountant, business appraiser, pension valuator, actuary, or a certified divorce financial analyst is retained to make an accurate assessment. Alimony is also called spousal support in Oklahoma.
It is usually paid in monthly installments but can also be paid in a single lump sum. It is sometimes granted on a short-term basis or for longer periods of time, depending on the particulars of a marriage.
The Divorce Process: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide
There is no set formula for determining amounts or duration in the state. The courts will look at several factors when determining a fair alimony payment. Some of those will include:. Alimony is gender neutral, meaning that husbands and wives can both request spousal support payments. As life events change, whether through the loss of a job or a health issue, or the other spouse gets married, alimony can be modified by going back to court and asking for that consideration.
Common Law Marriage in Oklahoma
Oklahoma has child support guidelines in place to determine the amount of support that each parent must provide. The parent who is not the primary custodian of the child generally pays the primary custodian his or her share of the base support. When parents make more than that, child support is computed using the maximum from the schedule, plus an additional amount that is determined by the court. Support continues until a child turns 18 years old.
If a child is still in high school, child support is paid until the child graduates or turns 19 years of age, whichever happens first. All child support in Oklahoma is collected by income assignment. A change might be the loss of a job, or a new baby or a shift in the amount of time your child spends with you. Custody and visitation issues in Oklahoma are driven by the best interests of children in a divorce. Courts can give custody to one or both parents and do not give preference to a mother or father based on gender.
They are also reluctant to separate siblings whenever possible. When custody is established, a court usually also decides the amount of visitation each parent will have with the child. Many factors may influence how this is determined. Substance abuse can be one of the fault-based reasons for getting a divorce in Oklahoma. By proving substance abuse existed and contributed to the break-up of a marriage, it may be possible to gain certain advantages when it comes to child custody or a division of assets, depending on the circumstances of the marriage. Even if substance abuse is not the state ground for the break-up of a marriage, it can still be cited when it comes to child custody.
Illegal drugs will probably have much more of an impact. Courts may require regular drug or alcohol screenings, and visitation may be dependent on a parent taking part in a treatment program. Bifurcation of marital status in Oklahoma is sometimes granted and means that both parties can legally divide their divorce into two stages.
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The first part satisfies the grounds for the divorce and allows a couple to become legally divorced without taking care of all the details. The second part addresses those issues, typically such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or become major sticking points that are keeping the divorce from being finalized. Keep in mind that bifurcation is not judicially efficient due to the need for two court actions or trials.
It can also be more expensive and drag out the process for a much longer time period.
Financial disclosures are mandatory as part of an Oklahoma divorce. Both spouses are required to disclose all of their marital assets to the court so that a fair and equitable distribution can take place. Your net income and debt payments must also be included as well. When a spouse files for divorce, an automatic injunction is put in place that prohibits selling, changing title, or concealing marital assets that goes into effect immediately. It includes financial accounts, such as bank, retirement, profit sharing, pensions and any other type of account that holds funds that are available or can be borrowed against.
Spouses are sometimes reluctant to release this type of information. When that happens, legal remedies may be employed, such as a subpoena served directly on a financial institution, to get all of the required information. Keep in mind that if a spouse lies on a financial disclosure document, they may be liable for both criminal and civil penalties.
A court may award additional compensation in the form of assets or cash. After a spouse petitions for divorce in Oklahoma, the defendant has 20 days after being served to respond to the divorce complaint. If they do not respond, it may be possible to seek a default judgment by asking the judge to grant the divorce despite no response. In this case, a defendant who does not respond forfeits their right to contest terms of the divorce, including child custody and support, alimony a division of assets and debts and other related issues.
Domestic violence is one of the grounds of divorce in Oklahoma, falling under the umbrella of extreme cruelty. It includes any kind of physical abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, or any other kind of harassment including those made through phone calls, mail, or social media inflicted on one spouse, children or other family members by the other spouse.