Property defination in oklahoma divorce law

Rolke Cheri D. Here are a few examples of separate property: The car you bought on your own before marriage. The silverware you inherited during marriage. The piece of furniture you bought during marriage using money you inherited. The money your parents sent to help you out after your divorce.

And here are a few examples of marital property: The home you and your spouse bought together while married. The bank accounts you and your spouse opened together, and contributed to, while married. The credit cards you and your spouse got together, and paid off together, while married. To come up with a fair division scheme, the judge may consider the following questions about each of you: Are you able to work? What is your job and income? Do you have a disability or illness?

What is the extent of your debts? How do you know if you are married by common law? You are married by common law if you and your spouse are eligible to be married you are over 18 and not married to anyone else and you have held yourselves out as married. To decide whether you have held yourselves out as married, a judge will look at how you have acted, such as whether you have used the same last names, had a child together, told people you were married, leased an apartment as husband and wife, or filed joint income tax returns.

To get a divorce, you must show that there are grounds for divorce. The most common ground is incompatibility. You and your spouse are incompatible if at least one of you is willing to testify that you cannot get along and that you want a divorce. Other common grounds include abandonment for one year and adultery.

You must live in Oklahoma for 6 months before you can file for divorce. You must file your case in the county in which your spouse lives, or in which you have lived at least 30 days. The court will decide who gets custody of any children born to you and your spouse, even if the children were born before your marriage.

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If you cannot reach an agreement on custody, the court will hold a trial and decide what is in the best interests of the children. Some judges will require you to go to mediation, where a neutral third person tries to help you agree. Sometimes, couples agree to joint custody, which means they both will decide together all major decisions affecting the children.

Usually, the parent who does not get custody of the children gets visitation rights. Visitation often provides contact with the children every other weekend, every other major holiday, and an extended time in the summer but visitation orders vary.

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The Termination of Marriage & a Legal Separation in Oklahoma | LegalZoom Legal Info

If the parent without custody is considered dangerous to the children, the judge may restrict visitation, or require that it be supervised. Grounds for restricting visitation include drug use, abuse of the children, abuse of the other parent, and alcohol problems. The parent who does not have custody is usually required to pay child support.


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The amount of support is based on the income of the parents. The court will also order the other parent to pay a part of the children's medical expenses, health insurance, and day-care costs. The court can divide most of the property that you and your spouse acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name it is in.

If you and your spouse are not able to agree on how to divide your savings, furniture, cars, house, and other property, the court will make that decision. The court can also return any separate property to its owner. Separate property is property either of you owned before you got married, or that you received during the marriage by gift or inheritance. The court will also divide the various debts of the marriage. Alimony is money that one spouse is ordered to pay to the other for support. Alimony depends on the length of the marriage, the need and income of the parties, and other factors.

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.

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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.

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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.

Divorce Laws in Oklahoma

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.


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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.

Aside from having a negative impact on a marriage over the long-term, the immediate threat must be dealt with as soon as possible.

This may mean leaving the residence as soon as possible, seeking a Domestic Violence Protective Order and working with law enforcement if assault or other crimes have been committed. Domestic violence will definitely have an impact on child custody.