Divorce is a difficult decision, and the process can be confusing and overwhelming. If you’re considering filing for divorce, it’s essential to understand the steps involved in starting the process. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide to starting the divorce process, so you can be better prepared and informed.
Step 1: Meet the Residency Requirements
Before you can file for divorce in Oklahoma, you must meet the residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least six months before filing for divorce. Additionally, you must file for divorce in the county where you or your spouse resides.
Step 2: Determine the Grounds for Divorce
Oklahoma is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that you don’t need to prove that your spouse did something wrong to file for divorce. You can simply state that your marriage is irretrievably broken and that there is no chance of reconciliation. However, if you want to file for divorce based on fault grounds, such as adultery, abandonment, or cruelty, you can do so.
Step 3: Prepare and File the Petition for Divorce
To start the divorce process, you must prepare and file a petition for divorce with the court. The petition must include information about you, your spouse, your children, and the grounds for divorce. You must also pay a filing fee to the court.
Step 4: Serve the Petition on Your Spouse
After you file the petition for divorce, you must serve a copy on your spouse. This can be done by mail, by a process server, or by your spouse accepting service. Your spouse then has 20 days to file a response to the petition.
Step 5: Attend the Initial Hearing
After your spouse files a response, the court will set an initial hearing. At the hearing, the judge will hear from both parties and make temporary orders regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.
Step 6: Negotiate a Settlement or Go to Trial
After the initial hearing, you and your spouse will have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement agreement regarding the terms of the divorce. If you can’t reach an agreement, you’ll go to trial, and the judge will make a final decision.
Starting the divorce process in Oklahoma can be a daunting task, but understanding the steps involved can make it less overwhelming. If you’re considering filing for divorce, it’s essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights.
At Bundy Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the divorce process successfully.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.