Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law in Oklahoma
Knowledgeable professionals address your personal concerns
When you have a family law dispute, you want clear answers to your most pressing questions. While many family law firms may be more interested in getting clients to follow their lead, our attorneys at Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC in Oklahoma City are focused on your concerns. We take the time to answer your questions, so you know what to expect from the legal process, understand your options, and have confidence in the strategy we suggest, based on our many years of experience. Questions we frequently hear include:
- What are grounds for divorce in Oklahoma?
- How does a court split up property in a divorce?
- How long do divorce proceedings typically last?
- What’s the difference between legal separation and divorce?
- How does the court determine child custody?
While it’s impossible to give a thorough answer until we know your unique circumstances, we look forward to discussing your concerns in more depth.
Contact our respected Oklahoma family law firm for a free consultation
Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC represents Oklahoma clients in a wide range of family law cases, including divorce and child custody disputes. Please call 405-416-2711 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation at our Oklahoma City office.
Oklahoma law has two basic options for divorce: no-fault and fault. A spouse can file no-fault by citing incompatibility without alleging any marital misconduct. Alternately, a spouse can allege misconduct that has made the marriage untenable. These include:
- Abandonment for at least one year
- A wife’s pregnancy by another man at the time of marriage
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Habitual drunkenness
- Gross neglect of duty
- Conviction of a felony for which the other spouse is incarcerated
- Condition of insanity, confirmed by three doctors, lasting at least five years, during which the spouse has been institutionalized
The decision to file for a no-fault or fault divorce is strategic. You should consult a reputable attorney before deciding on how to proceed.
Oklahoma applies the doctrine of equitable distribution of marital property. This means that assets and debts acquired by either of the spouses during the marriage are divided fairly, though not always equally, based on the court’s consideration of such factors as each spouse’s earning capacity, independent financial resources, special needs and contributions to the marriage — including as a homemaker. Property that either spouse owned prior to marriage is generally not subject to division.
There really is no typical length of time to complete the process, since every divorce is different. However, uncontested divorces, where spouses agree to a settlement of their major issues, can be finalized in as little as three months, while contested divorces can last for two years or more.
Legal separation allows a couple to live apart without dissolving the marriage. The couple must resolve the same issues they would in a divorce: alimony, property division, child custody and child support. Legal separation is appropriate for couples who have a religious objection to divorce or believe there may be a chance to reconcile in the future. A legal separation agreement can later be used as the basis of a no-fault divorce decree.
The overriding consideration for the court in any child custody dispute is “the best interests of the child.” The court makes this determination by weighing the totality of the circumstances impacting the child, such as the quality of the relationship with each parent, each parent’s ability to serve as a primary caretaker, each parent’s ability to provide an appropriate residence for the child, and the importance of stability in the child’s life.