Perimeter Center Drive, Suite 230
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
WITH SO MUCH AT STAKE WHY GO IT ALONE?
Uncontested Divorce FAQ
FREQUENTLY ASKED OKLAHOMA UNCONTESTED DIVORCE QUESTIONS
Below are answers to questions frequently asked by men and women regarding uncontested divorce within the state of Oklahoma. Please remember the answers and the information contained on this web site are based on general facts and might not apply to specific factual situations. In addition, this information is based on Oklahoma law. The laws of other states may differ substantially. The information contained on this web site is not meant to be specific legal advice. Always consult a lawyer to apply the law to your specific facts and state.
1. What is an agreed to or uncontested divorce?
A divorce is uncontested when both parties agree on all issues including the division of debts, assets, child custody and child visitation.
2. Can one attorney represent the husband and wife if the divorce is uncontested?
One attorney can draft the paperwork for the divorce, but the best practice for the attorney to represent only one person to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
3. Can I be divorced more quickly if the divorce is uncontested?
Generally speaking it is much quicker to get divorced if the divorce is uncontested. Under Oklahoma law you must wait ten days before your divorce is granted if there are no minor children of the marriage and ninety days after filing if there are minor children of the marriage. A judge might waive some or all of the 90 day waiting period for good cause and if both parties request the waiver in writing. A contested divorce may take more than nine months to complete due to discovery, trial preparation and the court's availability.
4. What are the benefits of an uncontested divorce?
There are a number of possible benefits. The cost is less than the cost of a contested divorce. You are in control of the division of your assets and debts. You can create a custody and visitation plan that works for your family. The process can be completed much more quickly. It is possible to avoid the anger and hard feelings that often occur during a trial.
5. Why shouldn't I go through a "service" and do my own divorce?
If you have been married a very short time, you don't have any children and you don't have many debts or assets then doing your own divorce may be an acceptable choice. Carefully read the fine print before you decide to use one of the "services". Many of these services are not provided by attorneys. Many of these services have a disclaimer that clearly states the service is not providing legal advice. In Oklahoma only an attorney licensed in this state can provide legal advice. If you choose to use a "service" you are truly on your own and it is your responsibility to understand your rights and the legal consequences of your final Decree. If you make a mistake it may be very difficult or even impossible to fix after the Decree of Divorce is filed.
If you have been married for more than a few months, if you have children, if you have martial assets or debts or if you are not sure you understand all of your legal rights it would be in your best interest to have an attorney advise you and draw up your paperwork. Often the cost of using an attorney for a consent divorce is not much more than using a "service" and it is a small price to pay to make sure your Decree of Divorce reflects your intent.
6. Do I need my own attorney if my spouse's attorney is willing to prepare the uncontested divorce documents?
It is generally a good idea to hire your own attorney to at least review the documents prepared by your spouse's attorney so you can be advised on your rights before you sign and the divorce is finalized. Your spouse's attorney is representing your spouse and is looking out for your spouse's best interests. Sometimes there are a variety of ways to handle an issue in a decree of divorce with one way being more beneficial to one party and another way being more beneficial to the other party. It is prudent to make sure you are aware of the various legal options before finalizing the paperwork.
7. What are the steps to complete an uncontested divorce?
After the initial meeting Ms. Smith will prepare a Petition for Divorce as well as a Waiver. Those documents will be filed with the court clerk and then served on your spouse. Next Ms. Smith will draft a Decree of Divorce as well as a Custody and Visitation Plan and Child Support Computation if you have children. After both parties review, approve and sign the documents she will set a date to present the Decree to the judge. If you have minor children a new law which went into effect on November 1, 2014 requires both parents to attend a court approved class about children and divorce before the divorce can be finalized. Ms. Smith will then appear with you to present the decree to the judge for signature. Your spouse can attend but it is not necessary. You will testify at the Hearing regarding the divorce agreement, jurisdiction and venue. If everything is in order the judge will grant the divorce and you will be divorced as of that day.