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Navigating Divorce and Family Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma: What You Should Know

Divorce is often the most prominent factor in family law proceedings, signifying the legal termination of a marital union. In Oklahoma, divorce can be either contested or uncontested. Uncontested divorce, also known as a waiver divorce, occurs when both parties amicably agree to the divorce and its surrounding terms, including property division, child custody, and support arrangements. In contrast, a contested divorce arises when there is disagreement between the parties on one or more issues, necessitating the intervention of the court to make determinations.

Divorce and family law matters can be an emotionally charged and complex process for all 

parties involved. As families in Tulsa, Oklahoma, confront these challenges, it is crucial to understand the legal aspects that govern such situations and the importance of professional guidance in navigating these issues.

In this guide, we will delve into the primary areas of divorce and family law that may impact your life, providing vital information about the legal process, important considerations, and the advantages of working with an experienced family law attorney.

Grounds for Divorce in Oklahoma

Oklahoma law allows both fault-based and no-fault divorce options for couples seeking separation. A fault-based divorce involves one partner holding the other responsible for the dissolution of marriage due to specific reasons. Grounds for a fault-based divorce in Oklahoma may include:

1. Adultery

2. Extreme cruelty

3. Abandonment for one year or more

4. Imprisonment

5. Fraudulent contract

6. Habitual drunkenness

7. Insanity

Alternatively, couples may choose a no-fault divorce, which does not require either spouse to prove wrongdoing. In Oklahoma, the most common no-fault ground for divorce is “incompatibility.”

Division of Property

In divorce cases, equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities is a significant concern. Oklahoma follows the principle of equitable distribution, which implies that property should be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Factors that the court may consider when distributing property include:

1. The length of the marriage

2. Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage

3. The earning potential of each spouse

4. The value of assets and liabilities

5. Each spouse’s responsibility for childcare, if applicable

It is essential to understand that property division may encompass a wide variety of assets, including real estate, financial investments, retirement accounts, business interests, and personal property.

Child Custody and Visitation

In Oklahoma, courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation arrangements. Several factors are considered, such as the child’s needs, the parents’ ability to provide care, the desire for stability, and the importance of maintaining relationships with siblings and other family members.

Physical custody refers to the arrangement where the child resides, while legal custody pertains to the responsibility for making critical decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. Oklahoma encourages equitable involvement of both parents, leading to joint custody arrangements in many cases. However, sole custody may be granted if the court determines that one parent is better suited to meet the child’s best interests.

Parenting plans developed in collaboration with your attorney can help detail the specific provisions concerning custody and visitation arrangements, including holidays, vacations, and communication guidelines.

Spousal and Child Support

Divorce often raises concerns over financial obligations and support. In Oklahoma, the court may award spousal support, also known as alimony, to one partner following a divorce. Factors influencing the decision and amount awarded include:

1. The length of marriage

2. The earning capacity of each spouse

3. The health and age of each spouse

4. The standard of living established during the marriage

Child support, on the other hand, is a financial obligation designed to ensure that both parents contribute to the well-being and upbringing of their children. Oklahoma uses the Income Shares Model, which determines the child support amount based on each parent’s income, as well as the number of children involved.

Professional Support for Your Divorce and Family Law Needs

Divorce and family law issues are emotionally challenging and legally demanding, requiring a clear understanding of your rights and obligations under Oklahoma law. A skilled family law attorney can provide the support and guidance you need to confidently manage your divorce, helping you address the critical aspects of property division, custody, and support that will shape your family’s future.

Our team at Welsh & McGough, PLLC, understands the sensitive nature of divorce and family law matters and is dedicated to supporting you every step of the way. Reach out to our family attorney in Tulsa, OK, to discuss your concerns and secure, compassionate, expert legal representation for your case.

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