Clients are counseled to keep the process as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Contesting custody and property division, invariably creates a highly emotional battleground, and children usually top the list of casualties.
In Oklahoma, the law favors joint parenting which goes beyond issues of physical custody and involves parents agreeing to share decision-making regarding the children’s up bringing. If a divorcing couple can’t settle on a reasonable arrangement, a judge will step in and make the custody and property decisions for you.
Ask yourself what you really want. Focus on the children’s best interests. The court considers the parenting abilities of each person, and you should too. Keep the best interests of your kids in mind. Remember, nearly all divorces are decided by an agreement. It’s a commendable goal.
Divorce – An Overview
Contemplating divorce is always difficult. Whether you are sure you want to end your marriage or are still considering your options, it helps to learn the basics of divorce law and the process. Should you conclude that divorce is necessary, it is very important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Involving a knowledgeable family law attorney as soon as possible in the divorce process is one of the best ways to preserve your own long-term financial and emotional health.
As a practicing divorce attorney, Kurt Arras begins every case by making sure his clients are well informed about their options, obligations and possible outcomes. In an effort to make sure you emerge from this profound life experience as positively as possible, you need to have realistic expectations and clear, definite goals.
Grounds for Divorce
A divorce in Oklahoma may be granted on the basis of adultery, abandonment, fraud, cruelty, imprisonment, conviction of a felony, living apart, and others. However, the vast majority of divorces are granted on a no-fault basis, meaning that the marriage is beyond any reasonable hope of reconciliation.
In legal terms a divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. A divorce gives each person the legal right to marry someone else, divide the couple’s assets and debts and determine the future care and custody of their children.
Before a divorce may be granted, there are usually five basic issues that must be resolved. They are:
- Alimony or spousal support
- Property division; and, if there are children
- Child support
If a divorcing couple agrees on all five of these issues in writing, they will be granted an uncontested divorce and avoid adversarial divorce litigation.
Conversely, if there is disagreement on any of the basic issues, a contested divorce exists. When a divorce is contested, the couple may proceed through all phases of litigation including trial before a family court judge. The couple may also voluntarily seek alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaborative divorce or they may be ordered by the court to do so. It is important to consult with an attorney before deciding which method is right for your situation.