Marriages are intended to last the couple’s lifetime, but that is not always the case. People change and relationships turn sour — and some end up in divorce. We’re not going to talk about finding ways to patch things up here. We’re already past that. Instead, we will focus on key aspect of a divorce proceeding; that is, how to make it as fast and as painless for all parties involved as possible. When you want to sever ties with your husband or wife, you don’t want the issue to drag on and all problems to be fleshed out once again. You want the entire process to run as smoothly and as quickly as can be, so that both of you can start a new life with a clean slate.
If you are filing for divorce in Oklahoma, there are several ways to do it and the process becomes less of a chore if you hire a lawyer to do the dirty work for you. However, if you don’t have enough funds to retain an attorney, you can also make the divorce happen — and the easiest way to do so is to agree with your ex-wife/husband on all terms amicably and with no objections. It is very much possible to file for an Oklahoma divorce even with no attorney.
Filing for a Divorce in Oklahoma
Different US states have different laws when it comes to divorce. In Oklahoma, you and your spouse can file for a divorce if you have been a resident for at least six consecutive months before the petition is filed with the district court. It will be heard in the county or district where you have lived at least 30 days before the petition was filed.
If your filing is uncontested and your kids are still considered minors, you wait 90 days before the court grants your application. If you have any minor kids, the divorce can be finalized in just 10 days. However, if your divorce is contested and there are lots of assets that need to be segregated and issues to iron out, expect it to take longer. A so-called discovery process will first happen. This is when you exchange documents listing assets, liabilities and demands with your spouse’s camp and both of you will have to wait for a schedule to clear in the court’s docket.
Do You Need A Lawyer?
There is no rule in Oklahoma against representing yourself in a divorce proceeding, even in contested cases. But while that would save you money from lawyers’ fees, it can be a bigger headache. Lawyers specializing in family law problems have been studying and have trained for these situations, so it’s really best to let the professionals handle it if you want things to go smoothly. You can opt to hire a paralegal if you really want to, but he or she won’t be able to go to court to represent you for your hearing. Paralegals are also not licensed attorneys yet so they are technically not allowed to render any legal advice beyond entering your details into court papers.
The absence of a lawyer is all right if your divorce is uncontested and does not encounter any legal issues. This is when you are your spouse are in perfect agreement over the division of assets, who gets custody of the kids, how much alimony is going to be paid, how the debts will be divided, and more.
You and your spouse can also handle a single lawyer to handle the paperwork of your uncontested divorce just to speed things up and make sure that the signed papers go to the right offices. You can split the bill for the attorney, if you’re comfortable with that setup. But, usually, with an uncontested divorce, everybody is in agreement about how things are handled so this should be seamless.