In an action for divorce without minor children, the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage can be granted ten (10) days after the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  In an action for divorce with minor children, the Decree can be granted ninety (90) days after the filing of the Petition.  This ninety-day waiting period may be waived by the court for good cause shown and without objection by either party.  In actions for divorce with minor children,  based upon incompatibility, the parties are required to attend a parenting course prior to the entry of the Decree.

Child Custody

Legal custody is having the ability to make major decisions regarding the physical, mental, and moral welfare and upbringing of the child.  Physical custody is the actual time with the child.  Therefore, if the parties are awarded joint legal custody, this does not necessarily mean that the parties are also awarded equal time with the child. 

In making a custody determination, the court is required to apply the “best interest” test.  This test requires the court to consider what appears to be in the best interests of the physical, mental and moral welfare of the child.  In determining whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court must consider several factors.  The most important factor is the parties’ ability to co-parent with one another.  

Child Support

All children in Oklahoma are entitled to be supported by both parents until they reach eighteen years of age. If a child is regularly enrolled in and attending high school or other means of high school education or an alternative high school education program as a full-time student, the child shall be entitled to support by the parents until the child graduates from high school or until the age of twenty, whichever occurs first.  

Child support must be computed in every case, regardless of whether the custodial situation is sole or joint.  Child support is determined by using the adjusted gross incomes of both parents.  A statutory table provides the total amount that the Legislature estimated it will cost to support the number of children of the parties.  

Marital assets and marital debts must be equitably divided between the parties.  The word “equitable” does not necessarily mean 50/50.  There is no exact formula or standard for the trial courts to follow to arrive at an equitable division of marital property and debts.

Division of the Marital Estate

A support alimony award is based on two factors: (1) a party's need; and (2) the other party's ability to pay.  There is no exact formula to follow in calculating support alimony.  However, the court must consider the station in life and conduct of the parties, earning capacity and estate of the parties, and the contributions of the recipient to the marital estate.  

Support Alimony

Indirect contempt is the willful disobedience of a lawful order or process of a court.  Thus, orders pertaining to the division of property and debt, payment of child support and support alimony,  and visitation  are enforceable through indirect contempt.  The range of punishment for indirect contempt of court is up to six months in the county jail and/or a $500.00 fine.

Indirect Contempt

A Victim Protective Order provides immediate civil, non-monetary relief for victims  of domestic abuse, stalking, an harassment.  These Orders have been extended to protect any animal owed by the victim, the defendant, or any minor child residing in the residence of either party.  The maximum amount of time in which a protective order can remain in effect is five years.    

Victim Protective Order

Before a grandparent may be awarded visitation rights, the following must be established: (1) The Court must determine that it would be in the minor child's best interest to have visitation with his or her grandparents; (2) There must be a showing of parental unfitness or clear and convincing evidence that the grandparent has rebutted the presumption that the fit parent is acting in the best interest of the minor child by a showing that the child would suffer harm or potential harm without the granting of visitation rights to the grandparent; and (3) The intact nuclear family has been disrupted.

Grandparent Visitation RIghts