What Is the Divorce Waiting Period in Oklahoma?

man waiting for divorce in oklahoma

In Oklahoma, there is a mandatory waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. According to the Oklahoma Statutes Title 43, Section 101, the waiting period is 90 days from the date the divorce petition is filed. This waiting period allows for a cooling-off period and gives spouses an opportunity to consider reconciliation or resolve any issues related to the divorce.

Understanding the Divorce Process in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the length of the marriage dissolution process is based on the type of divorce. Since divorces can be contested and uncontested, fault and no-fault, and with or without children involved, it is quite difficult to predict how long the divorce process will take.

The marriage dissolution where spouses have disputes regarding property division, alimony, or child custody is called a contested divorce in Oklahoma. These divorces may last from several months to a year or more due to lengthy court litigation required for parties to agree and for a judge to make a final decision on the case. Uncontested divorce in Oklahoma usually takes less time because spouses have already reached an agreement on the major issues of marriage termination.

The Divorce Waiting Period in Oklahoma

There is a mandatory 10- or 90-day waiting period in Oklahoma from the time the petition is submitted to the court until the marriage can be officially dissolved. If spouses are in agreement on all divorce terms and do not have minor children together, they can obtain a divorce after ten days.

The waiting period is extended to 90 days for divorces with minor kids involved. During this time, spouses must participate in family counseling. This way, they can prepare to take care of kids when living apart after the divorce and know the specifics of raising kids by divorced couples. 

A judge may not force spouses to attend family therapy in some specific circumstances, such as extreme cruelty towards the other party, imprisonment of one spouse for a serious crime, cruelty to children, etc.  

A judge may reduce the waiting period if spouses have already attended counseling, and it is clear the reconciliation is not possible, or if the divorce process has to be accelerated for some valid reason and neither spouse objects to it.

How Long Does a Divorce Take in Oklahoma?

The average time for divorce depends on the grounds and type of dissolution of marriage and can range from several weeks to 3 months or more. If the spouses manage to reach an agreement quickly, they can be divorced at the first hearing. If a counter-petition is filed, more hearings will be required, which prolongs the divorce process. In practice, the divorce length for no-fault and uncontested proceedings is about a few weeks if a couple does not have children. Fault and contested divorces may continue for six months and more.

How Long Does Divorce Take to Finalize?

In uncontested divorces with or without children, legal proceedings usually last from two weeks to four months on average, respectively, and depend mostly on the court’s workload. In contested divorces, the judge’s final decision can be obtained in 6-8 months.

Once you file for divorce, you will have to wait until:

  • the other spouse responds to the divorce petition in up to 20 days,
  • the mandatory waiting period of a maximum of 90 days is over,
  • and the court schedules a final hearing where they will issue a divorce decree.

The total duration of the divorce will also depend on the number of hearings in your case. The more contested issues to resolve, the longer the divorce will take.

Why Does It Take So Long to Finalize a Divorce in Oklahoma?

The common factor that leads to prolonged litigation is the inability of spouses to come to an agreement. How quickly you can get a divorce depends on several factors, as mentioned above. These include the need to resolve child-related issues, reasons for initiating a divorce, and disputes between spouses.

You can shorten the process by agreeing on the property division, child custody, and other divorce issues in advance. If you cannot do it on your own, it is possible to involve professional mediators or arbitrators. Spouses who have a marital settlement agreement and submit it to the court along with the petition can obtain the divorce faster.

In uncontested cases, quick divorce in Oklahoma online is also possible with the help of online divorce services, which can take care of all the paperwork required for your case and provide guidelines on how to complete the filing process efficiently.