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9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday - Thursday
9:00 am to noon, Friday
Cline Law Office
4045 NW 64th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73116
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Can I get a divorce in Oklahoma?
Typically, you can be divorced in Oklahoma if you have or your spouse have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least 6 consecutive months prior to filing a petition for divorce with the district Court.
Where will my divorce case going to be heard?
In the district Court of the county where you or your spouse have resided for at least 30 consecutive days prior to filing your divorce petition.
How do I commence divorce proceedings?
A verified Petition for Divorce must be filed in the district Court in the county where you or your spouse have resided for at least 30 consecutive days prior to filing your divorce petition.
How do attorneys charge for your legal services?
Most attorneys charge a retainer fee on contested matters. Some attorneys may charge a flat fee on agreed or uncontested matter. Clients are responsible for the payment of any out-of-pocket expenses, including Court costs, filing fees charges by the Court clerks office, transcripts, copies; etc.
What is a retainer fee?
A retainer fee is a prepayment of attorney fees prior to an attorney commencing work on your case. Most attorneys bill hourly against the retainer fee paid by the client and submit invoices on a regular (ie: monthly) basis to the client itemizing the hours spent on the client's case, the retainer received by the firm, and the amount paid from the retainer to cover the attorney's fees incurred.
Will the retainer fee cover my entire attorney fee?
In contested matters, it is difficult to estimate the time that will be spent on a client's case and the retainer may used prior to the conclusion of a client's case. In such instances, the client will be responsible for paying any balances owed for services rendered based upon the agreement between the client and attorney, which is usually billed at the attorney's hourly rate.
Can I pay a flat fee if my divorce is uncontested?
Often parties will agree to all of the terms of their divorce and would like an attorney to handle the divorce case for a flat fee. Many attorneys will charge a flat fee on uncontested/agreed divorces with the client paying the costs of the filing fee and any other out-of-pocket expenses. However, most attorneys will charge an hourly rate if the matter becomes contested.
Can an attorney represent both me and my spouse in an uncontested divorce?
Most attorneys will only represent one party in a divorce action to avoid conflicts of interest. An attorney can draft the decree of divorce according to the agreement that you and your spouse have made, allow your spouse to review the decree of divorce and approve it prior to it being presented and approved by the Court.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Oklahoma?
In uncontested divorces, if the divorcing parties have minor children, there is typically a 90 day waiting period between the time a divorce can be granted by the Court and the filing date of the petition. Divorces that do not involve minor children can be finalized in as little as 10 days from the date of filing the petition for divorce. If your case is contested, the divorce will usually take longer to complete than the 90 day and 10 day waiting periods due to the discovery process and dockets in family Court.
Who pays child support in a divorce case?
Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent.
How is child support calculated?
Child support is calculated pursuant to the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines adopted by the Oklahoma legislature. Child support is computed based upon the number of minor children, the gross monthly income of both parties and in some cases the number of nights the minor children spend with the non-custodial parents. The child support guidelines take into consideration the health insurance premiums paid by one party for the health care coverage of the minor children.
How is custody handled in a divorce case?
In Oklahoma, there are two types of custody, sole custody of the minor children to one party with visitation to the non-custodial parent and joint custody where the minor child primarily resides at one residence but both parties are jointly responsible for making decisions on behalf of the minor children. Custody in contested cases is decided by the Court according to the best "interests of the children" standard. In the case of Joint Custody, a joint custody plan is drafted according to the agreement of the parties. The Joint Custody Plan is submitted to the Court for approval.
How is the division of property and debts handled in a divorce?
In contested divorce actions, property and debt are divided by the Court according to what the Court decides to be an equitable division of property and debt between the parties. Much is left to the discretion of the Court in property division cases that are contested. An equitable division does not necessarily mean an equal (50/50 split between the parties) division.
What is Support Alimony and when is it awarded by the Court?
Support Alimony is the payment of a sum certain, usually on a monthly basis, from one divorcing party to the other. Support Alimony may be ordered in a divorce case in addition to child support. Whether Support Alimony payments are appropriate in a case depends upon the one party's need for support and the other party's ability to pay support alimony. Support Alimony is considered taxable income to the receiving party.
What assets are subject to division of the Court in a divorce case?
The Court makes a distinction between marital assets and separate assets. Marital assets are assets acquired during the marriage. Separate assets are asset which one party acquired prior to a marriage and maintained as separate property, property inherited during the marriage and property received as a gift by one party during the marriage. A party can turn a separate asset into marital asset by commingling the asset. Examples include: adding a new spouse's name to a bank account, car title, or deed to the home as joint tenants with right of survivorship.
What is alimony in lieu of property division?
Alimony in lieu of property division is separate and distinct from support alimony. Often the division of marital property can be difficult when dealing with marital assets such as a family owned business. The party responsible for paying alimony in lieu of property division is typically awarded an asset, and ordered to pay the opposing party alimony in lieu of property division for the other party's his/her share of the value of the marital asset awarded to the payor.
What is a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement?
Prenuptial and antenuptial agreements are agreements entered into between parties contemplating marriage. Such agreements are primarily concerned with division and ownership of marital property by the parties in the event of divorce or death of one of the parties.
Should I have a prenuptial or antenuptial agreement before I marry?
A marital agreement should be considered in certain circumstances. Factors to consider would include the age of the marrying parties, the testamentary laws of the state, children from prior marriages, disparities in income, the estate planning of each of the parties and expectations of the marrying parties.
Is my decree of divorce modifiable?
Post-decree modifications can be requested by motion to the Court. Post-decree modifications can be made concerning child custody, child support, visitation, and support alimony in certain situations. A post-decree modification can not be made to the award of property division in the decree of divorce.
Why should I hire an attorney, its just a bunch of paper work isn't it?
Hiring an attorney should be given serious consideration when dealing with a family law problems. Whether it's a plain vanilla agreed/uncontested divorce or the modification of child custody, the Judge will presume you know the law as it pertains to your case and understand the rules of the Court when you are before the Court requesting relief. The law is ever changing and its complexity is overwhelming at times even for those whose practice law. Without an attorney's legal experience and expertise on your side, you may be at a distinct disadvantage.
Couldn't I just hire a paralegal that advertises in the advertising guides I receive in the mail?
You could, but a paralegal won't be able to go to Court with you for your hearing and you are on your own once the paralegal types the papers. After looking at some divorce papers drafted by paralegals, I know I wouldn't take that chance. Attorneys are required to take 12 hours of continuing legal education in the State of Oklahoma to keep their law licenses current. If your case is important to you, then you should seek the most knowledgeable and professional person available to help you with your situation - and that would be an attorney practicing in the area of divorce and family law.