Yes, we charge $80 for consultations. We are confident that you will think that your time with us was worth it. If you are not, then we will gladly refund your consultation fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will my case cost?
This depends on what you ask us to do.
We charge one fee for our services. We set this fee after carefully discussing your case with you at a consultation.
Do you charge by the hour?
No, absolutely not.
We have been doing this long enough that we can set one amount that covers all of our fees in your case from beginning to end.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. Our standard payment plan is 1/2 down on the full fee, and the remainder paid in three months. This is subject to approval based on your credit and circumstances.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Oklahoma?
Too long. For detailed information see our article on the length of the divorce process for your reference.
The court portion of a divorce can take around 200 days to get to trial in Cleveland County. Some counties are faster, some are slower, and some cases just seem doomed to languish for months and months.
Where do I file for divorce?
In general, you file for divorce in the county where you have lived for the last 30 days or in the county where your spouse has lived for the last 30 days.
Can I get divorce papers online?
Yes, you can buy divorce papers online. Some are good and some are bad. The court papers themselves are not the complicated part of a divorce – just like having a wrench is not the difficult part of changing your car’s alternator. Be careful, lest you may hurt yourself.
How do I file for divorce in Oklahoma?
In order to file for Divorce in Oklahoma you must type up a document called a Petition, sign it, and then deliver it to the court clerk. You must also pay a filing fee.
The Oklahoma courts do not provide any forms or court papers for divorce.
How long do I have to live in Oklahoma to file for a divorce?
Oklahoma law requires that you live in Oklahoma for at least six months before filing for a divorce. However, you can file for a legal separation much sooner.
Do we have to take a parenting class as part of our divorce?
Maybe. Oklahoma allows each court to decide whether parents should have to take parenting classes. It is required in Cleveland County, but not in Oklahoma County.
Does it matter who files first for divorce in Oklahoma?
From a legal stand point, no, it does not. There can be some dramatic and tactical reasons to file first, because it determines who goes first in the trial. Generally, I do not believe it matters in most cases, except the person who files first gets to pay the court filing fee.
Should I get a divorce?
This is a question only you can answer. Much like the original question, “Should I marry this person?” You must thoroughly examine the circumstances and decide whether this is the best life decision for you. Before you do, I recommend that you research the consequences by talking to:
- A close friend about their divorce experience,
- An experienced counselor/psychologist, or
- An experienced divorce lawyer.
Then make your best decision. Only you know the answer to this question.
Is there no fault divorce in Oklahoma?
Yes, Oklahoma divorce law allows a couple to divorce without proving that anyone has done anything wrong. Instead, the couple can say that they are incompatible.
What is the difference between legal separation and divorce in Oklahoma?
There are some small differences, but basically a legal separation is all the hard parts of getting a divorce (property division, child custody/visitation, alimony, etc.) without the actual dissolution of your marriage. In other words, you stay married, but the court decides who gets what and decides any custody issues with your kids.
You don’t have to live in Oklahoma for six months to file for legal separation, so people who are in a hurry can file for a legal separation and then later after the time period has passed they change their case to a divorce.
When is a divorce final in Oklahoma?
As soon as the judge says, “You are divorced.” The only restriction after your divorce is that you cannot remarry another person within six months in the state of Oklahoma.
How soon can I remarry after my divorce?
You may not remarry anyone within six months after your divorce in Oklahoma. There are some legal theories that may allow you to remarry sooner outside the state, but I always counsel you to wait.
Can the judge make my ex pay my attorney fees?
Yes, Oklahoma divorce laws do allow the judge to divide the expenses between the spouses and that includes attorney fees.
Child Custody & Visitation
What is Joint Custody?
Joint Custody is when both parents continue to have joint legal custody of their children. This has nothing to do with the time each parent spends with the child. What this really means for any one family depends on their circumstances. It is often a distinction without a difference, and is largely a theoretical principle that people would be best in ignoring because it is just confusing and does not help resolve conflicts between parents.
What is Sole Custody?
Sole custody is when one parent has the exclusive ability to make legal decisions for the children. This has little to do with the time each parent spends with the child, and it doesn’t mean that one parent can tell the other parent what to do on their own time. It has legal consequences under certain conditions, but often is not an issue as both parents are entitled to have time with their children and access to their children’s information.
Is Oklahoma a mom state or dad state?
Neither. Officially, Oklahoma law forbids the judge from making custody decisions based solely on the sex of the parent.
I want Joint Custody of my kids. How do I get it under Oklahoma Law?
Every path is different. You have to be willing to cooperate with the other parent. Oklahoma law requires that parents must be able to work together in a “spirit of cooperation” to have joint custody. Many judges will not order joint custody if the parents cannot agree. On the other hand, some judges will force it upon the parents. What happens tends to be a personal preference of the judge.
Can I leave the state with the kids?
Maybe. In most cases you will need the judge’s permission. Even after your case is over, there is a procedure you must follow when moving more than 75 miles away from your current residence if you want to take your children with you. You should definitely schedule a time to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss these issues before making a move.
Are you a father's rights attorney?
No. There is no such thing except as a branding gimmick. Oklahoma child custody laws make it clear that the sex of the parent should not be an important aspect in a judge’s custody decision. Instead, I always work for my clients, so that they have a significant role in their children’s lives and are able to protect their best interests.
Will I have to pay child support if I don't have custody?
Yes, in most cases if you have fewer than 182 overnights with your children each year, you will have to pay child support under the Oklahoma guidelines. Oklahoma guidelines tell the court how to order child support based on your and the other parent’s income, the expenses related to the kids, and a few other factors.
How much is child support in Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, child support is based on over a dozen factors. The most important factors are the incomes of each parent. The higher your income, generally, the higher child support will be if you are the paying party. Oklahoma Department of Human Services has an online child support calculator that can give you an idea about children support. You just need to make sure that your inputs are accurate, and it will tell you the amount of child support you may have to pay under the guidelines. The judge does have the ability to modify child support away from the guidelines, and the parties always have the ability to agree to a different amount.
How do you calculate child support in Oklahoma?
A basic child support calculation requires that we determine the following inputs:
- Incomes of the parties
- Number of children
- Child Expenses (childcare, insurance, etc.)
- Number of overnights with each parent
There are over a dozen factors altogether that can come into play. You can play around with the Department of Human Services online child support calculator to see how these inputs affect the child support calculation. You can also look through my blog to learn more about the mechanics of child support calculation.
What does my child support payment include?
Many people ask whether child support includes payment for school lunches, clothes, activity fees, etc. Unless the order says otherwise, child support generally includes payment for all expenses except uncovered medical expenses.
How can I claim my kids on my taxes?
The Internal Revenue Service defines the rules that tell you whether you can claim your children on your taxes. You should check these first and discuss your rights with your tax preparer. In Oklahoma, the judge can decide which parent gets to claim the children each year. In this case, you should follow the court’s order and discuss the order with your tax preparer.
Can I get back child support?
Maybe. Oklahoma law does not allow back child support in a divorce case, and the obligation to pay child support usually begins after the case is filed. In cases where the parties were never married, the court can order child support up to five years in the past.
What expenses do I have to pay in addition to child support?
Oklahoma law requires that the parents must each pay their share of uncovered medical expenses. Generally, child care and insurance costs for the children are included in the child support calculation. The court can make one party pay certain other extracurricular activity costs, private school tuition, travel expenses and such. If you currently have a child support order, you should read it carefully and follow the directions in the order. If you have questions about the order you should schedule a time to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer to to discuss it.
How does the judge divide my property in a divorce?
However the judges wants to. The judge is supposed to divide your marital property “fairly and equitably” according to Oklahoma law. Although, the law does not say the judge has to do it equally, but most judges split the property 50/50.
Will I have to sell my house in the divorce?
Not necessarily. This can be a very case specific question. There are many ways to handle division of a house in a divorce, and it depends on the particular circumstances of your case. Talk to a lawyer about it if you want to know the answer in your situation.
Will the judge divide my retirement if we have not been married for 10 years in my divorce?
Maybe. There is no rule that prevents a judge from dividing a retirement based on the length of the marriage. Whether you are married two weeks or 30 years, the judge can divide any property that you acquired during your marriage. There are some federal laws that relate to some government retirement accounts that prevent direct payments from the retirement administrator to the ex-spouse if the marriage is shorter than 10 years, but this does not affect the ability of the judge to divide the retirement account.
Will I have to pay support alimony to my ex after we are divorced?
Maybe. There is no exact formula for alimony in Oklahoma. Each judge will decide based on the circumstances what the he or she thinks is right. The best way to get an answer to this question is to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer to discuss what he or she has seen your particular judge decide before.
Can alimony be modified after the divorce is over?
Yes, if circumstances change the judge can modify or terminate alimony that was ordered as part of the divorce.
Is there a formula for figuring alimony?
No, the judge has a wide discretion in choosing the amount and duration of any alimony.