What kinds of divorce are there?
Going through a divorce is stressful and often painful. You may find yourself overwhelmed by the process. However, understanding how it works ahead of time can make it easier to navigate. There are a few main types of divorces.
- With children
- Without children
A contested divorce is when you and your spouse disagree. Either you don’t want a divorce, or you can’t agree on the conditions. An uncontested divorce is when both spouses want to get a divorce and agree on all aspects.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
How long it takes to get a divorce in Oklahoma depends on what type of divorce it is. Uncontested divorces without children are often the quickest. Conversely, contested divorces with minor children usually take the longest. You must wait for a court date if the divorce requires a trial. Because of that, even a fairly quick divorce can take about seven months.
However, if you reach a settlement before going to trial, the divorce could be finalized within six weeks. The more complex a divorce is and the more the spouses disagree on it, the longer it takes. Some cases are drawn out for a year or more. It takes even longer to decide on child custody and child support when children are involved.
What is the cost of a divorce?
There are a lot of variables in the cost of a divorce. One constant is that Oklahoma charges approximately $270 to file. Whoever files for the divorce has to pay between $50 and $100 to have their spouse served. Some spouses who don’t want to pay for a lawyer will hire a drafting service to draft their paperwork for them. The price for this service ranges from $200 to $500. By this point, you’ve paid between $520 and $870.
Contested divorces generally cost more than uncontested divorces because there’s more to sort out. Time is money. The more you can figure out with your spouse ahead of time, the better. It’ll save both of you time, money, and stress.
Wirth Law Office – Chickasha charges $1,250 to represent you in an uncontested divorce. That also includes drafting paperwork and pleadings. Since contested divorces can get quite complicated and drag on, it could cost up to $2,500 to retain a divorce attorney from Wirth Law Office.
Do-it-yourself divorces without a lawyer cost several hundred dollars. However, you risk a long, complex process without the representation of an experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyer. This skilled representation may end up just costing you a few hundred dollars more.
In the case of contested divorces, going without representation could cost you thousands of dollars, countless hours, and your sanity. While it’s best to have representation, it also goes a long way if you and your spouse come to an agreement early on.
What happens during a divorce?
One spouse must file for dissolution of marriage. Then they file with the court clerk and pay to have their spouse served with a summons. The spouse who receives the summons has twenty days to file a responsive pleading. If they don’t, the other spouse is likely to get the divorce on their terms.
If the spouses haven’t come to an agreement by this point, they enter into mediation. Then they go to pretrial, where a court date for trial is set up to 6 to 8 months out. The final decision is reached at trial, and the divorce is finalized. For spouses with minor children, at some point, there is the extra step of a parenting plan conference.
Not all divorces go to trial. Often, a settlement is reached before it gets that far. If that happens, both parties draft and sign a decree of dissolution of marriage. Then the judge signs off on it. Before this can be done, though, there is a waiting period. There must be at least ten days between the initial filing of the divorce and the official dissolution of the marriage. Where minor children are involved, it jumps up to ninety days.
What about a prenuptial agreement?
Some couples opt to draft a prenuptial agreement, known as a prenup, before they get married. They determine how their assets will be divided if they get divorced. A prenup remains valid as long as it’s in writing and signed. If both spouses still agree on the conditions of the prenup, it can simplify the divorce proceedings. It’s as helpful as you allow it to be.
When it comes to getting a divorce, it’s best for both spouses to agree on the conditions early on. It may require compromise, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. You won’t have to endure a lengthy and costly divorce with incessant arguments and strife.