FAQS on FAMILY LAW

  

Q: What is the first step in the divorce process?

A: Filing a petition. The first step in the divorce process is filing a petition. Even where both spouses agree that they want to get divorced, one of them will have to be the one to file a petition with the court asking for the divorce. The petition will state grounds for the divorce.

 

Q: What happens after my petition has been filed?

A: At the time your petition is filed, a summons is issued by the Court Clerk notifying your spouse that the divorce has been filed. At the same time, your attorney can make an application for a temporary order to be issued which would direct your spouse to take specific actions or restrain the spouse from certain things. You will be required to appear in court to testify as to your needs for each of the temporary request you are making.

 

Q: How long does a divorce take?

A: If both parties are in agreement to the divorce there are no children, a divorce may be granted 10 days after the filing of the petition. It is necessary for your spouse to execute a waiver, which will include a waiver or process. In a divorce where there are minor children involved, there is a 90 day waiting period from the date of service of the summons, the first date of publication or an entry of appearance by the defendants, whichever occurs first. The 90-day waiting period may be waived under certain circumstances. If your spouse hires an attorney and contests the action, the case will take much longer than 90 days – up to 18 months.

 

Q: If my case is settled, do both my spouse and I have to go to court.

A: No. Only one of the parties must go to court and give brief sworn testimony. Normally, an advance copy of the divorce decree will have been provided to your spouse and a signature obtained approving the decree.

 

Q: If my case goes to trial, is it before a jury?

A: No. In Oklahoma, all divorce case are tried before a judge only. However, an action for contempt filed in a divorce proceeding may be tries to a jury. Any issues the parties absolutely cannot resolve between themselves will have to be decided at a trial. However, going to trial will take longer, cost more money, and have less predictable results so it is probably best to avoid going to trial if possible.

 

Q: When is my divorce final?

A: it is final the day you go to court and the divorce is granted. You are a single person once the judge pronounces you divorced. However, Oklahoma law prohibits remarriage or cohabitation with a third party for six months following the decree. Should you and your spouse decide to reconcile during this period, a joint application can be filed in the court and the decree will be set aside, so long as neither party has remarried a third party during the interim.

 

Ten Commandments of Proper Conduct for Separated Parents

The following are some guideline concerning children of separated parents; called the Ten Commandments of Proper Conduct for Separated Parents.

As you know, your children are usually the losers when their parents separate. They are deprived of the full time, proper, guidance that two parents can give-guidance and direction essential to their moral and spiritual growth.

Although there is probably some bitterness between you and your spouse, it should not be inflicted upon your children. In every child’s mind, there must and should be an image of TWO good parents. Your future conduct with your children will be helpful if you will follow these suggestions:

1) Do not poison your child’s mind against either their mother or father by discussing their shortcomings.

2) Do not expose your children to any member of the opposite sex with whom you may be emotionally involved.

3) Do not argue with the other parent during visitation exchanges.

4) Do not visit your children if you have been drinking.

5) Do not visit your children at unreasonable hours.

6) Do not fail to notify your spouse as soon as possible if you are unable to keep your visitation. It’s unfair to your children to keep them waiting – and worse to disappoint them by not coming at all.

7) Make your visitation as pleasant as possible for your children by NOT questioning them regarding the activities of your spouse and by NOT making extravagant promises, which you know you cannot or will not keep.

8) The parent with whom the children live must prepare them both physically and mentally for the visitation. The children should be available at the time mutually agreed upon.

9) If one parent has plans for the children that conflict with the visitation and these plans are in the best interest of the children, be adults and work out the problems together.

10) Always work for the spiritual well-being, heath, happiness and safety of your children.

 

Visitation

While there is no fixed visitation schedule required by law, an example of a fairly common visitation schedule is as follows:

 

Holiday Visitation

Spring Break

Even Years: Custodial Parent

Odd Years: Non- Custodial Parent

Fall Break

Even Years: Non-Custodial Parent

Odd Years: Custodial Parent

Thanksgiving Break

Even Years: Custodial Parent

Odd Years: Non-Custodial Parent

First week Christmas Break

Even Years: Non-Custodial Parent

Odd Years: Custodial Parent

Balance of Christmas Week

Even Years: Custodial Parent

Odd Years: Non-Custodial Parent

All Mother’s Day weekends shall be spent with the mother.

All Father’s Day weekends shall be spent with the father.

THE HOLIDAY SCHEDULE SUPERSEDES ALL REGULARLY SCHEDULED VISITATION. The Holiday Schedule shall be governed by the school the child attends or would attend if not of school age.

 

Summer Visitation

The non-custodial parent shall have summer visitation for two weeks in June and must notify the custodial parent of the dates by May 30.

The non-custodial parent shall have summer visitation for two weeks in July and must notify the custodial parent of the dates by May 30.

The non-custodial parent shall have summer visitation the first full week of August.

All toys and clothes belong to the child(ren) and should travel freely between households and shall be returned with the child(ren) in a clean and orderly manner.

It is important to be aware that this visitation scheduled is for the purpose of providing assured minimum amounts of visitation between non-custodial parent and child(ren). Visitation should exceed the number of occasions set out herein. In addition, liberal telephone communications between non-custodial parent and child(ren) are encouraged and shall occur.

 

 

 

 

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