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How Can My Spouse and I Avoid Going to Court When Filing for Divorce in Tulsa?

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Many couples do not realize that appearing in court and attending hearings is not necessary to obtain a divorce in Oklahoma. When a couple is amicable or has agreed to be cooperative in the divorce process, court can be avoided altogether. waiver divorce

Couples that do choose to work together have the opportunity of taking part in two different processes Oklahoma offers. The first process is called the waiver divorce.  Couples are rewarded with a short divorce timeframe as a result of cooperation.

The other process takes more time, but does effectively keep couples out of the courtroom. It is called mediation. Mediation involves a neutral third party acting as referee between the spouses encouraging negotiation and settlement. Instead of the couple trying to work emotional issues out together, a neutral third party provides a calm and safe environment.

Waiver Divorce

Also known as an uncontested divorce, this occurs when both spouses have reached an agreement on everything pertaining to the divorce process. As a result to this complete agreement, a divorce can be accomplished in as little as 10 days.

The agreement between the spouses can be drafted in the form of a marital settlement agreement. The agreement must include all of the following: child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, division of assets, including property, household items and valuables, division of debt, and health care resolution. If the parties disagree on anything, they must file a contested divorce.

The settlement agreement must be drafted prior to filing with the court. This allows the couple to submit all the forms and paperwork at once, including the settlement agreement, parenting plans and any other forms.

Couples who have children must wait 90 days for the process to be complete as well as attend a class on how divorce affects children. However, couples without children will complete the process in 10 days.


The mediation process incorporates all the same elements of an uncontested divorce, however a neutral third party in involved in negotiating the settlement terms.

If a couple wants to avoid court, but they are not able to get along through their respective family law attorneys, then a professional mediator can be hired. This professional negotiator is skilled in communication and obtaining the primary concerns of parties.

The mediator will help the couple indicate what the most important issues are, including custody, asset division and alimony. Having a third party calmly indicate what is important sets a different tone than the tone of frustrated spouse.

The mediation process can help couples that are not quite ready to negotiate on their own, but don’t want to spend money and energy on multiple hearings. This option provides a great alternative to couples willing to try.

Although couples can complete the divorce process outside the courtroom, Oklahoma does require one spouse to appear before the court. The spouse must testify that irreconcilable differences exist between the couple and that they are residents in the county the divorce was filed. Other than this appearance, the couple can choose to avoid the courtroom.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering divorce and want to avoid a lengthy court process, it is imperative that you contact a Tulsa divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Collecting documents and drafting a settlement agree can take some time. The sooner you hire a skilled and experienced family law attorney the sooner you can start moving on from your divorce.

Contact an experienced Tulsa family law attorney when you need to go through the Oklahoma divorce process.

For a free confidential consultation, call 918-924-5526.


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