The decision to separate can be a difficult one for a couple in Wagoner, Oklahoma.
Sometimes, couples decide quickly that divorce is the right option for them; for other couples, legal separation in Wagoner may be a better answer.
In coming to that decision, it is helpful to understand the differences between legal separation and divorce in Oklahoma. Here are some things you might want to know.
Grounds For Divorce and Legal Separation in Oklahoma
Oklahoma statutes cite the same grounds for legal separation as for divorce. You must declare and prove grounds for divorce in your petition regardless of whether you are seeking a separation or a divorce.
Many of the statutory grounds listed are what are considered to be “fault” grounds. A ground asserting the “fault” of a spouse can be that of adultery or the like.
Asserting that a spouse is at fault for the impending proceeding means that you will have to prove that fault in a trial. That can be messy and consume time and attorney’s fees.
Luckily, Oklahoma also has one “no-fault” ground listed as well. Incompatibility or irreconcilable differences is a “no-fault” ground. The mere assertion of this ground in the petition is sufficient for both a divorce and a legal separation to be granted.
Here are all of the grounds listed under Oklahoma law:
- Abandonment for one year.
- If the wife gets pregnant by a man other than her husband, while she is married.
- Extreme cruelty.
- Fraudulent contract.
- Habitual drunkenness.
- Gross neglect of duty.
- Insanity for a period of five years.
Differences Between Divorce and Legal Separation in Wagoner
A divorce is a dissolution of the marriage. It is a clear end to the relationship and to the financial union that a marriage represents.
At the end of a divorce, assets and liabilities are divided between the spouses. Debts are paid and the couple split the real and personal property between them. Alimony can be ordered by the court if the circumstances warrant it.
Issues regarding children are also resolved. Matters of child custody, child support, and visitation are all decided and approved by the court.
Once an Oklahoma divorce is granted, you are no longer responsible for the legal and financial actions of your ex-spouse.
A legal separation acts in much the same way as a divorce. In both, financial assets and liabilities are divided between the spouses, child custody, and child support are determined if children are involved. Alimony can be ordered by the court is needed.
In most ways, legal separation is indistinguishable from divorce. Except that in legal separation, there is no dissolution. You are still legally married, but without the legal entanglements and financial responsibilities that are involved in the marriage.
So Why Should I Get a Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce?
If there is a chance that you and your spouse can reconcile given some time and emotional room, a legal separation may be the answer. It can allow a couple some breathing room, while still protecting both spouses financially.
There are also times when a couple may not want to divorce for religious reasons, but may still want to maintain some financial benefits, such as medical insurance.
In cases such as this, again, a legal separation can allow a couple to physically separate while still keeping the marriage intact.
Free Consultation: Wagoner Divorce Attorney
When your marriage plans unravel, get the best legal counsel available. Don’t go it alone. Get an experienced, reliable Wagoner divorce attorney on your side.
Contact the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at 918-485-0335 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.