Understanding the Law is Important
You are at the end of your divorce. If you are involved in another relationship, the question of when you can remarry after your divorce is an important one. Knowing the answer can save you a lot of grief later. Like all states, Oklahoma has laws governing not only divorce but also the waiting period to remarry after a divorce.
Oklahoma Law Regarding the Waiting Period to Remarry
In Oklahoma, you must wait at least six months to remarry after your divorce decree is made final. The law also prohibits cohabitation for six months after divorce (Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 123). This means that you cannot live with another person romantically during the six-month period. In practice, the law against cohabitation is rarely enforced anymore, but it remains on the books.
There is an exception to this general rule if the person you are remarrying or living with is your ex-spouse. The purpose of the law is to provide a “cooling off” period. Some couples reconcile during the period immediately after divorce. This “cooling off” period is meant to allow time for that.
Repercussions For Violating the Waiting Period to Remarry
You may be in a hurry to remarry, but there are repercussions for violating the waiting period to remarry. If you get remarried before the waiting period is over, the new marriage is considered “voidable.” That means that the marriage can be annulled quite easily. Once annulled, it is as if the marriage never happened. It is void for all intents and purposes.
If you violate the waiting period to cohabitate, you could be charged with the felony of adultery. You could spend up to five years in jail and/or owe up to $500 in fines.
If you have any questions about this waiting period, contact a divorce attorney from Wirth Law Office – Wagoner.
When the Waiting Period to Remarry Does Not Apply
There are instances where the waiting period to remarry does not apply. The waiting period only applies to Oklahoma divorces. If you were divorced in another state and then move to Oklahoma, the waiting period does not apply. Oklahoma law cannot control what you do out of state. Therefore, if you were to remarry in another state, the marriage would be valid in that state.
Beware of Bigamy
There is no way around the statute. Some people may think that they can simply get married and no one will know. Sooner or later, the truth is revealed. Here, the result of this is a bigamous second marriage. Oklahoma law defines bigamy as marrying one person while still being married to another living person (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 881). Remarrying before the expiration of the waiting period is a direct violation of the bigamy statute.
Bigamy is a felony count in Oklahoma. If convicted of bigamy, you could spend up to five years in prison (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 883).
Before proceeding with a marriage or cohabitation after a divorce, seek the counsel of an experienced Wagoner family law attorney. Your attorney can help you understand how the law affects your particular situation.
Free Consultation with a Wagoner Divorce Attorney
Get the help you need today to understand how best to handle your situation. Wirth Law Office – Wagoner offers its clients the best possible divorce, child custody, and child support representation in the Wagoner, Oklahoma area at reasonable rates. We invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss what we can do for you. Contact the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at (918) 485-0335 to schedule your free consultation. You can also fill out the form at the top of this page.