Oklahoma common law marriage and divorce

Oklahoma Common Law Marriage and Divorce

September 6, 2017 7:33 pm

Oklahoma Common Law Marriage and Divorce can be a complex question faced by many couples in Tulsa. Oklahoma is a state that recognizes common law marriage.  You may be wondering why it is important to know if you are in a common law marriage or not.  Well, if you are in one then you must legally file for a divorce through the courts if you are separating.  This is because no such thing as common law divorce in Tulsa exists.  When it come to the common law marriage and divorce, you need to know how to protect yourself.

What Makes a Common Law Marriage?

There are three main elements to an Oklahoma common law marriage.  If you can fulfill each one of these elements you are likely in a common law marriage:

First, you and your partner must have the reputation of spouses in the community.  Just being a couple for many years is usually not enough to completely fulfill this element.  However, if people in the community do not know if you are in a marriage or not, then you will likely have “the reputation of spouses”.

Second, you and your partner live together or cohabitate.  This means you live not only in the same home, but you also share bills, and household chores.  Other evidence of cohabitation and functioning as a marriage home include:  joint bank accounts, children, and listing each other on life and medical benefits.

The final element is whether or not you and your partner make statements to each other about your intentions to marry.  As a result, the existence of a promise ring or engagement ring, having a tentative wedding date on the calendar, and even statements made to other can all prove this.

Oklahoma Common Law Marriage and Divorce Rights

Assuming you are in a common law marriage, what does that mean for you in a divorce?  It is important to note here that if you are in a common law marriage you are officially in a legal marriage under the eyes of the law.  To separate from you partner legally requires you to go through the courts and obtain an official divorce.

Just like marriage with a license and ceremony, common law marriage follows the same rules of divorce.  If you or your partner made significant sacrifices to the marriage or household in the form of taking on a lesser career or becoming a homemaker, then alimony is at stake.  Further, property division will occur under the equitable distribution doctrine.  This means that it will distribute in the fairest manner, which is not necessarily a 50/50 split.

Oklahoma Child Support Questions? SEE OUR ARTICLE HERE.

If children exist from the marriage, then child support will be another issue.  Children by law are entitled to child support even if you or your ex-partner does not need the extra income.  The money is for the child.  Common law marriages ending in divorce will require that some sort of child support arrangement exist.

Tulsa Common Law and Divorce Help

If you are facing legal questions and concerns about Oklahoma common law marriage and divorce, call our Tulsa common law marriage attorneys.  Our family law firm has years of experience working in family law, child custody and divorce.  We offer our clients the legal advantage that they’re entitled to. Call today in Tulsa 539.302.0303 .