January 22, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- No one wants to think about the possibility of his or her marriage dissolving, but for couples in Oklahoma City and other parts of Oklahoma, this may be a valid concern, according to recent statistics. Despite measures attempting to curb separations, the rate of divorce
in Oklahoma is still increasing and surpassing the national average.
Recent divorce statistics
Oklahoma's News 9 reported in December 2013 that marriage rates in Oklahoma are declining, while divorce rates are increasing, in spite of state efforts to maintain marriages such as the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. From 2000 to 2012, Oklahoma's divorce rate increased from 11.6 percent to 13.5 percent, while the national rate just reached 11.1 percent in 2012.
According to the Huffington Post, Oklahoma was named one of the states with the highest divorce rates in the Census Bureau's 2009 report on divorce. The article highlights the fact that in southern states, where early marriage is more common, divorce rates tend to be higher, while in northern states, where it is more common for people to seek higher education and delay marriage, divorce rates trend lower. These demographic influences could increase the risk that married couples in Oklahoma will someday decide to separate.
Although national and state statistics are not available for 2013, with divorce rates reportedly increasing during the last few years, it appears that many couples in the state could benefit from a better understanding of their options for separating and their rights during the separation.
Separation or divorce in Oklahoma
Legal separation is one option that Oklahoma couples can explore before deciding to divorce. During a legal separation, spouses live apart and enjoy some of the benefits that come with marriage while still having clear responsibilities to each other. Spouses who legally separate and then seek a divorce may see faster divorce proceedings.
Couples that do choose to divorce and manage to arrive at an uncontested agreement may see a faster and more agreeable settlement than couples in highly contested divorces. Some common considerations that must be agreed upon by spouses or settled in court during an Oklahoma divorce include:
- Whether the divorce is no-fault or at-fault.
- How property will be divided, since Oklahoma is an equitable division state.
- Whether spousal support will be paid.
- What type of child custody and visitation arrangements will be put into place.
In high-asset or contested divorces, couples can benefit significantly from seeking legal counsel. Even in uncontested divorces, though, it is worthwhile for each spouse to consult with a divorce lawyer
to ensure that a favorable outcome is reached.
Unfortunately, statistics suggest that more than one in ten married couples in Oklahoma may end their relationship with a divorce. If you are considering a legal separation or divorce, make sure to speak with an attorney so that you can understand your duties and protect your rights during the separation.
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