Oklahoma Alimony and Spousal Support Laws
Alimony, or spousal support may be granted in Oklahoma depending on the circumstances of a particular marriage. Oklahoma is a no fault divorce state, meaning the court does not consider fault in determining alimony awards.
Types of Spousal Support
- Temporary - may be granted in Oklahoma to contribute to a spouse until the divorce is final.
- Short-Term - paid to help one spouse gain higher earning potential or job training with the purpose of becoming self-supportive.
- Long-Term or Permanent - paid indefinitely, until death of either spouse or the remarriage of the recipient.
Who is Eligible for Alimony in Oklahoma
Either spouse may be allowed alimony if the court thinks it is reasonable. Alimony may come from real or personal property, or in the form of money judgment, payable either in a lump sum or monthly, as the court determines just.
Oklahoma Alimony Guidelines (Factors for Awarding Alimony)
Under Oklahoma law, a spouse may be awarded alimony out of personal or real property of the other spouse. The court will determine the appropriateness of any support payments on a case-by-case basis, taking into considerations factors such as the duration of the marriage; age, income and earning capacity of the parties; and other relevant information as the court determines in the interests of justice. The court will not consider fault when awarding alimony.
Reasons for Termination or Modification of Alimony in Oklahoma
Upon the death or remarriage of the receiving spouse, alimony shall terminate. Cohabitation with a member of the opposite sex is also a ground to modify a support agreement. Either party may petition the court to modify the support arrangement due to a significant change of circumstance.
Marital Fault in Oklahoma
Oklahoma courts may not consider fault in determining alimony awards. The following may be claimed as causes for filing divorce in Oklahoma:
- Abandonment for at least one year;
- When the wife at the time of her marriage, was impregnated by a man other than her husband;
- Extreme cruelty;
- Fraudulent contract;
- Habitual drunkenness;
- Gross neglect of duty;
- Imprisonment for the commission of a felony; and
- Insanity for a period of at least five years.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Oklahoma?
The duration of alimony depends on several factors. The length of the marriage is the most important factor. Oklahoma law provides that alimony terminates upon the death of either spouse. Alimony will also terminate upon the remarriage of the alimony recipient.
Oklahoma Alimony Taxes
Monthly alimony payments that are court ordered may be claimed as a deduction by the paying spouse. The receiving spouse must claim the payments as income. Discuss the tax consequences of your support arrangement with an experienced family law attorney to determine the best way to structure your agreement and ensure that you comply with the law.
Find an Alimony Attorney in Oklahoma
Because divorce can impact your future earnings, it is wise to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer. An Oklahoma family law attorney can guide you through the complexities of divorce, advocate on your behalf in divorce court and help you better understand your rights and responsibilities.