Survey of Oklahoma
divorce & Modification Legal issues
© 2000 by Doug Loudenback, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


   WHAT IT ISN'T:  Nothing in this document creates a lawyer/client relationship or gives any legal advice which is fact-specific to any particular marital history.  For that, you should consult with an Oklahoma lawyer who, after learning your facts, will give you such advice. This document is not a substitute for any such consultation and advice.

If you are not a lawyer, understand that real legal advice needs to come from a lawyer who is wholly familiar with the particular facts and circumstances of a particular marital history.  Numerous facts/circumstances in a particular case may result in opinions/results which are quite different than the generalities stated herein. To obtain particular views about your own facts and circumstances, consult with an Oklahoma attorney about your situation and hear what he/she has to say. This document, including all of its associated pages, is rather like a "book". You don't have a lawyer/client relationship with a book. You don't get information from a book which is necessarily contextually correct to any particular marital history. So, don't expect what you read here to answer any particular questions about any particular marital history and the consequences of that history at the time of divorce.  It does not and it cannot.

   WHAT IT IS:  This document states my general opinions about several Oklahoma divorce law topics. While it is intended to be a comprehensive survey, still, it is not a legal treatise. Not all possible topics are discussed. Generally, this document is a more scholarly alternative to "Loudenback's Lay Guide To Oklahoma Divorce". Lay Guide is more of a broad-stroke summary, without citations to legal authorities. This document substantially expands the discussion for non-lawyers and lawyers who want a greater depth of information and is more like a continuing legal education paper than a speech which only states my thoughts on various topics. To reflect this change, the document's name is "Survey of Oklahoma Divorce & Modification Legal Issues".

Even though this document is far more complex than the Lay Guide, all readers should be aware that numerous Oklahoma authorities exist other than those referenced herein. The authorities listed should be considered as starting, not ending, points as to any topic which is discussed.

   OTHER LIMITATIONS OF THIS DOCUMENT:  Oklahoma divorce law is very nonspecific in the sense that a trial judge has considerable latitude (called "trial court discretion") in deciding most divorce issues in a manner the judge considers appropriate under all the evidence. Any such approach is obviously "subjective" in many ways.  While a client "wants" his/her lawyer to say, "This is what will happen if the case is tried to the judge," all a lawyer can really do is make an informed and educated guess of such results, based on applicable legal authorities but, as importantly, based on the lawyers' experience with a particular trial judge. For example, as to division of the parties' marital estate, a trial judge's duty is to divide that estate "equitably", a term which is obviously capable of a wide range of interpretation. Support alimony issues have even less definition. So, from a practical point of view, the same facts could be tried to several judges and all decisions could be different and all decisions could be affirmed on appeal. And, Oklahoma divorce law is not "done." It can and does change often, either by new statutory or case law. Even some of the generalities stated here may change quickly based upon new law. Last, what I've stated in this document are only the opinions of one lawyer - me. Other Oklahoma lawyers may well disagree with something I've said in this document. Let's face it - it happens about every time I go to court, like yesterday!