While it may surprise some, Oklahoma has the second-highest divorce rate in the country. For every 1,000 married women aged 15 and older, 10 will get divorced. Divorce can impact many different facets of your life, especially as you begin to divide up the assets and debts between both spouses. One spouse may need financial support to build a new life and the other spouse may be capable of providing it. Given the numerous considerations that must be factored into any divorce settlement, coming to an agreement on something like alimony can often be complicated and contentious.
If you are considering filing for divorce, have started the process, or have been served with divorce papers, you may have questions about alimony. For more than two decades, my firm — Wilson Law Firm PLLC — has helped countless clients find answers to their questions so they can navigate the complexities of their divorce with confidence. If you live in Shawnee, Chandler, Norman, Okemah, or Ada, Oklahoma, I can help you navigate your alimony issues as well.
How Does Oklahoma Define Alimony?
Alimony in the state of Oklahoma can be defined as court-ordered payments that one spouse makes to the other during the divorce process or for a period after the divorce is final. Who pays alimony, if either spouse, depends on a variety of different factors including need, income, and resources.
There are three types of alimony awarded in an Oklahoma divorce:
- Permanent Alimony - This may be awarded in the dissolution of a long-term marriage. The recipient spouse is typically unable to become self-supporting due to age, disability, or a long-term absence from employment outside the home. Permanent alimony ceases if the recipient remarries or generally when the paying spouse dies.
- Temporary Alimony - This is typically awarded to a spouse who needs financial support during the divorce process. Once the divorce decree is issued, temporary alimony will cease.
- Rehabilitative Alimony - This form of alimony is designed to support a spouse who left the workforce to stay home with kids. It provides the receiving spouse with financial support until they can obtain additional education or training to become employed in a job that will support them. The judge will usually set an end date for this support — however, it can be extended if needed.
It’s important to note that rehabilitative alimony may also be awarded to a spouse who supported the paying spouse while they advanced their career. For example, it may be awarded for a period of time to a spouse who was the income-earner while the other spouse attended medical school.