Mediation and Grounds for Divorce in Oklahoma

Dear Ms. Allison: I feel so stupid. My husband has told me for years that we cannot get a divorce because Oklahoma doesn’t have “no-fault” divorce. His reasoning has been that one of us (at least) would have to have the fault and it can’t be him because of his business, so he is “protecting” me. I guess I could have looked it up on the internet before, but maybe I didn’t really want to know. But I should have. It’s just another lie he’s told to control me. My friend told me there is both fault and no-fault divorce here and it’s on the internet. One article mentioned mediation as a way to resolve things without going to court. I looked it up and found your website. As a divorce mediator, would you please explain fault and “no-fault” and which kind do you mediate? Please do not use my name or initials. Thanks in advance. Anonymous in Eastern Oklahoma.

Dear Anonymous:

First, get yourself an attorney. There is no substitute for the advice and counsel of a qualified lawyer who limits their practice to divorce. Now, let’s make sure you know about fault and no-fault divorce. Oklahoma has both in its laws on grounds for divorce.

You’ll want to have your attorney explain the details; however, in general, the conditions (in alphabetical, not priority order) that are considered grounds for fault in Oklahoma include:
– Abandonment (for at least one year)
– Adultery
– Extreme cruelty
– Foreign divorce that is not valid in Oklahoma
– Fraudulent contract
– Gross neglect of duty
– Habitual drunkenness
– Impotency
– Imprisonment for the commission of a felony
– Pregnancy, if at the time of the marriage, a woman was pregnant by someone other than her spouse (consider

You can see why people do not want those accusations in the public eye, plus you have to deal with proof and, in general, it is a more expensive way to deal with grounds. Regardless of having those grounds on the books, almost all Oklahoma divorce proceedings are done under the no-fault grounds of incompatibility. That is because fault, in and of itself, has negligible impact on the other issues of the divorce (separation of assets, support payments, taxation, estate plans, dependent custody, etc.).

As a certified divorce mediator, I negotiate all types of divorce.

Both parties must agree to divorce mediation and abide by the resulting solution agreement. You both can and should bring your attorneys to give you legal advice during the session. If your spouse is not of a mind to give up control, he might not agree to the mediation. If, however, your spouse is truly only concerned about other people knowing the details of the divorce agreement, mediation is definitely the way to go and depending on how the mediation is conducted you can have virtually total privacy in a very meaningful way.

I can help you negotiate a private divorce, so that afterwards, when you file it in court (as is necessary for it to be legal) none of the more personal terms will be available for public scrutiny. Do contact me if I can assist you and your spouse with more on the particulars of your situation.

That’s your question, Asked and Answered,
Gale Allison, Mediator

Leave a Comment