A Guide to Spousal Support in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is unique in that state law does not specify a set of guidelines or formula for determining how much spousal support must be given in the event of a divorce. 

How can you determine how much you will have to pay in spousal support or how much spousal support you’ll receive? 

Here’s what you need to know about spousal support in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Spousal Support Laws

In Oklahoma, either spouse can be ordered to provide spousal support to an ex-spouse following a divorce.

The judge determines which spouse is entitled to receive alimony and how much they will receive. The amount stipulated is either paid in a lump sum or a series of installments. In some cases, the supporting spouse will be required to transfer property ownership to the other spouse. 

Factors that may affect how much spousal support will be awarded include:

  • You and your spouse’s lifestyle during the marriage
  • You and your spouse’s length of the marriage
  • You and your spouse’s health condition and age
  • You and your spouse’s financial status and level of financial independence
  • You and your spouse’s employment
  • Other factors surrounding you and your spouse’s circumstances

The purpose of spousal support is to legally ensure that both parties will have the resources required to get on their feet financially after the marriage has ended. 

Termination of the alimony arrangement typically occurs upon the death, remarriage, or cohabitation of the beneficiary with a romantic partner. The court may also suspend the spousal support arrangement if one of the parties experiences a change in financial circumstances or health. 

Alimony vs. Spousal Support - Same or Different?

The terms ‘alimony’ and ‘spousal support’ are virtually synonymous. 

However, some have begun to view ‘alimony’ as outdated, since it often carries negative implications. The use of the phrase ‘spousal support’ as an alternative to alimony is increasingly widespread.

Essentially, both terms refer to court-ordered or mutually agreed-upon financial support given from one spouse to another. 

Spousal Support without Divorce

In the state of Oklahoma, receiving court-ordered spousal support is possible without divorce. 

In some cases, according to Oklahoma law, “The wife or husband may obtain alimony from the other without a divorce, in an action brought for that purpose in the district court, for any of the causes for which a divorce may be granted.” (Oklahoma Statues, Title §43-129)

Consult with your attorney if you think you may qualify for alimony without divorce.

How Much Spousal Support Will You Receive?

Unlike income-based child support, Oklahoma law does not stipulate a way to calculate how much spousal support will be given. 

The judge will use their own discretion in determining what type of support is appropriate based on your unique case and how it will be paid. Without the help of a legal advisor, it is difficult to discern how much spousal support you will have to pay or how much you will receive. 

Where possible, some couples choose to negotiate an alimony agreement privately before taking it to court. 

In either case, it’s prudent to enlist the help of a family court attorney to guide you through the process. 

Schedule a free consultation with Reddy & Feldhake for trusted family law representation.

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