If you’re an Oklahoma resident considering divorce, understanding alimony and how it is calculated gives you the essential information needed to make knowledgeable decisions and protect your interests during divorce proceedings.
Alimony, also sometimes called “spousal support,” refers to court-mandated financial payments from one spouse to another in order to address income disparities between the divorcing spouses. The goal of alimony is to keep both spouses living lifestyles similar to the ones they enjoyed while married.
Unlike some other states, Oklahoma does not have official guidelines regarding how to calculate alimony. As such, the judge may consider a variety of factors when determining what amount is fair and reasonable, including:
Since Oklahoma lacks official guidelines for alimony, having a divorce attorney who has experience navigating the nuances of court-set spousal support can help you secure the most favorable outcome.
A judge can also order alimony in accordance with the terms of a pre-existing marital contract, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. In these instances, assuming the court finds the agreement valid, alimony will be set at the amounts agreed to by the parties in the marital contract.
While it is possible to receive permanent alimony under Oklahoma law, a judge rarely grants it. The court more commonly grants temporary or fixed long-term alimony.
Temporary alimony, also called “temporary spousal maintenance,” usually ends once the divorce becomes final. On the other hand, long-term fixed alimony takes effect after the divorce becomes final.
Oklahoma law allows the paying spouse to request termination of alimony if the receiving spouse remarries or if either spouse dies. Additionally, a spouse can petition the court to reduce and even potentially end alimony when a receiving spouse cohabitates with an individual of the opposite sex.
As with any court-ordered payments, if a spouse fails to pay alimony as specified in any court order, the receiving spouse can file a petition with the court requesting it to enforce the alimony order.
Lindsey Law Firm, P.C., located in Tulsa, helps clients who are going through divorce and dealing with various issues, including alimony awards. Call 918-587-0097 or contact the firm online to schedule your free initial consultation.