Legal separation is a viable alternative for spouses who aren’t ready for a divorce but need space and time to make important decisions about their future. Legal separation allows them to live separately and, unlike divorce, remain legally married. The question is, how to get legally separated in Oklahoma?

In this post, we explain what you need to know about legal separation. From what it is, the steps and requirements for separation, to its benefits.

What Is Legal Separation?

Before we get to “How to get legally separated in Oklahoma?” let’s talk about what legal separation is. So, what is it? What makes it different from divorce?

Legal separation is a legal process in which spouses are living separate lives. Unlike divorce, spouses who are legally separated remain married. Since the marriage is not dissolved, either spouse can’t remarry.

Similar to divorce, spouses must discuss the terms of child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets and debts.

People choose legal separation instead of divorce for various reasons. The reason might be a religious or moral belief. It might be because the spouses want to reassess the relationship. And so on.

How to Get Legally Separated in Oklahoma: The Steps

How to Get Legally Separated in Oklahoma- The Steps

1. File a petition

The first thing to do is to file a petition for legal separation in the district court. This can be done by one spouse in the county where either spouse is residing.

The petition should outline the reasons for seeking the legal separation as well as any desired resolutions regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division.

2. Serving the petition

The spouse who is filing the petition must serve the petition and summons the other spouse. This process ensures that both spouses are aware of the legal proceedings.

3. Response and counter-petition

The other spouse is given the opportunity to file a response to the petition. The response petition can express their agreement or disagreement with the terms of the filed petition. The other spouse may also file a counter-petition in case they have additional requests or disagreements.

4. Negotiation and settlement

Both parties, along with their lawyers if applicable, can negotiate and reach a settlement regarding child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of property. If an agreement is reached, then the agreement must be presented to the court for approval.

After the court approves the settlement, a legal separation decree is issued. The decree outlines the terms and conditions of the separation. These include custody arrangements, support obligations, as well as property division.

6. Post-separation matters

After obtaining the separation decree, both spouses must adhere to its terms. Child custody arrangements can be modified. Also, if any disputes arise, they can seek court intervention.

This is how to get legally separated in Oklahoma. Consult an experienced lawyer to make sure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the legal separation process.

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Requirements for Legal Separation

Here are the requirements for legal separation according to Oklahoma separation laws:

1. Residency

To file for separation in Oklahoma, a spouse must have been a resident for at least six months before the filing.

2. Grounds for separation

Oklahoma is a no-fault state. There is no need to prove that a spouse did something wrong to justify the separation. What you need is a reason for separation that the court will recognize. This can be living apart, incompatibility, and irreconcilable differences.

3. Division of property

Oklahoma is an equitable distributed state. As such, the property is divided fairly in the event of separation according to the laws. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean the property will be divided equally.

4. Child custody and support

If there are children, the court will determine child custody and support arrangements based on the children’s best interests.



1. Time for reflection

Legal separation enables spouses to take some time apart from each other and evaluate their marriage’s future.

It provides a legal framework to address matters such as child custody, support, and spousal support.

3. Religious considerations

Legal separation enables spouses to live separately while respecting religious beliefs that discourage divorce.

4. Preservation of social security benefits

As legal separation doesn’t dissolve the marriage, a spouse can maintain eligibility for social security benefits.

Now you know how to get legally separated in Oklahoma. If you have questions regarding legal separation, consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney in your area.