Like all states, Oklahoma law states that grounds for the divorce must be listed in the petition for divorce.
The petition for a Muskogee divorce must state one of these grounds, and adultery in Oklahoma is a legitimate reason for divorce.
Adultery in Oklahoma is Grounds for a Muskogee Divorce
The grounds stated must be that which the parties agree upon and can substantiate, if they are in agreement, or that which the filing spouse desires to prove.
Acceptable grounds for divorce in Oklahoma are:
1. Abandonment for one year or longer.
4. Wife impregnated by a man other than her husband.
5. Extreme cruelty.
6. Fraudulent contract,
7. Incompatibility. However, if children are involved, the parties must attend an educational program on the impact of divorce on children.
8. Habitual drunkenness.
9. Gross neglect of spousal duties,
10. Imprisonment in a state or federal institution for committing a felony at the time a divorce petition is filed.
11. Obtaining a divorce decree from another state that does not release you from divorce in the state of Oklahoma.
12. Insanity for five years or more. (Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 101)
Fault vs. No-Fault
Technically, Oklahoma is a both a “fault” state, and a “no-fault” state. All of the grounds listed in the statute, except that of incompatibility, are grounds that involve “fault.”
If a divorcing spouse chooses a “fault” ground such as adultery in Oklahoma, the filing spouse must prove that the other spouse is at fault, and that the spouse’s behavior is the reason that the marriage should be terminated.
These types of cases can be messy and emotionally fraught. While a divorcing spouse might want to publicly shame their adulterous spouse, doing so can be costly, both emotionally and in terms of attorney’s fees.
These cases usually involve a trial with witnesses, which can be a costly way to go. Hence, most cases filed list incompatibility as the grounds for divorce.
Incompatibility is a no-fault ground for divorce. Incompatibility means that you and your spouse cannot get along enough to make the marriage work.
If alleged by a spouse and proven, a divorce may be granted even if the other spouse does not want a divorce. It is the most expeditious and least costly road toward a completed divorce.
Is Adultery Relevant to Other Matters Being Settled in the Divorce?
Adultery in Oklahoma can make a spouse feel betrayed and angry. However, the court may not entertain evidence of adultery unless it is relevant to a matter that the court is settling between the parties.
Those matters are usually limited to division of property and liabilities, child custody and support issues, and spousal support issues. The court may hear evidence of the adultery if it directly affects one of these issues.
Thus, if a spouse spent an inordinate amount of community property subsidizing an affair, the court may hear evidence of the amount spent if it is deciding upon division of community assets. But adultery in Oklahoma, as painful as it is, is usually not relevant to issues regarding alimony or child custody.
In alimony, the court looks to the spouse’s needs and the other spouse’s ability to pay. And unless the adulterous affair was conducted in a way to negatively affect parenting abilities, or to negatively affect the children, the court will usually not consider that evidence as relevant.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Divorce Attorney
If you have concerns about divorce and adultery in Oklahoma, contact an experienced Muskogee divorce lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Call the Wirth Law Office-Muskogee today at 918-913-0725, or toll-free at 1-888-447-7262 [Wirth Law].