Although attempts are made to cover future issues within the confines of a divorce decree, these efforts are not foolproof. You may be at a juncture where your divorce decree has been issued from an Oklahoma district court but you require a modification to that order.
Contact your former spouse and discuss the modification. Although not explicitly mandated by Oklahoma divorce law, modification of a divorce decree is a civil law matter. The accepted practice in civil cases, including divorce matters, is to attempt a negotiated settlement of an issue before taking action in the district court.
Prepare an agreed order modifying the divorce decree if your ex-spouse concurs with your proposal. The clerk of the court likely maintains a standard form you can use for this purpose. Fill it out completely and include the number of your case. Set out the specific modification of the divorce decree. Both you and your ex-spouse must sign the agreed order in front of a notary public. Some people hire a lawyer to prepare an agreed order, but doing so is not required by law in Oklahoma.
Deliver the executed agreed order to the district court clerk. The clerk's office will forward the document to the appropriate judge for signature.
Prepare a motion to modify if your ex-spouse is opposed to the proposed modification. The district court clerk likely maintains samples of motions or motion forms for your use. Although it's not required, some people retain an attorney to prepare and pursue a motion to modify.
Include in the motion the provision in the divorce decree that you want to modify and your specific reasons for the requested amendment.
Sign the motion. Unlike the agreed order, your signature does not need to be notarized.
Send a copy of the motion to your ex-spouse. Oklahoma law requires that your ex-spouse receive a copy of the motion to modify.
File the motion with the district court clerk.
Obtain a hearing date from the district court clerk or from the administrative assistant of the judge assigned to the case.
Notify your ex-spouse, in writing, of the hearing date and time. The clerk's office may do this for you or provide you with a standard hearing notice form. Oklahoma law (and the Oklahoma constitution) requires that the other party receive notice of this court proceeding.
Attend the hearing before the district court judge and make your presentation in support of the motion to modify.
Consider engaging the services of an experienced Oklahoma attorney to represent you in modifying your divorce decree. Although the Oklahoma Bar Association cannot recommend specific attorneys, the organization does maintain a directory of attorneys in different practice areas. The Oklahoma Bar Association can be reached at:
Oklahoma Bar Association 1901 N. Lincoln Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73152-3036 (405) 416-7000 okbar.org
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