You may or may not have heard of the new Oklahoma divorce law that took effect on November 1, 2014. The measure was created with the intention of lowering the incidence of Oklahoma divorces, as well as helping children cope with the difficulties of divorcing parents. This legislation requires couples who have underage children and cite incompatibility as the reason for the divorce to take educational classes, which cost between $15 and $60 before a divorce will be granted.
The Requisite Oklahoma Divorce Classes
The courses will cover issues including the effects of divorce on kids, options for reconciliation, effects of family violence, child behaviors to expect, conflict reduction strategies, and co-parenting tips. The classes will also introduce the couple to potential family service resources that they may need currently or in the future. In order to move forward with a divorce proceeding, both spouses must have the certificate of completion.
Support of the New Divorce Law
While some experts, like the Director of Counseling at Sunbeam Family Services, Teresa Deck, are all for the new Oklahoma divorce law, there are others who oppose it. Deck says, “I think parents will think about the divorce and impact that it has on the children and it will help them see the consequences.” She also believes that the courses could prevent some of the divorces, but more importantly, they would help parents be more prepared for what they may face once the divorce is finalized.
Opposition to the New Divorce Law
On the other hand, an Oklahoma lawyer said that the new Oklahoma divorce law would pose a threat for victims of domestic violence. Parents who are attempting to leave an abusive relationship, as well as protect their children, will be “re-victimized by the legal system,” she said. The new law does not make any special exemptions for victims of violence, leaving it up to judges to make the decision of who is exempt from the law. If the new law requires everyone with underage children, without exclusions for victims of violence, those victims could find themselves face-to-face with their spouse in an education course geared toward keeping the couple together.
We Want to Help
An Oklahoma divorce attorney may be able to persuade a judge to allow a couple to take the courses separately, but that would be determined on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Robles, in Oklahoma City, today at 405-232-7980 for a free consultation.