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Under Oklahoma family law, separation occurs when a couple in a relationship chooses to live independently of each other. A divorce, on the other hand, is a court-issued termination of a valid marriage.
While there is no specific legal definition of “separation” in Oklahoma, it typically involves a physical separation along with the recognition by at least one spouse that the relationship has come to an end. It’s noteworthy that spouses can still reside in the same family home during separation, provided they can establish that they are living separate and apart, even if under the same roof.
During separation, couples often find it beneficial to create a separation agreement, detailing how they will handle matters related to family property, debt, household expenses, and parenting arrangements if they have children together. Although living separately is not a legal requirement, couples may opt for a written agreement to clarify their rights and responsibilities during the separation period. It’s important to keep in mind that in Oklahoma, the legal status of marriage persists until a divorce is officially granted by the court. Consulting with a family law attorney can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances and the laws in Oklahoma.