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A common misconception is that there is a requirement that a marriage last for a certain number of years before alimony can be awarded. This is false. A court can award alimony in any divorce, regardless the length of the marriage. In Oklahoma, there are two kinds of spousal support available: spousal maintenance and alimony. Spousal maintenance is ordered by the court to be paid by one spouse to the other while the divorce proceedings are taking place. This means from the time he files for divorce until the final divorce decree is issued. Oklahoma courts consider a number of factors when making alimony determinations. Most importantly, Oklahoma courts will consider the length of the marriage and the ability of the spouses to support themselves. The duration of alimony in Oklahoma will be determined based on what is reasonable under the circumstance and the amount of time it will take for the receiving spouse to become self-supporting. Short-term alimony may be awarded to give the receiving spouse time to prepare financially for the separation. On the other hand, the court may award long-term or even life-long alimony after a lengthy marriage and if the needs of the receiving spouse dictate.
So to answer your question, in Oklahoma, courts don't rely on guideline calculations when deciding whether to order alimony, or the type, amount, manner, and duration of payments. The court will look at the spouses’ circumstances, considering the needs of each spouse and the ability of the supporting spouse to pay. The court will also consider the length of marriage and spouses’ ability to be self-supporting.
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