Every divorce lawyer in Oklahoma includes a provision in the final decree stating both parties are prohibited from remarriage within six months. Is it really that a big of a deal to ignore this and remarry anyway? Well, only if you think possible felony charges are not a big deal!
What Does the Law Say?
Oklahoma law states that remarriage within six months of the divorce in Oklahoma is bigamy. Some think they can game the system by slipping off to another state to get married. But, not so fast! If you marry in another state and then return to Oklahoma to cohabitate, that is the felony of adultery. This law can be found in 43 O.S. § 123. Both of these crimes are felonies and carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.
NOTE: None of this applies if you remarry the same person you just divorced. That can be done at any time.
Aside From Being A Crime, What’s The Harm?
Whenever I am asked about remarriage my answer is always the same: Follow the court order. It’s that simple. No need to make it harder than it needs to be. Remarriage immediately after a divorce is not a good idea. If your new found love is meant to be, it will still be there in six months.
Depending on who you ask, waiting six months is probably not long enough. It may keep you out of legal trouble, but opens the door to other problems. A quick subsequent marriage is often the result of an affair that started during the marriage. According to WebMD, only five to seven percent of affairs lead to marriage. However, the part that is really interesting is that around seventy-five percent of those marriages that started as affairs end in divorce. Those are some pretty grim statistics. The courthouse does not offer frequent flyer discounts so there is no need to rush into something.
As a practical matter, if the state actually enforced adultery laws we would probably need multiple courthouses in ever county to keep up with the case load. There are not the resources, or the interest, to prosecute these offences. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen an adultery case prosecuted. However, that’s not to say that it can’t happen.
I tell everyone that will listen to always follow all court orders. It is NEVER a good idea to violate orders of the court. Remain in compliance with all orders and you can avoid many unnecessary and very expensive problems.
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