Q: Does Oklahoma have jurisdiction over Arkansas when it comes to filing for a divorce that took place in Arkansas?
I got married in Arkansas on 8/13/2020 in Fort Smith Arkansas. The next following month I filed for an annulment in Wagoner, Oklahoma but my husband decided to challenge the Arkansas law and state that we are not married despite the license being filed in Arkansas and signed by a minister. The judge dismissed my case on 03/2021 and stated "parties are in fact not married". I immediately contacted Arkansas Lawyers through a website for free Arkansas legal advice. They advise me that based on the documentation I provided them such as a marriage certificate that was filed and signed by a minister and looking at the judges ruling where he dismissed it, they do believe I'm still married. They are confused as to why the Oklahoma judge dismissed it. Perhaps he didn't know Arkansas marriage law
A: This is a situation where free advice over the internet is not going to resolve this issue. My suggestion is take all of your documents to an attorney so they can review and give you an opinion and explain your options.
If there is a marriage and you are trying to get divorced you would have to file in the state that has jurisdiction. In Oklahoma, you have to live here six months before you can file a divorce here and it does not matter where the marriage happened.
Best of luck to you.
A: That's curious. Actions for divorce or annulment can be brought in the State of Oklahoma when either the petitioner or the respondent has been a resident for 6 months. After establishing if the action can be filed in the State of Oklahoma, then you look at which county is appropriate. It can be brought where the respondent is a resident or where the petitioner has resided for 30 days.
In Oklahoma, there's a presumption that there's a valid marriage when there's been a ceremonial marriage. One asserting that has to prove that a ceremony occurred. A marriage license (not just application, but filed license) is a strong indicator that there was a ceremony.
I wish you the best.
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