Amongst the many questions you may have when considering divorce in Oklahoma is how property will be divided between you and your spouse. Who gets the house? Who gets the car? Who gets the furniture, or the appliances, or the lawn tools?
States vary on how marital property is divided in divorce. In many states, all property is owned jointly and is likely to be divided between you and your spouse based on a variety of factors. The division of property in Oklahoma is based on the concept of “equitable division”.
Equitable division means just that – property will be divided equitably between you and your spouse. This does not mean that property will be divided equally, but in a judicious manner according to various factors such as the needs of your children and what each of you has contributed to your total amount of marital property.
What is Martial Property?
Marital property consists of any assets, or value in those assets that are acquired during your marriage, either individually or jointly. With some exception, this does not include property that you acquired before you got married or after you permanently separate. Nor does it include anything that you individually inherit or receive as a gift during marriage.
Your debts will be handled in the same manner. Debts acquired during your marriage should be shared equitably between you and your spouse, while each of you will be individually responsible for any debt you personally acquired before you were married.
The division of property and debt is often agreed upon by the parties in a divorce in what is referred to as a Marital Settlement Agreement. This agreement is then ordered and decreed by the courts in the Decree of Divorce, which confirms the termination of your marriage. If you cannot come to an agreement on how you property will be divided, the court will divide you property for you.
Typically, the courts will only divide marital property, unless fairness or what is in the best interest of the children require them to go beyond marital property. In addition the courts may consider factors such as how long you have been married, your individual ages, incomes, medical expenses, and the cost of childcare.
Prenuptial agreements are valid in Oklahoma and may be employed to dictate the distribution of property during your divorce. And as mentioned, you may choose to come to an agreement with your spouse on how property and debts are to be divided and have this agreement approved by the court. However, the courts may chooses to modify the terms of these agreements if it finds them to be unreasonable, improperly executed or not in the best interest of your children.
So in a nutshell, the division of property in an Oklahoma divorce is based on what each of you has contributed, what is equitable and in the best interest of your children. Typically only property that you have acquired during your marriage is will be distributed between you and your spouse and the same goes for your debts. Courts will allow prenuptial agreements and any other agreements you make with your spouse to dictate how property and debts are to be distributed, so long as these agreements meet the same aforementioned criteria.
Free Marital Property Consultation:
Tulsa Oklahoma Divorce Attorney
To find out more about division of marital property in a Tulsa Oklahoma divorce, contact the Tulsa divorce attorney at Divorce Law Office of Tulsa: 918-924-5526. We offer free, no obligation consultations. If you prefer you may send your question using the “Ask the Lawyer” form on the right side of this page.