How the assets will be divided between you and your spouse is typically one of the biggest questions you will have when considering divorce. The biggest of these assets in question will most often be your house or marital home. This is often an emotionally charged decision, but not one that you cannot make on their own. On the other hand, if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court will make this decision for you based on state law.
In Oklahoma, your marital assets will be broken down into two categories: separate property and marital property. Property acquired by a spouse before marriage or after permanent separation, as well, as any property acquired as a gift or inheritance by either spouse is considered separate property. Marital property is defined as any property that you acquire jointly or individually during the course of you marriage.
The division of property during a divorce in Oklahoma is based on the principle of “equitable property”, which holds that property should be divided equitably based on each spouse’s contribution to marital property, and in the best interest of your children. All things being equal, if you have children, the parent who spends the most time caring for them will typically be awarded the house.
Equitable Property Explained
If you there are no children involved in your divorce, the decision will be based on whether the house is considered martial property or separate property. If the house is considered separate property, whomever holds title to the house will retain sole ownership and be allowed by law to request that the other spouse leave he home. On the other hand, if the house is considered marital property, neither spouse has the legal right to make that the other leave, unless domestic violence is involved and the court orders the removal of the offending party.
In this case, there are three main ways in which you can deal with your house:
1. Sell the house and divide the proceeds
2. One of you can take out a second mortgage and buy out the other’s equity in the house.
3. One of you can grant possession of the house to the other for a specific length of time, for instance until the last child leaves the home or until that spouse is financially self-sufficient. Afterward, one of you can to buy out the other spouse’s equity or the house can be sold and the proceeds shared between you.
If you feel that you need more time to negotiate an agreement with your spouse or to seek mediation, you may request a temporary court order to determine who will remain in the house until a decision is made and your divorce is granted.
If You Don’t Agree, Courts Decide Who Gets the House
Again, if you cannot come to an agreement on who gets the house after your divorce, Oklahoma courts will make the decision for you based the principle of equitable distribution. This could mean that the court will grant the possession of the house to one party, while granting possession of other assets of equitable value to the other. Alternatively, the court may order that house be sold and the proceeds divided amongst the two of you equitably.
To summarize, the question of who gets the house after an Oklahoma divorce is one that can be decided by both you and your spouse, or by the courts. An Oklahoma court will make its determination based on the principle of equitable property and in light of what is in the best interest of your children. If there are no children involved, the determination will be based on whether the house is considered to be marital or separate property. For more detailed information about who gets the house after divorce, consult an experienced Tulsa family law attorney.
Tulsa Oklahoma Divorce Attorney
To find out more about property allocations 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.