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Will Dissipation of Assets Affect my Tulsa Divorce Settlement?

Tulsa divorce settlementDissipation of marital assets may affect your Tulsa divorce settlement. Marital assets are those that are acquired during the marriage. They include, but are not limited to, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, furniture and financial accounts.

Property that one spouse owned before marriage, such as a home, is usually not considered marital assets for a Tulsa divorce settlement. An exception may apply if the other spouse’s name was added to the title or the marital finances were used to pay for or make improvements to the property during the course of the marriage.

Inheritances and gifts from someone other than your spouse, before or during the marriage, are considered the personal property of the spouse who received it.

Likewise, if a spouse uses his or her inheritance to purchase an automobile and titles it in his name only, it will be considered personal property.

If there is a question, the divorce court will make a determination on whether it is marital or personal property.

Initial Steps for Tulsa Divorce Settlement

When you file a petition for divorce, an automatic temporary injunction goes into effect; this prohibits you and your spouse from selling or changing title to property that is a marital asset without the consent of both parties. In addition, both spouses are specifically prohibited from concealing any assets.

Exceptions to the injunction are made for property sold or disposed of to pay for a Tulsa divorce attorney, or if the disposal was to pay for necessities.

Among other restraints, the temporary injunction also prohibits the spouses from the following:

  •  Withdrawing funds from a retirement, profit sharing, pension, or other employee benefit plan. It also prohibits withdrawal of funds from individual retirement or Keogh accounts.
  • Withdrawing or borrowing funds from any life insurance policies, whether the spouses or the children’s.
  • Cashing any checks, drafts or negotiable instruments without the signature of the other spouse.

A spouse must notify the other party in the divorce any extraordinary expenditures made after the temporary injunction goes into effect. Extraordinary expenses include, for example, a child’s unexpected medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. These also must be fully disclosed to the divorce court.

Dissolution of the Automatic Injunction

The automatic injunction will be automatically dissolved when the Tulsa divorce settlement is finalized. Before that time, a spouse can file an objection within three days of receipt of the automatic injunction and request a hearing.

The injunction will remain in effect until the hearing and a judge’s order dissolves it. The spouses may also agree to waive the injunction by signing the appropriate document and returning it to the court.

If the injunction is not dissolved by a judge or by agreement, it will remain in effect until a final decree is entered by the divorce court.

Penalties for Violation of the Automatic Temporary Injunction

If a spouse is found to have violated the temporary injunction, the court has the authority to order him or her in contempt of court. This could lead to a six month jail sentence and/or a fine of $500.

In addition to contempt of court charges, the spouse who violates the order may be awarded a smaller settlement. In Oklahoma, divorce assets are to be divided equitably rather than equally. The courts divide marital property in a way that is just and fair for both parties.

If a spouse has sold or hidden marital assets, the court will take that into consideration and may award an amount to offset the value of the asset that was sold or hidden.

Free Consultation: Tulsa Divorce Attorney

If you have any questions about dissolution of marriage or dissipation of assets during a divorce, you should contact a Tulsa divorce attorney. He or she has the expertise to assist you in protecting your assets and helping you obtain an equitable Tulsa divorce settlement.

Call the Divorce of Tulsa Law Office at 918-924-5526 today to schedule your free consultation.