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How will Oklahoma’s property division laws affect my divorce?

Through a legal marriage in Oklahoma, many of the assets you acquire are both yours and your spouse’s. Going through a divorce involves picking apart and dividing all marital property, which can create some uncertainty about your future.

As you piece together your property settlement agreement, it can be helpful to look at state property division laws that may affect your share of the marital estate.

Equitable but not even

Specifically, state courts follow an equitable distribution system. This means if the property settlement agreement you present to the judge reviewing your case seems fair, then it’s likely that they’ll approve it. And if you can’t come to agreeable terms on how to divide the marital estate, the judge will create an equitable split rather than an even one.

The assets that are subject division often involves all property and debts you’ve accumulated during your marriage. Common examples include the family home and furnishings, bank accounts and investments, like retirement accounts.

Court considerations

You may feel like you contributed a lot to the bank accounts you shared. Or maybe you put more money toward the mortgage payments. Through the equitable distribution system, the court acknowledges that there might have been a different contribution levels toward assets you share. The court may also consider what kind of post-divorce financial needs each party will have, you and your ex’s employability and how much money each of you will need to take care of your children.

It’s also important to note that the court will consider any separate property you bring forth. This includes assets that you obtained prior to your marriage or received items as gifts or inheritances through your marriage. If you have proof that you currently possess some separate property, then it’s likely that these items won’t be subject to division.

Since couples’ lives can become so interwoven, it can be hard to imagine what life will look like after divorce. But with the help of an experienced family law attorney, you can receive clarity and the aid you need from the beginning and through the end of the divorce process.