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How Does an Oklahoma Court Divide Property During a Contested Divorce?

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Tulsa divorce attorneyIf you have begun the divorce process, you are probably concerned as to how your assets and your personal property will be divided.

This is especially a concern in a contested divorce when spouses cannot agree on what items will be assigned to whom, or how to divide assets that spouses consider personal items.

Oklahoma is a state that observes “equitable division,” emphasizing concepts of justice and fairness as the procedure to divide assets when there is a disagreement among the parties.

However, parties do not necessarily have to enlist the court system to divide their assets if there is cooperation. Instead, division of assets can easily be accomplished when enlisting the support and guidance of a Tulsa divorce attorney.

Equitable Division

It is important to understand what equitable division means and how it will affect you and your spouse when dividing assets. This procedure means that any marital property will be divided in a way that is “just and reasonable.”

The words “just and reasonable” are broadly interpreted and allow the courts to freely use their discretion in order to accomplish these concepts.

The court will consider a global image of how each partner contributed to the marriage and how each spouse can fairly move on and support themselves after the divorce.

The phrase “just and reasonable” does not presume that assets will be divide equally, but that they will be fairly distributed such that each spouse can approach their future fully supported and minimally affected by the divorce.

The concept of equitable distribution is presumes that both spouses cannot work together to decide how to divide assets.

Throughout the process the parties will not only be given opportunities to attempt possible compromises, but will be encouraged by the judge to attempt to meet and confer, typically utilizing experienced family law attorneys to assist with the settlement process.

If the parties are able to come to a compromise as to how to divide their assets, then a family law attorney can help draft a settlement agreement that the court will review and sign as an order.

However, if communication breaks down, the court will proceed with hearings that address the division of assets.

Factors in Equitable Division

Although the court has discretion in how assets will be divided, there are factors the court should consider to ensure the division is equitable.

These factors are not hard and fast rules, but instead focus on the marriage as a whole. The court considers which party has truly committed themselves and contributed to the marriage.

Some of the major factors that contribute to the court’s decision include how each party contributed to the marriage, including if one spouse served as a homemaker in the marriage and supported the other spouse’s career goals.

Next, the court considers how each party will fair after the divorce including each party’s earning potential after the divorce is final. They also consider medical needs and costs and childcare requirements. The future factors really depend on how each spouse will survive after the divorce.

In addition, the courts considers the length of marriage, the age and health of each party, future tax payments and consequences of divorce, and any debts or liabilities of each party.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Divorce Lawyer

It is understandable how stressful it is to wonder how your property and assets will be divided by a judge. However, you have the power to change that procedure.

By hiring a family law attorney to advocate on your behalf and facilitate helpful communication with your soon to be ex-spouse, you will be able to have a greater chance to divide assets without having to appear in court.

Contact an experienced Tulsa divorce attorney for help with child custody and expert representation for your divorce.

For a free confidential consultation, call 918-924-5526.






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