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Who Gets the Family Home in a Tulsa Divorce?

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Tulsa divorce attorneyThere are many factors Oklahoma courts consider in weighing how to award the family house in a divorce. The home is often the largest asset most families have and often the most sentimental.

It is not an easy decision for many judges to split up the family home if the spouses cannot agree. However it may be necessary if the parties are unable to come to an agreement.

Some factors include:

  • If either spouse moved out of the house
  • If the sole custodial parent is raising the children in the house
  • Any inheritance issues
  • Contributions to the house from each party
  • Fairness and equality

The two most common ways the family house is divided is discussed in the sections below. It is important to remember when going through the divorce process it is most beneficial to stay out of the courtroom.

The more you can compromise with your spouse and settle division of assets, the less likely your assets will be divided by a judge who doesn’t understand the complexities of your marriage or your belongings.

Although judges are skilled at this area of family law, they are still not known to you, your spouse or your family.

Don’t leave division of your assets to someone else. Make sure you are protected by working with a knowledgeable Tulsa divorce attorney.

By Agreement

You and your spouse can make a list of all the assets that need to be divided and negotiate on how to divide them, including who receives the family house. If you come to an agreement, a Marital Settlement Agreement is created. It is then filed with the court, a judge will sign it, and the agreement becomes an “order.”

As stated, avoiding the courtroom is preferred. If you enter into a Marriage Settlement Agreement you could obtain a divorce without having to ever step foot in a courtroom.

Your family law attorney can handle all the forms and file the necessary paperwork.

If you and your spouse are interested in coming to an agreement, but are having trouble seeing eye to eye, mediation might be very helpful. Mediation is commonly used when drafting a Marital Settlement Agreement.

Fair and Equitable Distribution

Oklahoma is an equitable division state. If the court needs to intervene, they look to the needs, incomes, and contributions of each spouse when deciding how to divide assets.

If children are involved in the divorce, the court will take into consideration their needs.

The court has wide discretion to decide what is fair and equitable. If the court feels one parent needs additional funds for the children, or they do not have the earning capacity to afford certain necessities, then the court may not divide the assets in traditional 50-50 division.

For example, the primary custodial parent may be awarded the family home, while the non-custodial parent is awarded other assets like stock or rental property.

If the couple does not have children, and the court believes it fair and equitable, it may be more appropriate to require one spouse to buy the other spouse out or to require the family home be sold in order to split revenue.

There are some exceptions to the “fair and equal” division of assets. This occurs in cases where the property is clearly separate property or one spouse has significant investment in the house prior to marriage.

Separate property is acquired prior to marriage and maintains its separate character as long as the house does not “transmutate.”

Transmutation occurs when the separate property characterization changes to marital property. This can happen by putting your spouse’s name on the title. In this case one spouse may be required to buy out the other in order to retain the house.

Free Consultation with a Tulsa Divorce Lawyer

Threat of losing your family home can be one of the most stressful aspects of a divorce. The family home is not only an asset, it is a sentimental piece of history that holds memories.

Being represented by a Tulsa divorce attorney can help ease the stress of the unknown during the divorce process. The division of assets during a divorce is complex and requires expert attorneys working on your side to ensure your rights are protected.

Contact an experienced Tulsa family law 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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