Who Gets the House if We Seek Divorce in Oklahoma?
A common concern related to divorce is whether someone will lose their house, car, TV, or other personal possessions. The law sorts out disagreements about who owns what with two separate categories called marital property and separate property. The category your possessions fit in can determine whether you will keep or lose those possessions after the divorce. If you have questions about whether your property fits these categories, you can call an Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer for assistance.
Marital and Separate Property
Marital property consists of any property that you and your spouse purchased after your marriage. This can mean things you bought together like a car, gifts you gave to each other, and anything either of you bought separately while married. Separate property makes up anything you purchased before the marriage. A gift or inheritance received from someone else during the marriage also counts as separate property because no one in the marriage bought these.
In some cases, separate property can become marital property. For example, transferring money into a joint bank account changes from separate property to marital property because you have both implicitly agreed to share the money. The same applies to increases in value on purchased items like homes. If your spouse makes repairs on your home, your home becomes marital property because the value has increased with the repairs.
The general rule is that separate property is not divided in a divorce case. However, in certain cases, separate property can be divided if the shared marital property is not enough to meet one spouse’s needs.
How to Make Property Division Easier
Creating an agreement beforehand can save some time if the divorce goes to trial. This can also help you realize where you disagree on certain things. Talking to a lawyer when disagreements arise can help you defend yourself in the event that your separate property is wrongfully claimed as marital property.
Making an inventory list of everything you own can also make things less chaotic. What you can do is list everything you believe is separate property and marital property. Then you can compare the list to what your spouse believes is separate and marital property to see where you disagree. These disagreements can either be settled together or in court.
A similar process will happen for the divorce case regardless of whether you make a list in advance. You and your spouse will be told to list all of your assets and debts. This provides information for the judge to decide what should be divided and what should remain your property. Property and debt are generally divided equally, but other factors may affect this.
Family Lawyer in Oklahoma
Dividing up property during a divorce can be stressful at times because of the sentimental value we have for certain possessions. If you have concerns, be sure to talk to an Oklahoma Family Lawyer who can help you navigate through the divorce process. Contact the Putnam Law Office at (405)-849-9149 today for a consultation.