When people in Oklahoma go through a divorce they must divide the life they shared throughout the marriage into two separate lives. Couples may have acquired many different properties, retirement accounts, investment accounts, bank accounts, vehicles and many other types of assets. Dividing some of these assets can be easier than others, but all must be divided during the divorce.
Each spouse keeps separate property
Only assets acquired during the marriage need to be divided though. Each spouse will keep their separate property. This is generally property and assets that each spouse owned before the marriage. Also, property that was awarded to each spouse pursuant to a valid antenuptial agreement will generally remain with that spouse.
Equitable division of marital property
After each spouse is awarded their separate property, the remaining marital property will be divided. However, it does not need to be divided equally. It is an equitable division of the assets which is just and reasonable. This could mean equal, but does not need to be equal.
As mentioned above dividing some of the assets can be difficult. Dividing a house or other real property is much different than dividing a bank account. In some situations, simply valuing the property can be difficult. Couples may need to have appraisals of homes, businesses and other property. There also may need to be tracing of certain separate property that may have been combined with marital property.
It can also be difficult to give each spouse property which equals the same value of the property that the other spouse. In these situations, a spouse that receives property worth more than the other may need to give the other money to ensure that there is an equitable division of the property.
Dividing property in divorces in Oklahoma can be a complicated process. It can also be a time-consuming process, especially if people need to have appraisals completed to value all of their property. It can also be difficult for people to realize that they will have to divide property and assets that they worked hard to acquire. How the property will be divided depends on many different factors though. Experienced attorneys understand the process of asset division and what needs to be completed to have an equitable division and may be able to guide one through the process.