In Oklahoma, every divorce involves property division. It can be one of the biggest areas of conflict, outside that of child custody. It can carry just as much emotion, because you have worked hard to build the life that you have, and that includes your home, your retirement, and all the things that you have accumulated in life. It is natural to want to protect it.

In a sense, property division can be boiled down to the following three questions:

  1. What do you own and what do  you owe?
  2. Who is going to get the asset after the divorce?
  3. Who is going to pay the debt after the divorce?

In Oklahoma, the statute on property division is found in Title 43 O.S. § 121, which states:

The court shall enter its decree confirming in each spouse the property owned by him or her before marriage and the undisposed-of property acquired after marriage by him or her in his or her own right . . . As to such property, whether real or personal, which has been acquired by the parties jointly during their marriage, whether the title thereto be in either or both of said parties, the court shall . . . make such division between the parties as may appear just and reasonable, by a division of the property in kind, or by setting the same apart to one of the parties, and requiring the other thereof to be paid such sum as may be just and proper to effect a fair and just division thereof.

Marital vs. Separate Property

In Oklahoma, the court divides only the marital property. This is generally the property that the parties have acquired jointly during marriage.

The court is supposed to award to each party their own separate property, which is generally:

  1. Property acquired before marriage
  2. Property acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance, and
  3. Property acquired after separation
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Property Issue Questions

Below is a list of questions that need to be answered in any property division case.

Real Property

  • Will one spouse keep the property or will it be sold?
    • If a spouse keeps the property:
      • Who will pay the mortgage?
      • Will the mortgage be refinanced?
      • Will the keeping spouse pay the other anything for the equity in the property?
    • If the property will be sold:
      • Who will pay the mortgage while the house is on the market?
      • How will the proceeds of the sale be divided?
      • If there are no proceeds, who will pay the deficiency?

Retirements

  • Will the parties divide any retirements?
    •    If yes,
      • Will they divide them by a percentage?
      • Will they divide them by a lump sum
    • It no,
      • Will each party be awarded his or her own retirement?

Vehicles

  • Are the loans on the vehicles in both spouses’ names?
    • If yes,
      • Will the loans need to be refinanced?

Bank Accounts

  • Are there any joint accounts?
    • If yes,
      • Who will receive the account?

Other Assets

  • Who will receive the property in the divorce?

Debts

  • Are there any joint debts?
    • If yes,
      • Who will be responsible for paying the debt?
      • Will the debt need to be refinanced or transferred into one party’s name?

Property Division Alimony

  • Is one side getting greater than 50 % of the total property?
    • If yes,
      • Will this spouse pay any money to equalize the value of the property division?

Separate Property

  • Is there any separate property?
    • If yes,
      • It will need to be awarded to the person who owns it.

 

Valuation

How do I come up with the values for the property?

This is often the most important question in every property division case. It consumes a great deal of time and effort, and is key in determining how to make a fair and equitable division of the property.

FAQs

Tools
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