Equitable distribution of assets in Oklahoma means that assets are divided equitably, or fairly, following a divorce. One of the most common misconceptions surrounding division of assets is that it will always be a 50-50 split. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, and it is important to consult with an experienced Stillwater division of assets lawyer to sort out any complications that may arise.
Equitable Distribution of Assets | Marital Property
Marital property refers to any assets or debts that were accumulated over the course of the marriage. This can include joint property such as stocks, bonds, credit card debts, and bank accounts, along with physical property such as homes and vehicles. Anything that was acquired by a spouse prior to marriage does not qualify as marital property and is therefore considered separately owned. Likewise, any property a spouse receives via gift or inheritance is also classified as separate.
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Equitable Distribution of Assets | Commingled Property
Separately owned property can sometimes become marital property if it has been commingled. For example, a husband who purchased a vehicle prior to marriage may use joint funds to complete payments. Depending on the amount of money in question, the court may rule that the vehicle has now become marital property and is to be divided accordingly. In this case, the spouse may simply be ordered to reimburse the other for the payments made.
When marital property has been identified, it then needs to be appraised and given a monetary value. Usually, all physical property is assessed at its current market value, not necessarily the value when acquired. This may call for a real estate appraiser or other professional to estimate how much certain items may be worth.
Disagreements over what property is separate and what is not can lead to heated arguments. To avoid confusion, it is best to consult with an experienced Stillwater division of assets lawyer to successfully mediate between the two parties. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.