Oklahoma City Property Division Lawyers Assist with Equitable Distribution
Experienced advocates fight for fair asset division when your marriage ends
If you are going through a divorce, you may be facing a lot of uncertainty, especially concerning your finances. This makes the distribution of your property one of the most important issues you must resolve. At Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC, in Oklahoma City, our divorce lawyers take a detailed approach to property matters. We are meticulous in our examination of financial records, making sure that we collect all the evidence necessary to protect your interests. When you retain our services for your divorce, you can have confidence in our commitment to work tirelessly to deliver the best possible results.
How equitable distribution works in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, which means that in a divorce, the court divides marital property in a manner that is fair, but not necessarily equal. Under the law, assets and debt are both considered property and go through the same three-step process, as follows:
- Classification of property — The parties to divorce are required to make a full financial disclosure, listing all their assets and debts. They can claim this property as separate or marital. Separate property belongs exclusively to one spouse, and marital property is subject to distribution. Disputes often arise at this stage, as parties make a case for classification that serves their best interests.
- Valuation — The property in the marital pool goes through a process of valuation, where each side asserts how much each item is worth. Many couples agree to hire a single assessor for each category of assets, such as real estate, businesses, fine art, jewelry, and so on. However, in a high-net-worth divorce, it’s not unusual to have dueling appraisals. Once the values of all items are established, the total value of the marital estate can be determined.
- Distribution — The task next falls to the court to divide the property fairly. The court considers a long list of statutory factors, such as each party’s contribution to the accumulation of wealth, nonmonetary contributions to the household, and the age and health of the parties. Considering all relevant facts, the court decides in what proportion to divide the marital pool.
The job of your divorce lawyer is to bring to the court’s attention all relevant facts that strengthen your case at each stage of the proceedings.
Special consideration for asset division in an Oklahoma divorce
Many times, it is impossible to divide the marital estate neatly according to the proportions the court mandates. One asset, such as the family home or a business, may dominate the pool. Theoretically, the court could order the asset to be sold and then distribute the proceeds, but this could devalue the asset, expose the parties to tax liabilities, and disrupt their lives unnecessarily. For this reason, a court can award possession of the family home to one spouse, so the children can continue to live there, but divide ownership and equity rights appropriately.
Because of the complexities of asset and debt division, many couples prefer to negotiate a property settlement rather than taking the issue to court. In our roles as divorce attorneys, we draw on more than 30 years of combined experience to negotiate settlements that are fair and practical. In this way we spare our clients the stress and expense of a trial as well as the risk of an adverse decision. Nevertheless, there are times when an aggressive fight is required to secure your financial rights. When that happens, you can rely on our skill and determination every step of the way.
Contact an effective Oklahoma divorce attorney for a free property distribution consultation
Zuhdi & Flynn, PLLC works tirelessly to secure clients’ property rights in divorce actions. For trustworthy guidance and determined representation, call 405-416-2711 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation at our Oklahoma City office.