Are you getting divorced? Military divorces can work a little differently than normal divorces. If you are going through this kind of divorce in Oklahoma City, here’s what you need to know.

How Are Assets Divided in a Military Divorce in Oklahoma City?

Going through a divorce is a stressful experience. Even if the divorce is amicable, there are still a lot of things to take care of and organize. One of the things that you’ll need to figure out during your divorce is the division of your property and marital assets.

Military spouses that are getting divorced may have a slightly different process than non-military couples. If you and your spouse are getting divorced and one of you is in the military, you might be wondering how your assets will be divided. Essentially, the property will be divided the same way it would with any marriage. But there are some differences in the overall process that you should be aware of.

How Are the Marital Assets Divided?

When it comes to dividing your assets between yourself and your former spouse, there are a couple of different ways that they might be divided. Depending on your circumstances, your assets and property will be divided in one of two ways.

You and Your Spouse Come to an Agreement

One of the things that will happen during your divorce is that you’ll sit down with your former partner to try and determine how your assets should be divided. Ideally, you and your spouse will be able to come to an amicable agreement about who should get what.

But there will certainly be some cases where couples are not able to decide on their own. In an ideal situation, you and your spouse will be able to avoid having to take your issues to the courts, which can get expensive and time-consuming. But if you run into any issues agreeing on how to separate assets, you may need a judge to intervene.

Equitable Distribution

If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement together, then it might be necessary to take your case in front of a judge. Your lawyer will be able to represent you in court and negotiate for the property on your behalf. The judge will award you the property based on several factors.

If you need to go this route, you should be aware that your property may not be divided 50/50. Instead, the judge will take into account things like the length of the marriage, the contributions both partners have made to the marriage, and each partner’s financial stability after the divorce.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act

When it comes to divorce, certain challenges are unique to military couples divorcing. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act or the USFSPA is an act meant to protect the former spouses of members of the armed forces.

This act will require courts to consider military retirement as marital property, and not only as income. This helps to protect former spouses of military personnel from destitution by dividing payment equitably and setting aside certain amounts for alimony and child support. The act also entitles former spouses of military personnel to certain other benefits.

What Are the Different Types of Property and How Are They Divided?

There are a couple of different types of property. Different kinds of property will be divided amongst former spouses in different ways.

Before this property gets divided, you’ll need to inform the courts what property belongs to what category. Your property will either fall into marital property or separate property.

Marital Property

This type of property is all property that was obtained during the course of your marriage. It is property that was obtained by either spouse. A few examples of marital property include pensions, retirement, and deferred compensation rights.

The courts will consider all marital property as being jointly owned by both spouses. However, not all property obtained during the course of your marriage is actually marital property. There are some things that might still be considered separate property, but you’ll have to prove this. Possible evidence might be an invoice, a deed, or a will for an inheritance that names you as the sole proprietor.

Separate Property

The other type of marital property is separate property. This type of property was obtained outside of the marriage. That said, property that was given as a gift or by descent while you were married will also count as separate property. The exception to this is property that was given to one spouse from the other. Unless it is explicitly stated otherwise, these gifts will count as marital property.

One thing that you should be aware of is that the reality is that at times, it can be difficult to determine what should count as separate property and what should count as marital property. You should make sure to be very transparent about what property you own separately to prevent your spouse from taking it unfairly.

How Do You Prepare for Division of Assets?

In any divorce, there are a few things you should do to keep yourself organized and ensure that your property is divided accurately and fairly.

Reach Out to Professionals

When you get divorced, the first thing you should do is get a lawyer to make sure your rights are respected. But you may need the help of some other professionals, too, including real estate agents, accountants, and appraisers. You may need their help determining the value of certain pieces of property.

Keep a List of Your Assets and Debts

There’s no denying that a divorce can be stressful. One way you can mitigate this stress is by keeping yourself as organized as possible. Keeping a list of all your assets and debts will be extremely helpful.

Gather the Paperwork You Need

You’ll likely need certain pieces of paperwork for your divorce. You should gather all of this paperwork as soon as possible to help keep the process smooth and streamlined.

Together, you and your lawyer will review all of this paperwork, taking a close look at it to see how it might affect your divorce.

How Are Child Custody and Visitation Determined?

In a regular divorce, the best interests of the child will be taken into account when trying to determine who should get custody of the children involved, and what visitation rights for the non-custodial parent should look like.

But things get complicated in the dissolution of a military marriage because often service members are stationed overseas for long periods of time. This, of course, makes custody and visitation more complex. It’s also why it’s so important to work with a lawyer familiar with this particular type of divorce. A lawyer will help you ensure that your rights are respected when determining custody and visitation.

Nobody wants to go through a divorce, but sometimes it’s the best choice for the individuals in a marriage. Military marriages can be more complicated when it comes to divorce than regular marriages, so it’s important to work with a lawyer who knows what they’re talking about. To work with our team, get in touch with Cannon & Associates today.