Who Gets to Keep the House After a Divorce?

Divorces are never easy. Going through a divorce often creates major financial and emotional issues. One of the things many divorcing Tulsa couples worry about is what will happen to the family home. Unlike the money in a bank account, a home cannot easily be split up. Further, most people develop and attachment to their home over the years. If you are going through an Oklahoma divorce and are worried about your home, an experienced Tulsa divorce attorney can help.

Is the Home a Marital Asset?

When dividing real estate, and all other property, you first need to determine whether or not it qualifies as a marital asset. In some cases, this question is easy. For example, If you and your spouse shopped for, and purchased, your home together, it will certainly qualify as a marital asset. But some cases are much more difficult. Not all homes are marital assets. If you purchased your home ten years ago, and then subsequently met and married your spouse several years later, your house may qualify as a premarital asset. However, just because a home was purchased before the marriage, does not mean that it is not a marital asset. Homes can actually convert into marital property depending on certain factors. This includes the length of the marriage, the living situation, the nature of the divorce and how the mortgage payments were made. Oklahoma uses an equitable distribution standard for dividing all property in a divorce. Ultimately, an experienced divorce attorney will always need to review your individual circumstances.

Our House is Marital Property, What Now?

The majority of couples will find that there home qualifies as marital property. There are three general paths that can come next:


  • Agreement to sell: Selling the home makes sense for a lot of divorcing couples. In a way, it can allow both parties to make a clean emotional break from the divorce. However, even if both parties desire the sale of the home, significant issues can still remain. You will need to determine how to divide the costs associated with putting the property on the market, and how to divide the proceeds from the sale.
  • Agreement to allow one spouse to remain: Sale is not always the best option for all couples. This is especially a concern for parents. There are many additional issues to worry about related to your child’s well-being. Perhaps you will determine that you want your children to remain in the home. In this case, all financial, and child custody, ramifications need to be worked out.
  • Dispute: Finally, some spouses simply will not be able to agree on what to do with the house, or how to divide the proceeds. If both parties want to remain in the house, and no agreement is possible, eventually an Oklahoma judge will make the decision. Usually, a judge will grant the ownership rights to one spouse in exchange for granting additions assets to the other spouse.

Contact An Experienced Tulsa Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce can be frustrating, especially when it comes to dealing with your home. At the Hayes Law Firm, we will protect your interests and help you get past any difficult issues. If you have questions about divorce in Tulsa, please contact experienced family law attorney Blake Hayes online, or at (918) 392-4641.