A divorce is a challenging experience, emotionally and financially. Concerns over financial stability only make the emotional strains of divorce worse. If you are preparing for a divorce, it is crucial that you review your finances to determine how you will handle your budget and your assets throughout and after the divorce. An Oklahoma City divorce attorney can aid you during this process, protecting your financial interests as a divorce proceeds.

Many of the losses and costs of a divorce are unavoidable. However, if you plan and prepare for these changes in your finances and other assets, you can more effectively address them. When an attorney is present to protect your interests, you may be more likely to achieve a fairer settlement, resulting in support determinations or asset division that leaves you better off than you would have been without an attorney.

The Costs of a Divorce

To be prepared for the financial consequences of divorce, you must understand the numerous expenses and losses that come from a divorce. Some of these include:

  1. Court Costs and Attorney Fees: If your divorce is out of court and handled in mediation or collaborative sessions, these costs may not be as high. A litigated divorce may have multiple court dates and significantly higher attorney fees. Litigated divorces can also last for months to years, increasing these costs. You may be able to waive certain court filing fees, depending on your financial situation.
  2. Division of Marital Property: Whether you separate your marital assets and debts in court or out of it, you lose a portion of your marital assets. This may be exactly half or an unequal amount. Either way, it is a significant amount of assets and finances that are no longer yours.
  3. Loss of Spousal Income: You will not only lose some of your marital assets, but you will also lose access to a shared income. You may have only one salary or none.
  4. Additional Expenses: Expenses that may have previously been split between two people are now fully shouldered by both. One or both spouses may be setting up and furnishing their own home. After a divorce, you may have significantly more expenses than you did, including court-ordered expenses.
  5. Spousal or Child Support Payments: Depending on the outcome of the divorce case, you may be paying your spouse child support and/or spousal support. These payments do not last forever in most situations, but they are an important cost to account for.
  6. Tax Implications: The transfer and losses of certain assets can have tax implications for each spouse, and spouses can no longer file jointly. Depending on when a divorce is finalized, spousal support may no longer be tax deductible.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself Financially in a Divorce?

You must plan ahead to effectively protect yourself and determine what your own losses will be from a divorce. Working with a divorce attorney and financial professionals can help you with this process. Some of the steps you can take to plan ahead and protect your finances include:

  • Determine if you and your spouse can get an uncontested or mediated divorce. Navigating the divorce outside of court can lower the initial expenses of a divorce.
  • Make a list of all the legal costs and what your likely new financial situation will be. You can begin to determine how you will cover your expenses during and after a divorce.
  • Gather financial documentation, and determine how joint assets and debts will likely be separated during the division of property in a divorce.
  • Request credit reports and avoid new debts.
  • Review your expenses, and see what you can afford to lower.
  • Work with an attorney to better protect your financial interests.
  • Create a new personal budget that accounts for the changes in your financial situation.
  • Revisit and revise your estate plan.


Q: How Are Assets Split in a Divorce in Oklahoma?

A: Oklahoma operates under equitable distribution laws. Couples can choose to split assets however they wish if they reach an agreement through alternative dispute resolution. However, if couples cannot agree, or their agreement is determined to be unfair by the court, the court uses equitable distribution laws to split marital assets and debts. It reviews specific factors about a couple and their marriage. Then, it splits the assets based on what is determined to be equitable, which may not be equal.

Q: Who Loses More Financially in a Divorce?

A: Financially, women experience a greater loss of household income than men do after a divorce. Ideally, the process of divorce in equitable distribution states like Oklahoma should enable each party to receive equitable amounts of marital assets and debts based on factors such as:

  • Each party’s income
  • If either party wasted marital assets
  • Whether spousal support will be awarded
  • Each spouse’s efforts to increase marital property

Differences in spousal income and resources should also be affected by spousal support and child support.

Although it is ideal that each spouse leaves a divorce with the same level of financial stability, this is not always the case.

Q: Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Oklahoma?

A: A marital home is typically considered marital property, so each spouse has the right to it during asset division. If spouses create a separation agreement out of court, they can decide how to fairly divide all assets and debts, including the home. If not, the court will follow equitable distribution laws.

The house may be sold and the profits split, or one spouse may get the home, and the other gets an equal amount of other assets. If a couple has children, the interest in keeping children in the marital home will influence the court’s decision.

Q: Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Oklahoma?

A: If spouses file a joint petition for an uncontested divorce, it does not make a difference. In a contested divorce, however, there may be some tactical benefits to filing first, although it does not provide any legal benefits. One tactical benefit is the ability to present your case to the court first as the petitioner. It also means that you can decide where to file the petition.

Defending Your Financial Interests in Oklahoma City

At Stange Law Firm, we have worked for years to help individuals and families navigate divorce. We understand the importance of financial stability to your future. Contact our team today.