It is no secret that a divorce is an expensive process, with short-term and long-term effects on the finances of both parties. A divorce requires families to deal with emotional, legal, and financial challenges. When you are concerned about your financial stability after a divorce, it can make the divorce process even harder. Working with a Tulsa divorce attorney can help you protect your financial interests, and they may be able to secure fairer terms that aid you financially.

Legal support is beneficial, but there are some costs of divorce that will occur regardless. Understanding these expenses can help you better prepare for them.

The Financial Effects of a Divorce

The costs of divorce include those directly from the divorce and divorce orders, along with indirect consequences on your financial ability. Some of these include:

  1. Divorce Proceedings: The divorce process itself involves significant expenditures, including the costs of filing for a divorce, hiring a divorce attorney, hiring other professionals, and court costs for hearings. The expenses in a divorce are usually lower if you and your spouse get an uncontested divorce, or you can manage a contested divorce through alternative dispute resolution. When your divorce must be handled through litigation, it will be more expensive because of additional court costs and the greater amount of time it takes to resolve.
  2. Property Division: Spouses must separate their marital assets one way or another, resulting in both having fewer financial resources. Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, so spouses who have their property divided in court will receive a fair and equitable portion of marital assets. Each spouse retains their separate assets, and this can affect how the court divides marital assets.
  3. Support Payments: A divorce case may end with a spouse paying the other one alimony or child support payments. This may be a lump-sum payment or a monthly amount. Although these payments are usually not indefinite, they can still be a significant financial drain for some spouses.
  4. Child Custody: A parent who has primary custody over the children has many more expenses to consider. Although the parent without custody typically must pay support, these payments are not always sufficient to cover the costs of raising a child.
  5. Retirement Plans: An important asset that is divided in a divorce may be retirement accounts or pensions. This can significantly affect the long-term financial savings of both spouses.
  6. Lowered Income: After a divorce, each spouse has fewer marital assets, as they are now operating on only one source of income rather than two. In more stressful situations, a spouse may leave a divorce without a source of income.
  7. More Expenses: Following a divorce, each spouse is paying for their own separate home and bills, rather than splitting the costs of one home between them. This increases the expenses and individual budgeting needs of both spouses.
  8. Tax Consequences: A divorce means that spouses must file their tax returns separately rather than jointly, and it may also affect claiming dependents on returns. There are also tax implications for the division of specific assets, like withdrawing resources from retirement accounts to split the assets.

How to Financially Protect Yourself in Divorce

It’s important to plan ahead when you decide to file for divorce, so do what you can to protect your interests and limit your financial losses. Working with relevant professionals, such as divorce attorneys and financial and tax experts, can help you manage this planning more effectively. Some things you can do to protect yourself include:

  • Determine what assets and debts you have and which are separate or marital assets.
  • Save money and review your expenses for what you can save on.
  • List the likely legal costs of your divorce, including determining if you and your spouse can get divorced in or out of court.
  • Review marital assets and determine what you are hoping to keep and what you are prepared to lose.
  • Gather relevant financial documentation and create a new personal budget.


Q: How Are Assets and Debts Divided in a Divorce in Oklahoma?

A: Oklahoma divides assets and debts according to equitable distribution laws. The assets and debts that are affected by this division are nearly all the assets and debts obtained throughout a couple’s marriage. The court will divide this property according to what it determines is equitable and fair, which may not be equal. If spouses do not want their assets divided according to equitable distribution, they can reach an agreement outside of court to divide their marital property.

Q: What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Oklahoma?

A: Both spouses have the same rights to property, the same parental rights and responsibilities to their children, and the same right to request spousal support. In Oklahoma, the court determines the split of marital assets and the awarding of alimony based on what is considered fair, but the statute is not specific about what factors to consider. This means that cases can vary significantly, and the final decision is up to the judge.

Q: How Financially Damaging Is Divorce?

A: A divorce is very financially impactful. The process itself is costly, with filing fees, court costs, and attorney fees. A divorce obtained in court is much more costly than one resolved through alternative dispute resolution. In the long term, a divorce limits the financial resources and income you have to work with, and you are now paying the full cost of certain expenses rather than half.

If your divorce ends with you being required to pay child support and/or alimony, this also affects your finances.

Q: How Do You Qualify for Alimony in Oklahoma?

A: Alimony in Oklahoma is awarded if the court determines that it is reasonable. Oklahoma statutes are not specific about how the court should make this determination. Whether you qualify for alimony in Oklahoma may depend on such potential factors like:

  1. Your income and financial resources
  2. Your spouse’s income, financial resources, and ability to pay support
  3. The length of your marriage
  4. The age and health of you and your spouse
  5. How alimony affects the division of marital property
  6. The standard of living that you and your spouse enjoyed in the marriage

Contact Stange Law Firm in Tulsa

To protect your financial interests and your family’s future, it’s important to work with a divorce attorney. The attorneys at Stange Law Firm can help you navigate your divorce case and secure a fairer outcome. Contact our team today.