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Oklahoma Bill Regarding Military Division of Property in Divorce Causes Controversy

By Nottage and Ward on March 11, 2011

A new bill introduced in the Oklahoma legislature would limit a military spouse’s ability to claim a portion of their spouses’ military pension and benefits, reports Tulsa World.

According to the article, Senate Bill 528 is similar to another bill that failed to pass in the legislative session last year. If the bill passes, many believe it would offer members of the military overly generous terms regarding property division in divorce cases and make Oklahoma a mecca for military divorces. However, supporters of the bill say it would establish standards regarding equal division of marital property and in certain circumstances, termination of payments.

Under the provisions of the bill, if a marriage lasted less than 10 years, when dividing marital property, a judge would be required to consider a military pension as the sole property of the spouse to whom the pension belonged. This means that the pension would not be part of the marital property that is divided in a divorce between the two parties. In a marriage that has lasted over 10 years, the bill provides that the court may treat the pension as marital or separate property.

Critics of the bill argue that a military pension may be the most valuable asset in the marriage and that it would be unfair to treat it as the sole property of one spouse, to the exclusion of the non-military spouse. Additionally, many believe divorcing military members should not be treated differently than police officers or firefighters are treated during a divorce.

If the bill passes, Oklahoma would be the only state in the country to adopt such legislation.

If you live in Illinois and are considering a divorce, you may have questions regarding how your property and assets will be divided, as well as other divorce-related issues. Contact the Illinois divorce lawyers at Nottage and Ward, who can provide you the legal assistance you need during this difficult time. Our attorneys have practiced family law for over 20 years. Call 312-332-2915 today.

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