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If I file for divorce first (adultery), does that help my chances

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at having equal custody and...
If I file for divorce first (adultery), does that help my chances at having equal custody and keeping my house? I don't want a divorce. If we do, I want it uncontested. But if she has made up her mind and sues me first, am I at a disadvantage?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Family Law
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2/1/2012
Family Lawyer: Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law replied 5 years ago
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,275
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.

Question: If I file for divorce first (adultery), does that help my chances at having equal custody and keeping my house? I don't want a divorce. If we do, I want it uncontested. But if she has made up her mind and sues me first, am I at a disadvantage?

Response:
There is no advantage or disadvantage of who files first. In a custody case, the Court would make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child by looking at the living arrangement of the parties to the custody dispute, their lifestyles, associations, parenting skills, etc. If the Court finds after reviewing these factors that the child would be better off living with you, the Court would grant your request for joint /equal custody. Otherwise, your request would be denied. So, it is very important that you tell the Court any and all reasons why you should be given equal custody; any witnesses should be brought to the Court to testify. Remember that the Court can only make decision based on the evidence presented to the Court.

As for keeping your house, Oklahoma is equitable distribution state. Therefore, the Court will make a decision regarding the division of marital assets based on what is equitable and not 50/50 although it may wind up that way. In Oklahoma the Court would enter an order confirming in each spouse the property owned by him or her before marriage and the un-disposed of property acquired after marriage by him or her in his or her own right. As to such property, whether real or personal, which has been acquired by the parties jointly during their marriage, whether the title thereto be in either or both of said parties, the court shall, subject to a valid ante-nuptial contract in writing, make such division between the parties as may appear just and reasonable, by a division of the property in kind, or by setting the same apart to one of the parties, and requiring the other thereof to be paid such sum as may be just and proper to effect a fair and just division thereof. See Oklahoma Statutes Title 43, Section 121.



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