Who gets the house? What happens to the car? Property division is one of the most vital aspects of working through a divorce, but it’s also one of the most stressful. While this process of comprehending how property division will affect you is complicated enough, the level of difficulty is immediately amplified when your ex-spouse is a narcissist.
Let’s start with the basics: property division is different in every state. Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state rather than a community property state, meaning that property is not necessarily split 50/50 between parties during division. There’s technically no defined list of statutory factors that a judge will base their division on, though the law specifies that property must be divided fairly. The property that is considered devisable between parties is defined as marital property. Marital property is any property that was acquired during the marriage or any property that was bought with funds earned during the marriage. Property that is not considered divisible is called separate property and is anything that was bought or earned before the date of marriage or after separation. With sufficient evidence, marital property may be recharacterized as separate property.
A common misconception about property division is that property titled in your spouse’s name (such as a car) are automatically his separate property. This is far from the truth, as titles do not give someone more privileges during property division. Even though the house might be in his or her name, you still have a right to fight for what’s fair. Another misconception is that the breadwinner has a claim to more of the marital property. Just as property titles are not determinative for property division, neither are incomes. Both parties have equal opportunities during property division regardless of any discrepancy in earnings.
Property division can be both confusing and overwhelming, but adding a narcissist to the other side can make things seem impossible. Narcissists are known for being stubborn, entitled, and immature. They refuse to take responsibility for their actions and immediately blame others when something goes wrong. Dividing property with a narcissist will be trying; they won’t believe you have any warrant to any of marital property, especially the big-ticket items. This might be due to their strong sense of entitlement, especially if there’s even a trivial difference of income between the two of you. If he knows that he makes more money, he’ll assume that he is entitled to most of the property. However, law states that property division is to be fair and “regardless of occupation,” meaning that a stay-at-home mom has the exact same right to the car as he does.
Narcissists also tend to take a position and stay there. Changing their mind is not worth your energy, your best interest, and, most importantly, is not your job. Property division is a legal determination and is not just between you and your ex-spouse. This means you have the support of a lawyer, the law, and are not alone during this complicated process. Trying to talk with your narcissistic spouse and work things out won’t yield any results, but staying focused on the task at hand through the way of the law will.