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Asset division, a major issue in Oprah Winfrey's father's divorce

Tennessee residents must have heard of the recent verdict by the Tennessee Supreme Court granting divorce to talk show celebrity Oprah Winfrey's father and her stepmother. The divorce proceeding culminated one-and-a-half years after the celebrity's parents separated due to allegations of infidelity.

The divorce may have been sought on grounds of adultery, but the major contentious issue during the proceedings was the asset division. The Special Judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court ordered the husband to pay his wife $70,000 in attorney fees.

It was revealed in the court ruling that Oprah Winfrey's father fraudulently gifted a property held jointly by the spouses, knowing that his daughter would buy it at a later date, in order to extinguish any rights of his ex-wife. As a result, he was made liable by the court to pay off one of couple's joint debts. On the other hand, the wife was also found guilty of selling some joint properties without informing her husband.

According to the court documents, the couple's net assets were valued at $121,686, which were far less than their celebrity daughter's net worth of $2.9 billion. After valuation, the court awarded each spouse a net value of $60,843, which included property as well as debt. Oprah's father was granted all the marital property but was also required to pay all marital debts except one. Oprah's stepmother got a major portion of the home furnishings of the marital home and she was made liable for the payment of the remaining marital debt.

After the court verdict, the bitter divorce proceeding is expected to come to a final conclusion. Property division is the most complex aspect of any divorce proceeding as a lot of assets are owned jointly by the spouses. It is important to resolve these matters amicably with the help of an experienced legal professional. Reaching a settlement regarding division of assets through negotiation may ensure a hassle-free and less stressful divorce.

Source:, "Bad Dad! Judge Slaps Oprah Winfrey's Father With $70K In Fines Amid Allegations Of 'Adultery' & Financial Scheming In Dirty Divorce Deal," Nov. 5, 2013

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