Oregon is an
equitable distribution state; at the end of your marriage, the court will
equitably (fairly) divide marital property between you and your spouse. By law, fair
may not equate equal.
While the court assumes most of your property is marital property, certain
items are exempt from division. By law, any property acquired in the duration
of your marriage is “marital property” and subject to division,
unless it is a gift or inheritance. These items are separate property, and the court will not consider them
in divorce proceedings.
Generally speaking, these determine whether a specific item or asset is
subject to property division in an Oregon divorce proceeding:
- When did you acquire the asset? Before or after your wedding?
- Was the item part of an inheritance?
- Was the item a gift – either from your spouse or a third party?
“What happens to the engagement ring?”
One of the most common questions in property division is, “Who gets
the engagement ring?” In the end, the court will decide if the engagement
ring is marital or separate property. While an engagement ring is typically
intended as a gift, the court can decide that it was a “conditional
gift” to be divided in the divorce.
Pets and Property Division
For many people, pets are like family. If you are facing a divorce, you
may be concerned about your pets, and where they will live post-divorce.
In the United States, most pets are legal property. Thus, they are often
subject to the same property division laws as your other belongings.
Other Factors to Consider
Engagement rings aside, any item given to you as a gift (from your spouse
or a third party) is personal property; your spouse cannot take it in
the event of a divorce. This also includes any valuables or assets that
you acquired before the marriage.
If, for example, you purchased a car before you married, the court will
not consider it while calculating property division. On the other hand,
if you and your spouse purchased the vehicle together, the court will
divide it with your other marital property.
Need more answers? McKinley Irvin invites you to speak with a representative
of our law firm today.
Contact us for additional information.