Divorce is already challenging enough without the confusion caused by inaccurate
information. There are many beliefs and perceptions out there about the
divorce process that simply aren’t true and may cause people to
have unrealistic expectations about their divorce. We’ve addressed
three of the most common divorce myths in this blog to set the record straight.
Myth #1: My spouse cheated on me and will be made to pay in court.
Because Oregon is a no-fault divorce state, the courts are not concerned
with the reason why the marriage ended – including infidelity. Unless
you specifically made arrangements for this contingency in a prenuptial
agreement, the judge will give no preference to one spouse or another
over accusations of cheating (whether they are true or not) when it comes
to things like property division, child custody, and other aspects of
Myth #2: Mothers always get custody of the children.
While custody has historically been granted to mothers more often than
fathers, times have changed and the courts now base their custody decisions
on what is in the best interests of the child. Mothers and fathers are
presumed to have equal rights to custody. When deciding which parent should
be awarded primary custody, the courts consider criteria including:
- Each parent’s living and employment situation
- Their relationship with the child
- Their willingness to cooperate with the other parent
- Any history of neglect, abuse, or substance abuse problems
- And other relevant factors
If the judge determines that the father is the more suitable parent based
on this evaluation, then the father will likely be granted custody.
Myth #3: My spouse won’t have any claim over assets listed in my name.
In general, when it comes to property division in Oregon, property owned
by a spouse before a marriage is considered separate property, while property
obtained after a marriage using joint funds is considered joint property.
However, just because your name is the only name on a title does not mean
that the asset is solely yours. Regardless of which spouse’s name
is on the title (such as for a house or vehicle), if the property was
ever paid for with marital funds, it will be subject to division at divorce.
For example, if you owned a house before you and your spouse got married,
but used joint funds to maintain it and pay property taxes throughout
the duration of the marriage, the value of the house will be subject to division.
If you have further questions, we encourage you to contact McKinley Irvin
to consult with a top-rated Portland divorce attorney for a case evaluation.
Our office can be reached at (