Understanding the Division of Property in a Divorce
One of the most important, and often contentious, parts of divorce is the division of property. While some couples are able to work out how to divide their property between themselves, many couples rely on the assistance of their attorneys to resolve the issue. In instances where property division is contested and both parties cannot come to an agreement, the dispute must go before the court, where a judge will apply Oregon state law to his or her ruling.
How Does Property Division Work in Oregon?
Oregon is an equitable distribution state, which means that during a divorce, property will be divided in a manner that is fair but not necessarily equal. There are two different types of property: separate property and marital property. Separate property is property acquired before the marriage, and may include things like inheritances or gifts. Marital property is all property acquired during the marriage. Property division includes not only assets like cash and real estate, but also includes the division of liabilities, such as credit card debt.
Some of the factors the court may consider in the equitable division of property include:
- The amount of property and the costs involved to divide them
- Taxes and any other costs the spouses may be anticipating
- The needs of the divorcing couple’s children
- A spouse’s non-monetary contributions, such as being a homemaker
- Retirement plans and pensions
The courts will not consider fault in causing the marriage to fail. When it comes to property division and other aspects of divorce, fault does not matter.
In Oregon, there is a presumption of equal contribution to marital property, regardless of what a title says, which is why marital property is divided between both contributors. The same is true with debts: if the debt was acquired during the marriage, it will be split equitably during divorce. Separate property typically remains with the owner, but in some circumstances it may also be subject to division. Property division laws can be complex, and since no two cases are alike, we encourage you to get in touch with an attorney at McKinley Irvin for more information.
Experienced Divorce Representation in Portland, Oregon
If you are considering divorce, please call the Oregon divorce attorneys at McKinley Irvin as soon as possible. After reviewing your case, we can help you understand how property division works and how it will affect you. Whether you and your spouse can come to an arrangement amicably or require the assistance of a judge, our experienced lawyers can guide you through the process and protect your best interests.
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