As emotionally challenging as divorce is on everyone involved, the harsh reality of how expensive it also is can be a bitter pill to swallow. Some of the most contentious aspects of a divorce surround the division of assets that may also include debt.
That is why it is so important to make sure that the inventory of marital property is accurate and comprehensive, and that the judge is aware of the many aspects that were part of running the household, the contributions that each spouse made and, where there are children, who was the primary caretaker. For residents of Oregon, understanding property division during divorce is essential when figuring out how to protect your financial interests later on.
Property division in Oregon
In Oregon, the principle of equitable distribution guides decisions on the division of marital assets, meaning that a judge will determine a fair division between the spouses according to certain criteria. Where the spouses can come to an agreement on how they divide their property, the courts will generally accept this as part of the divorce settlement.
During property division, the parties must create an inventory of all assets and liabilities, including, where required, fair-market appraisals of possessions. Marital property includes anything the spouses acquired individually or jointly during the marriage, encompassing debt as well as assets. These can include mortgage or car loans, pensions, business income, appliances, jewelry and so on.
Factors a judge will consider
Under Oregon marital property laws, a judge will consider a number of factors when deciding what constitutes a fair division of property. For example, the judge has discretion in considering nonmonetary contributions of spouses in the form of:
- Household chores
- Taking care of children
- Supporting the other spouse professionally
A judge will also take into account each spouse’s earning potential and financial needs after divorce, and may also consider economic misconduct. Oregon courts may also look at property or assets owned by either spouse prior to marriage, absent a prenuptial agreement. When getting a handle on the next chapter of your life, it is important to plan ahead in order to be ready for the eventual outcome.