Thorough Divorce Attorney Assisting Portland & Lake Oswego Clients with Division of Assets & Debt
Many Oregonians are unaware of the fact that our state is equitable marital property state, unlike our neighbors in Washington and California who are governed by the community property system. Essentially, unless you are able to prove otherwise, Oregon courts assume that all property in either of your names should be equally divided. This includes your home, retirement accounts, business assets, investments, vehicles, boats and other personal property. This is why it is vital to retain an experienced and competent divorce attorney before you go to court.
Marital vs. Premarital Assets
The vast majority of your assets will be considered marital assets and subject to equal division. This rule may affect assets you acquired prior to your marriage if they appreciated in value or equity. For example, say you bought a piece of undeveloped land in the country a few years before you met and married your spouse. During your marriage, you built a nice house that has increased in value and even served as an alternate form of income when you started renting it out as a BnB property. According to the court, you will likely retain ownership of the land, but the home, equity, and income value will be divided between the two of you.
There is a way around equitable division, but it requires you and your spouse to be on the same page. Say you own a business, home, two cars, and a beach condo. You want to retain the business as your sole source of income, whereas your spouse wants out of the business and to move full-time to the beach condo to write a novel. You agree you can keep the business, house, and a car. Your spouse just wants the other car and the beach condo. You can draw this up in a marital agreement and there would seldom be a judge that would disallow you to divide the assets unevenly, though to your wishes. We can help you negotiate with your spouse to try to reach an agreement before going to court.