One of the most contentious phases of a divorce can often be the division of assets. Problems regularly arise because property can have both a substantial emotional and financial value. This is true whether you are dealing with a car collection or a summer home you inherited from your grandparents.
Dividing up the property during a divorce can become problematic even with the help of a Portland, Oregon divorce attorney. A divorce attorney will be able to explain that Oregon is an equitable distribution state. This means, among other things, that fault is not a consideration when dividing the marital estate.
Generally this means that:
• Everything acquired before the marriage is defined as separate property.
• Everything acquired or earned during marriage is marital property.
• Anything acquired after separation from the spouses is considered separate property.
• Any gifts given specifically to one spouse—not both—during the marriage are considered separate property of the recipient. This includes any devise, bequest, operation of law or inheritance.
These are only general guidelines. Exceptions always apply, and each asset must be viewed on its own merits.
Assets can be divided in settlement or you can go to trial and have the court divide them for you. The process is similar:
- A determination of whether each specific asset and debt is “marital” or “separate”
- A determination of what each item of property is worth
- A determination of proper division of property and debts between you and your spouse
At the end of the marriage, typically separate property remains with the party whose property it was and community property is shared between the spouses.
If the matter is decided by the court, however, there are several factors taken into consideration when dividing property.
• The amount of property and reasonable cost involved if certain assets must be sold to divide them.
• The nature and scope of the separate property.
• The nature and scope of the community property.
A divorce attorney in Portland, Oregon can help you get what is best for you and your children. This initial division is very important because changing a property division requires proof of one party’s failure to disclose assets. Dividing property needs to be done right the first time.
Ronald Johnston Law can help you face the challenges. Call the law office today 503-226-7986.
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