Oregon Info

Oregon Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals Oregon Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum Oregon Products Divorce by County

Oregon Articles

Custody & Visitation Child Support Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Domestic Partnership Grandparent Rights Mediation SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Sign In

Network Sites

Oregon Divorce Support Oregon Divorce Online

Oregon Property Division
Property Distribution Laws in Oregon

In Oregon the courts generally accept a fair and reasonable property division the parties agree to, but if the parties cannot agree, the property is divided by the Circuit Court within the Judgment of Divorce.

Factors in Equitable Distribution

An equitable distribution state, Oregon is an all property state, and the appreciation of separate property is marital and subject to division. All marital property is divided in an equitable fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses. Equitable does not mean equal, or even half but rather what is deemed by the Circuit Court to be fair. There is a rebuttable presumption that both spouses have contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage, whether such property is jointly or separately held.

In dividing the marital estate, the court considers the amount of property and reasonable costs involved if assets must be sold to divide them. It also considers taxes and any other costs reasonably anticipated by the spouses such as medical bills or needs of children. Additionally, the court evaluates retirement plans, pensions, and a spouses contribution as a homemaker. The most common property divided at divorce is real property like the family home, personal property like jewelry, and intangible property like income, dividends, benefits, retirement plans or pensions, or an interest therein, and even debts.

Debts are treated the same as any other property. If acquired during marriage, then they are presumed to be marital and split accordingly. If not, then the court applies the same factors above to assign responsibility for it.

Fault does not matter in the division of property.

According to Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.036, 107.105, the court considers the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker as a contribution to the acquisition of marital assets.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

In order to divide property equitably, the court must know which property belongs to the marriage, which belongs to the spouses separately, and how much there is of each. Marital property is all property acquired or earned during the marriage. Separate property is property owned before marriage, such as property received during marriage like a gift or an inheritance. All of the marital property must be divided. The court may include separate property too, if necessary to achieve an equitable distribution.

In Oregon, the court presumes that the spouses contributed equally to the acquisition of most property during marriage, regardless of what the title says. Property acquired equally is divided equally. Oregon excludes gifts and inheritances to one spouse from distribution if they are kept separate.

In rebuttal to the presumption of equal contributions, one spouse may argue that the other did not contribute equally when the marriage gained a particular asset. Homemaker contributions, which are not monetary, however, count the same as monetary efforts.

Valuing and Dividing Property

First, the court classifies assets and liabilities, property and debt, as marital or separate. Then it assigns a monetary value to the marital property and debt. Finally, it distributes the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion.

The Marital Home

In Oregon as in many jurisdictions, the equity in the marital home is often one of the biggest assets the spouses divide. The equity is the market value of the house, less any debts or liens against it. Equity is established by determining what the current market value of the home is at the time of separation. Once the spouses agree to a current market value, any debts associated with the property (mortgage, taxes, home equity loans, etc.) are deducted from the market value to arrive at the equity to be divided. Normally, making this calculation requires a paid real estate appraisal or a real estate agent can prepare a market analysis for free.

From there, couples choose one of three options to divide the equity:

  • The spouses sell the home and divide the proceeds.
  • One of the parties may refinance the home and buy out the other party.
  • One spouse (usually the custodial parent) remains in the home with the exclusive use and possession for a certain period of time (for example, until the youngest child graduates from high school), then either buys out the other spouse or sells the home and divides the proceeds.

Pensions and Retirement Accounts

In Oregon vested pensions are marital property. A pension vests when all the requirements to receive the pension have been met. Unvested pensions are also marital property. Until the pension has vested, the person under whom the pension is maintained has only an expectancy of interest in the pension.

Several different methods of valuation are used in determining how much a marital asset is worth, depending upon the asset to be valued and the level of agreement between the parties. Courts generally accept the value when the spouses mutually agree on a value of a particular asset. Experts may be retained by the parties or by the courts to determine the value of marital assets if the parties cannot agree. Such experts may include accountants, real estate or business appraisers, or pension valuators. The use of experts adds to the cost of the divorce.

In Oregon the court may include the retirement benefits and plans earned by both spouses as marital assets available for division. Retirement benefits vary greatly but can generally be divided into two groups:

  • Defined Contribution Plans: A defined amount of money belonging to the employee. The employee and/or the employer make defined contributions. The balance of the plan is constantly changing, but its value is definable at any given point. 401(k)s, 403(b)s and profit sharing plans fall into this category.
  • Defined Benefit Plans: A retirement benefit where an employer promises to pay a benefit to an employee sometime in the future, based upon some type of formula. Normally, this formula is based on the employees salary near the end of his or her career and the number of years he or she worked for the employer before retirement. Defined benefit plans are much more complicated to value and often require the professional evaluation of an actuary to determine exact values.

If spouses share in each others retirement or pension plan, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order must be completed. A QDRO is a written set of instructions that explains to a plan administrator that two parties are dividing pension benefits. The instructions set forth the terms and conditions of the distribution - how much of the benefits are to be paid to each party, when such benefits can be paid, and how such benefits should be paid.

Start Oregon Divorce Start Your Oregon Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
Oregon Divorce Find Oregon Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
Oregon Divorce Products, Services and Solutions Oregon Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
Oregon Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free Oregon Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators
 

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for an Oregon Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your Oregon Divorce

 

Support Forum Oregon Support Forum


FEATURED TOOL - Online Divorce Calendar (an ideal way to keep all of your divorce related issues private and well organized)


Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"