How does property division work in an Oregon divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2023 | Divorce

When someone tells their spouse they want a divorce, money is likely not the first thing on either side’s mind. The emotions of ending your marriage, whether relief, anger, sadness or some combination of these and other feelings, are more likely to be your first concern.

But sooner or later, you and your ex will have to divide up your marital property, which is (almost) every asset the two of you acquired during your marriage. Most of the time, this is a lengthy and complicated process, especially when the spouses own substantial property like a house, vacation home, investments like retirement accounts, and so on. But when done properly, each side gets a fair chance at financial security and independence.

Splitting up the property fairly

Like most states, Oregon follows the equitable division system in divorce. “Equitable” is a legal term meaning fair. Instead of requiring a divorcing couple to split up their marital assets (and debts) exactly equally, they are supposed to divide them reasonably fairly. This means you and your ex have quite a bit of room to negotiate and get creative.

For example, if one spouse wants to keep the house, they could buy out the other spouse’s share with some funds from their 401(k). Or one spouse could agree to keep their ex on their health insurance plan in exchange for the other spouse giving up alimony. What your property division settlement will look like depends on your individual needs and priorities.

The right attorney can make a huge difference

The best way to ensure a fair and reasonable settlement is to work with an experienced divorce attorney. Though most divorces settle, there is a chance you will need to go to trial to let the judge decide how to divide your assets. The right lawyer would be even more invaluable then.