Divorce and Property

Monday, October 10, 2016

    In Oregon there is (with rare exceptions) no such thing as community property.

    However, property that is acquired during a marriage, unless it is acquired by inheritance, is generally subject to division upon a divorce.

    In many dissolution cases in Oregon, the default division is a 50/50 split of property that is acquired during marriage.

    This generally applies to pensions, IRAs and 401Ks acquired during marriage, as well.

    Complications can arise however.  Sometimes property in a family law case  cannot be assigned to one spouse.  For example, a medical practice has value, but the practice cannot be assigned to the non-physician partner if there is a divorce.

    This can significantly limit the options available for determining how assets are to be split.

    There can also be complications involving assets which have appreciated in value.  For example, if one spouse brings a stock or even a piece of real estate into a marriage, and the asset grows in value during the time of the marriage, there can be disputes about whether the increase in value that occurred during the marriage is subject to division or not.

    In addition, when one brings something into a marriage, but then integrates that asset into the marriage, or works to improve that asset or to increase its value during the marriage, sometimes the entire asset can become subject to division.

    Even inherited property can be integrated into a family’s plan for the future, and for retirement, at which point a very good argument can be made that even inherited property should be split when a couple divorces.

    These are complicated issues, where a skilled family law attorney can be very helpful.