When it comes to divorce or legal separation, there are typically two major areas that couples must resolve before they can move forward: property division and who gets custody of the children.
Yet, this is a basic way to describe two areas of your life that define who you are—or, at least, who you have been. And dividing up property, divvying up those things that you and your partner have built together, is an overwhelming experience. Add on top of that the legal requirements and consequences, and it’s easy to feel frozen in place.
Get caring, compassionate legal help working through your property division issues by calling our Salem law firm today at 503-396-4996.
Oregon Is An Equitable Distribution State
In an equitable distribution state, the law requires property to be divided fairly and equitably in a divorce. Here, “equitable” doesn’t mean “equal.” While 50/50 is often a starting point for determining property division, it isn’t the default.
To determine an equitable distribution of marital property, the court will consider many factors, including the financial contributions of both parties, the duration of the marriage, each party’s earning capacity and more.
Valuing Assets And Identifying Debts
The law sees all assets and debts acquired during the marriage as belonging equally to each spouse. That’s why it’s incredibly important to correctly identify property as marital or separate. In general, separate property such as inheritances or gifts does not get divided during a divorce.
From there, accurately valuing marital assets and debts becomes critical. This distinction is important.
When most individuals think about property division, they focus on asset division. They ask questions like, “Who gets the house? What about our retirement accounts? What happens to our investments?”
But debt also gets allocated across both parties during a divorce or legal separation. You’ll want to work with an attorney to ensure you’ve identified all property so you can get your fair share of marital assets.
Navigating Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements
Many couples sign prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreements to help protect them and their assets in the event of divorce. Not all agreements are held valid in court, however. You’ll want to work with your attorney to review your prenup or postnup to determine if and how it applies to your situation.
Read Answers To Commonly Asked Questions About Property Division
While no divorce looks the same and no single property settlement looks alike, there are common threads that tie all cases together. We’ve answered a list of frequently asked questions about debt and asset division. Read the FAQs now.
Get Help From An Attorney Who Cares
We know this sounds like a lot. That’s why we’re here to help you through the whole process. We’ll ease your concerns, walk you through every step of the way and be available to you at all times.
You have enough to worry about right now. Let our experienced property division attorney support you.
Call our Salem, OR, law firm today at 503-396-4996 or email us to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help and we’re easy to find; our offices are just down the street from the Marion County Courthouse.