Mediation As A Divorce Alternative
Not all divorces need to be drawn out battles in the courtroom. Instead of hurrying to the courthouse to file for divorce when you have unresolved issues, mediation might be a less contentious and cheaper way to divorce.
Divorcing spouses can choose to mediate on their own. Some states’ laws require divorcing spouses to attempt mediation while a divorce is pending in court. This is known as “court-ordered mediation.” Oregon judges have the discretion to order divorcing couples to attend mediation.
In mediation, both spouses meet with a trained and neutral third party called a “mediator.” Mediation sessions are confidential, and each spouse will have the opportunity to list their issues and suggest resolutions. The mediator will not make any decisions in the caserather, a mediator’s job is to guide the negotiations in a way that will help the spouses settle their divorce without court intervention.
If you agree on some or all of the issues during the mediation, the mediator can draft a divorce settlement agreement for you to present to the court. Any remaining issues that you and your spouse can’t agree on will be decided by the court. Even if you’re able to agree on one or two issues, mediation is usually much less expensive than going through a complete divorce trial, and can help you and your spouse create a foundation for continuing communication after your divorce.
What Counts As Marital Property
Generally speaking, marital property includes all assets acquired during a marriage, such as personal property, motor vehicles, bank accounts, investment accounts, and real estate. Separate property includes assets or items brought into a marriage by each party, and may also apply to gifts and inheritances, even if they were received during a marriage.
Residency Requirements For Divorce In Oregon
As long as you follow the state’s marriage license rules, you can get married in any stateeven if you don’t live there. The requirements for ending a marriage, though, are not as relaxed. Instead, you must meet a state’s residency requirements before you can file for divorce in its courts.
If you were married in Oregon and either you or your spouse is a resident of Oregon at the time you file for divorce, you meet Oregon’s residency requirements. However, if you weren’t married in Oregon, at least one spouse must reside in Oregon for six continuous months before filing for divorce. .) You must file in the county where one of you lives.
The purpose of state residency requirements is to prevent one spouse from moving to another state to “shop” for a court or judge that will view the case more favorably for that spouse. Residency requirements also prevent one spouse from filing in a location far from the other just to make it more difficult for the other spouse to respond and participate.
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Child Support In Oregon
Both parents are responsible for meeting the financial needs of their children in Oregon. This financial responsibility will continue until the child turns 18 or extend beyond that if the child remains in school or a training program.
The amount of support is determined by the parents ability to pay and the individual needs of the child.
The state also provides a Parenting Time Calculator to help calculate parenting time percentages.
Modifications to the amount of child support a parent pays can be requested based on if there have been major changes in either parents life since the previous child support order was put in place. A change might be the loss of a job, or a new baby or a shift in the amount of time your child spends with you.
After The Divorce Who Is Responsible For The Debts That My Spouse Signed For Alone While We Were Married
The divorce judgment will probably state which spouse should pay the debt. But if the spouses were living together when one spouse made the purchase for family expenses, the other spouse is usually also responsible to the creditor and could be sued, too.
If the spouses were separated when one spouse signed for the debt, the other spouse is not responsible to the creditor unless the debt is for the children’s education, health, or support needs.
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How To Get An Uncontested Divorce In Oregon
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce, the next step is to file the required paperwork in the circuit court clerk’s office at your local court. You and your spouse can file together as “co-petitioners,” but Oregon courts recommend contacting a lawyer if you choose this option. You’ll need to file:
You might need to file additional forms depending on your situation. You can from the Oregon Judicial Branch’s website.
Uncontested divorces in Oregon usually take about three months after filing to finalize.
Oregon Short-Form Summary Dissolution
Couples who agree on all the issues in their divorce and who meet certain requirements may file for an expedited form of divorce called “short-form summary dissolution.” This type of divorce allows couples to end their marriage without ever appearing in court. To qualify for a summary dissolution, the following must apply:
Background Of Gift And Inheritance Laws In Oregon
There have been some interesting cases surrounding divorce in Oregon in the lead up to the change in legislation. The change was brought about in response to the court of appeals decision in the case In re Marriage of Olesberg . In this case, The Olesbergs had been married for 27 years when they decided to dissolve their marriage. Shortly before the separated in 2001, the husbands mother died. The husband inherited $65,000 from his mother, which was held in a separate bank account from the marital assets.
While the court found that the wife had not contributed to the acquisition of the inheritance, as it was simply a division of the mothers assets among her three children, the court still applied the presumption of equal contribution. It was this ruling that led to the change in the law, as the wife in this case clearly made no contribution to the inheritance, and it was kept separate from the marital assets at all times.
Another interesting case in the build up to the changes of the gifts and inheritance Laws in Oregon is In re Marriage of Gardner, , where the court saw things slightly different than the Olesberg case, finding that Olesberg involved a 25-year marriage and a corresponding length of relationship between the non-recipient spouse and the donor.
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Oregon Divorce Laws: Property Division
Its no secret that property division during a divorce is not only a common area of contention between spouses, but it can be complex, and difficult to understand if you have no prior experience with property division laws in Oregon.
We answer frequently asked questions surrounding Oregon property division laws, and how you can look ahead and start planning for success before filing for divorce:
Bank Accounts And Trusts
Bank accounts and trusts, as with any other assets, may be divided by the Oregon divorce court in your divorce regardless of whose name is on the accounts or whether they are separate property. If your account values are substantial or if the account includes both separate and joint funds, then you may wish to have a forensic accountant track the history of the account.
With proper accounting, sometimes the Oregon divorce court will exclude part of an asset from property division. For example, in dividing the contents of a bank account, the court may divide only the portion of the account acquired during the marriage, and give the remainder to the spouse who separately earned those amounts in the divorce settlement.
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Bifurcation Of Marital Status
Bifurcation of marital status in Oregon means that both parties can legally divide their divorce into two stages.
The first part satisfies the grounds for the divorce and the second part addresses the financial aspects of the divorce such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or become major sticking points that are keeping the divorce from being finalized.
Some courts are reluctant to grant bifurcated marriages because it is not judicially efficient due to the need for two court actions or trials. It can also be more expensive and drag out the process for a much longer time period.
What Steps Should Be Taken By The Spouses After The Divorce Is Final
There are several steps to take after the final judgment to ensure the property division provisions are completed. First, you should make sure to change your accounts, credit cards, and other assets to be in your name only and reflect your new marital status.
You also may need to change the beneficiary and fiduciary designations on any:
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The Division Of Property: Equitable Distribution
In community property states, all assets, property, and debts acquired during a marriage are viewed as belonging equally to both spouses. Equitable distribution, on the other hand, views them as belonging to the individual spouse who earned it.
When it comes to divorce, no set rules for the division of property exist. Instead, the court aims to divide assets between both parties in a fair and equitable manner.
The two sides sit down, usually with attorneys, judges, or mediators, to determine the division of property. The goal is for both to maintain a standard of living similar to what they enjoyed during the marriage.
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Waiting Period In Oregon
There is a 90 day waiting period after filing before your divorce can be finalized. However, Oregon allows you to file an affidavit requesting that the Court waive that 90 day waiting period. Help Yourself Divorce will provide you with the necessary paperwork to use if you wish to do this. What this means for you is that if you do not wish to wait 90 days, you can simply file this paperwork and if the court allows, your divorce will be granted much sooner .
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We Want You To Get What Is Just And Equitable Its What You Deserve
At DBMA Family Law, our goal is to provide you with the legal counsel you need so that you may move on to the next chapter of your life as quickly and as fairly as possible.
Our team is well versed in many aspects of family law, and specializes in traditional litigation, mediation, and collaborative law. When youre in need of guidance for sensitive family law issues, call on DBMA. Contact us today for your confidential consultation!
Oregon Marital Property Laws
Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors| Last updated June 20, 2016
The last thing weâre thinking about when planning the perfect wedding is which one of us might get that perfect dining room table we buy a few months later. No one wants to think about how possessions will be divided in a divorce before we even get married. But what happens if you do get divorced, and it comes down to a judge deciding who gets what? This is a brief overview of marital property laws in Oregon.
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How Does A Judge Decide What Is Equitable Or Just And Proper
The court considers both monetary and nonmonetary factors when deciding how to equitably divide property and debts. This might include financial contributions from each spouse or their contributions as a homemaker.
An important factor when dealing with property that was separately owned by one spouse before the marriage is the extent to which that spouse has integrated it into the common financial affairs of the marital partnership or comingled it with the marital property.
Oregon Property Division Laws
The following is a summary of Oregon property division laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.
The court will divide the real and personal property of the parties as may be just and proper in all the circumstances, without regard to fault. In arriving at a just and proper division of property, the court shall consider:
reasonable costs of sale of assets, taxes and any other costs reasonably anticipated by the parties.
the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker as a contribution to the acquisition of marital assets. 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.
evidence of the tax consequences on the parties of its proposed judgment.
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Oregon Divorce Laws: Child Custody & Support Alimony Property Division
The following is a summary of Oregons divorce laws. In some cases, the exact text of the statute has been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code or ask an attorney how the law might apply to your particular situation.
Property Division: Is My Spouse Really Entitled To Half Of My Assets
A woman considers dividing her property division options in her divorce
When it comes to dividing your assets in a divorce, whose is whose? Whats fair? And what should you expect? Let the family law specialists at DBMA help you understand how the court views the division of property in a divorce and how you can prepare for the best possible outcomes.
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Characterizing The Asset Or Debt
The first step in any divorce in Oregon that involves a property dispute is to properly classify each debt or asset by:
- Characterizing each individual asset and debt as marital or separate property
- Valuing each asset or debt and
- Dividing each asset and debt between the parties
Once each asset or debt is properly identified and classified, the next step is to balance the division of items to ensure the outcome is equitable. This includes any spousal support or child support needs.
Do Courts In The State Of Oregon Consider Nonmonetary Contributions
In Oregon, statutory law requires judges deciding a property division case to account for the nonmonetary contributions of both spouses to a marriage when determining how to divide property between them. In practice, this generally means that the judge will consider the value of the labor a stay-at-home spouse contributed to the marriage. Nonmonetary contributions may include activities like the following:
- Household chores, cooking, homemaking
- Taking care of children
- Supporting their spouse professionally
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Gifts And Inherited Property
If you inherit something, and if you keep that separate and do not commingle it into the familys finances, you will have a much better chance of keeping that asset to yourself during a divorce in Oregon. However, all divisions of assets are subject to court review and approval to ensure a split is just and fair.
One way to protect a gift or inheritance is to have a spouse sign a pre- or postnuptial agreement agreeing that the asset belongs exclusively to the other spouse, no matter how it is characterized in the marriage.
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Who Gets To Keep The House
The marital home is usually the most valuable asset in any divorce. There are a few different options spouses may consider when determining what happens to the marital home. Some spouses prefer to sell the house during or after the divorce and divide the proceeds between them. Although this can offer both spouses a fresh start, it may not be the best option in every case.
If there are children involved, the spouses may agree that the custodial parent will continue to reside in the home for a certain period of time or until the youngest child graduates from high school in this case, they may agree to sell the house at a later time. Another option is for one spouse to buy out the other through obtaining a refinance, home equity line of credit, or by using cash on hand.
If the spouses cannot reach an agreement concerning who gets to keep the marital home, a judge may order it to be sold and the net proceeds divided equitably upon divorce.
What Factors Does The Court Consider In Divorce Property Division
If parties cannot come to an agreement about property, a judge will evaluate several factors when deciding which spouse gets what property after a divorce in Oregon. In determining what is fair under the doctrine of equitable distribution, a court will consider the length of the marriage, the contributions made by each spouse, and the amount of property that must be divided. A judge will also weigh the needs of any children, the anticipated future income of the spouses, and any tax impact. Retirement plans, pensions, and a spouses indirect homemaker contribution to the marriage are other factors a court will consider.
The same criteria are applied when the court considers how to divide responsibility for debts acquired during the marriage. Ultimately, the court can consider all of the circumstances that are in place at the time of the division of assets and debts.
The same criteria are applied when the court considers how to divide responsibility for debts acquired during the marriage. Ultimately, the court can consider all of the circumstances that are in place at the time of the division of assets and debts. However, its vital to be aware that marital fault or adultery is not relevant in determining property division or allocating debt.
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