During the term of your marriage, you and your spouse have accumulated assets and debts. Oregon is a no fault state in which the Court attempts to distribute assets and debts equitably. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question of what constitutes an equitable division of the parties’ assets and liabilities. The law, in fact, does not provide a specific definition but instead provides only sketchy statutory criteria defining an equitable division. Over the years, the Courts have also issued opinions further defining an equitable distribution of assets and debts.
Assuming you and your spouse do not reach an agreement, the process of obtaining an equitable division of your assets may be complex. Essentially, however, it involves a three step process. First, the task of the attorney is to identify the assets and liabilities subject to division or assignment, second to aid in the process of valuing the assets and determining the debts, and third to help the parties distribute the assets appropriately in the particular case. There are no rigid rules with regard to the distribution of assets and liabilities. It is important in the context of a divorce or separation to obtain proper representation to address such issues as securing interests in real estate, fairly and appropriately dividing retirement benefits and investment accounts, and to ensure that a Judgment of Divorce or Separation reflects the goals of the divorcing party.
I have many years of experience representing clients with complex property issues, involving an array of topics. I am happy to discuss your concerns about the division of your marital estate and the assignment of liabilities. Please contact me to set an appointment.