Protecting Your Legal Rights and Financial Interests
There are many moving parts when it comes to ending a marriage, including the financial decisions that must be made. Apart from establishing custody and parenting time, the bulk of the work in a divorce is dividing the parties’ assets and debts. While asset division mostly comes down to math — there is a complicated story associated with that math that can make this process feel daunting and emotionally overwhelming. At Litowich Law, our compassionate asset division attorney team is committed to helping you navigate that story to ensure you achieve a fair outcome.
Skillful Representation for Equitable Distribution of Property
All assets owned and debts owed by either party are subject to division in Oregon — even assets and debts that a party may have owned or owed before the marriage. Before they can be divided in a divorce, every asset and debt belonging to both spouses must be identified and characterized. All of the assets and debts owed by either party, regardless of when they were acquired, are characterized as marital property. This category of property is subject to equitable distribution depending on the circumstances of your particular case. There is a subcategory called “marital estate property” which is made up of all of the assets and debts owed by either party and that were acquired while the parties were married. This category of property comes with a presumption that each party worked equally to contribute to the acquisition of the property — regardless of whose name is on it or who paid for it. Critically, either party may attempt to rebut the presumption of equal contribution by making the argument that their financial contribution in the marriage was greater than that of the other. This is where the complicated story comes into play and why the process can feel so emotionally overwhelming. In Oregon, courts follow the doctrine of equitable distribution to divide property and assets in a divorce. But it’s important to understand that “equitable” doesn’t mean equal. Instead, a judge would divide marital property in a way that is deemed to be fair. However, what the court and law thinks is fair doesn’t always feel fair. Marital property and assets that can be subject to division in divorce may include:
- The marital residence
- Real estate and rental properties
- Vehicles and boats
- Business assets
- Retirement assets and pensions
- Bank accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Furniture and appliances
- Jewelry, antiques, and collectibles
When it comes to property and asset division in a divorce, it’s important that no stone is left unturned. The Litowich Law team harnesses our capabilities and advanced technology to gather, organize, and analyze the data to ensure that nothing is missed if that is important to you. No matter how complicated your situation may be, our attorneys have the experience and skill to assist you with obtaining a favorable outcome.
Helping You Resolve Your Asset Division Disputes Efficiently and Effectively
Litigation isn’t the only way to divide assets and property in a divorce. Mediation and the collaborative divorce process are two alternative dispute resolution methods spouses might consider to settle these matters outside the courtroom. By utilizing one of these processes, a couple can work out an agreement regarding the division of assets and allocation of debts while minimizing the conflict and cost that can be associated with litigation. However, if a spouse is unwilling to compromise, negotiations can sometimes break down. In such cases, it may be necessary to proceed to litigation and allow a judge to determine how the property, assets, and debts will be divided. The court will consider several factors in deciding how to distribute marital property equitably, including the length of the marriage, the needs of the children, and the future earning potential of each spouse. A judge would also look to the contributions made by the spouses, the amount of property, and any tax consequences. If a valid prenuptial agreement was entered into, the court will take it into consideration. However, it’s important to be aware that postnuptial agreements drafted after the marriage took place are rarely enforced by Oregon courts. Additionally, marital fault is not a factor in determining the equitable distribution of property, unless a spouse’s economic misconduct was involved. At Litowich Law, we carefully evaluate each case and focus on implementing a strategy that is best for your specific circumstances. We are just as adept at fighting for our clients’ rights at trial as we are working toward an amicable resolution through negotiations or at mediation. Most importantly, we strive to help ensure our clients feel secure about the legal process — and their future.
Contact an Experienced Oregon Divorce Asset Division Attorney
Divorce is difficult, but having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can make all the difference to the outcome. The attorneys at Litowich Law have the experience and resources to advocate for a property settlement that protects your financial interests — and the skill to ensure you obtain positive results in your case. Based in Salem
, our divorce attorneys practice throughout the state of Oregon. Call 503-749-7939 or email
us to schedule an appointment for a consultation.