Oregon Divorce Law Debts & Assets

By Heather Frances J.D.

Oregon courts issue divorce decrees that dissolve the marriage as well as provide for the terms of the divorce. When couples divorce in Oregon, state law governs important aspects of their split, including child custody, child and spousal support and property division. Oregon statutes serve as the guidelines judges use when dividing assets and debts between the spouses.

Oregon courts issue divorce decrees that dissolve the marriage as well as provide for the terms of the divorce. When couples divorce in Oregon, state law governs important aspects of their split, including child custody, child and spousal support and property division. Oregon statutes serve as the guidelines judges use when dividing assets and debts between the spouses.

Agreement

Couples in Oregon can avoid having a judge make decisions for them by reaching their own agreement on how to divide their assets and debts either with or without the help of a mediator. Agreeing spouses can draft a settlement agreement, which the court will review -- and incorporate it into the divorce decree upon approval. Once the agreement is part of a court order, it is just as enforceable as any other court order. If a couple cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, the court will divide their assets and debts, as well as determine custody and support.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Equitable Distribution

When it comes to property division in divorce, Oregon is an equitable distribution state, which means Oregon courts distribute marital property equitably -- but not necessarily equally -- between the spouses. While the courts presume a 50/50 split is equitable in most cases, there are no rigid rules regarding division of property. Instead, courts consider various factors, including the contributions each spouse made to the marriage and the earning potential of each spouse.

Assets

Before an Oregon court can divide property, it must determine whether it is marital property, which is the property of both spouses, or the separate property of one spouse. Generally, any assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property, except assets a spouse acquires as a gift, by inheritance, or as the result of a personal injury settlement. Marital property can include many types of assets, such as a couple’s bank accounts, marital home, retirement benefits or business interests.

Debts

Courts divide marital debts in the same manner as marital assets, splitting them between the spouses in an equitable manner. In a divorce decree, the court lists the debts each spouse is assigned to pay. However, creditors are not bound by the divorce decree, so the spouses must take steps to remove the other spouse’s name from the debt. For example, if both spouses’ names are on a vehicle title and loan, and the court awards the vehicle to one spouse, that spouse will likely need to change the vehicle title with the state motor vehicle department -- and refinance the vehicle loan to remove the other spouse’s legal responsibility to pay the loan.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce Laws on the Distribution of Debt

References

Related articles

What Happens in a Divorce When the House Is Paid Off?

During divorce, spouses can agree on how to divide their marital property or allow the court to divide it for them according to state law. Some assets, like cars, tend to be simple to divide, but a major marital asset like a house without a mortgage can be trickier to distribute since it cannot be easily divided in half or offset by other assets.

What Are the Treatments for Jointly Held Assets in Divorce?

The longer a couple remains married, the more jointly-owned assets they’re likely to acquire. Their lives become so financially intertwined that even their separate property – normally immune from distribution in a divorce -- becomes an issue. Different states use different laws to decide how much property each spouse receives. However, the methods used to assign items of property to each spouse are largely the same.

Community Property Laws & Credit Cards

Where you live largely determines how your credit card debt is split in a divorce. As a resident of a community property state, the court is likely to divide this debt equally between you and your spouse. However, under certain circumstances, this might not be the case. You also need to keep in mind that credit card companies are not bound by the debt allocation in a divorce decree.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

New York Divorce Laws & Credit Card Debt

A credit card balance may become a significant financial burden when spouses divorce, especially if neither spouse has ...

Assuming a Debt in Divorce

Though many couples focus their efforts in a divorce on who gets a greater share of the property, the way your debts ...

Divorce Laws and Automobiles

As you go through the divorce process, you and your spouse will work to divide all marital property, including debts, ...

Alabama Divorce Laws & Financed Automobiles

Debts are common in most marriages, and those debts must be split when the couple divorces. As in other states, Alabama ...

Browse by category