Jump to Navigation

Division of Separate Property and/or Inherited Property

Division of Separate Property in Divorces or Dissolution of Registered "Domestic Partnerships"

When negotiating property division in divorces or dissolution of registered "domestic partnerships," often the parties argue fiercely that certain items should not be considered marital property. When relationships end, what is subject to division and what is not? With the assistance and advocacy of an experienced attorney, you will be able to determine how the court is likely to view the various assets and liabilities at issue in your case.

Jensen & Leiberan, Attorneys at Law, serve the divorce and family law needs of Oregon and Washington residents. Contact us for a consultation with an experienced attorney

Determining Rights to Separate Property

An area of property division that is most volatile is determining what is a marital asset and what is separate property, especially in regard to gifts and inheritances received during the marriage or registered domestic partnership. In Oregon for most assets, there is a rebuttable presumption that any asset acquired by either party during the marriage or registered domestic partnership belongs to both parties.

However, this presumption does not apply to assets received through gift or inheritance if these assets have been separately held by the party who received the gift or inheritance during the marriage or registered domestic partnership. Although there is not a presumption that these assets received via gift or inheritance belong to both parties, the court still has authority to divide these assets between the parties, based on what is "just and proper" in each case. In these cases, asking the right questions or calling the right witness at a hearing can be crucial to your case.

Action Proves Intention

For couples divorcing after a second marriage or registered "domestic partnership," the matter of interest in assets and liabilities can be even more complicated. Is separately incurred debt divided between both parties? Are large assets equally divided? More and more questions tend to manifest: If one party sold his/her home and moved into the spouse's /partner's home, does he or she now share interest in the property? Who claims ownership? Who has interest in the equity built by one spouse/partner before the other joined the family or moved in?

In Oregon courts, the judicial system views action as intention. When looking at division of bank accounts and financial matters, the court determines intention to maintain separate property based on many factors such as whether both partners/spouses were named on the mortgage; if both parties contributed to the mortgage payments; if their finances were melded together into joint bank accounts; and whether the parties' finances were managed as part of a joint retirement plan.

Tax Consequences of Divorce and Property Division

Ordinarily the distribution of property between divorcing spouses does not result in taxable income to either person. However, when there are business interests, passive income property, stock options, rental properties and other complex assets being divided between the spouses, the sale of those assets to satisfy the division of the property may carry separate tax consequences that must be taken into account when determining the after-sale value of an asset a party is receiving. It is important to know how those taxes will impact the value of an asset as well as the taxes you may need to pay related to the asset. At Jensen & Leiberan, our Portland divorce attorneys have years of experience dealing with the tax consequences of divorce and will help determine the taxes you may have to pay as a result of property distribution, or the tax benefit you may be receiving. We also have a list of experts to whom we refer you when you need a comprehensive picture of your tax situation.

Contact a Portland Family Law & Divorce Lawyer

At Jensen & Leiberan, we represent parties in divorce or dissolution of a registered "domestic partnership" who are attempting to protect what they consider to be their separate assets and parties who believe they are entitled two some portion of a separate asset. We help you understand the law that underlies distribution of assets and debts so that you can make good judgments about how to settle or litigate your case. Our goal is to protect our clients' interests and rights to a fair and equitable division. To speak with an experienced Oregon or Washington lawyer, contact our firm or call (503) 641-7990 to schedule a consultation.

Jensen & Leiberan Attorneys at Law

One Lincoln Center
10300 SW Greenburg Road, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97223
Phone: (503) 641-7990
Fax: 503-646-2053
Portland Law Office »
Contact Us Via E-mail »
Print this Page »
Additional Resources »

BBB Accredited Business
Contact Us Today