What Happens To My Pension If I Get Divorce In Oregon?

When a couple gets divorced, the former spouses can agree how their debts and assets will be split, or the court can come up with its own plan. The division of an Oregon pension during a divorce is often one of the most critical property-division decisions that must be made, as pensions are earned over a lifetime and can be very valuable.

What Happens To My Pension If I Get Divorce In Oregon?

Under Oregon divorce law, courts use the equitable distribution model when dividing up a couple’s assets, meaning that the assets will not always be split 50/50 between the parties. Instead, a court will consider the couple’s overall financial and marital situation, the length of their marriage, etc., when determining which assets each spouse is entitled to.

Despite what conventional wisdom may suggest, Oregon courts can include premarital contributions to a pension account as assets that are subject to equitable distribution. While premarital contributions to a pension are less likely to be split during an Oregon divorce, it is a very real possibility that pensioners must be aware of.

When it comes to dividing up a pension in an Oregon divorce, pensions are viewed the same as any other asset, and are subject to the state’s equitable distribution model. Thus, the court will consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the total amount of assets available for distribution, each spouse’s individual contributions, and other pertinent circumstances. Under state law, courts are required to consider a spouse’s direct and indirect contributions as a homemaker.

Pensions may usually be divided by the court via a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which permits the account holder to name an alternate payee on the pension benefit. The rules applying to these transactions are complex and often specific to individual pension plans. In cases where it is difficult or undesirable to divide the pension between the parties, the pension may be awarded to one party, valued by an actuary, and then off-set with other assets that are awarded to the other party.

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