What Happens in a Divorce if My Spouse/Partner Has All The Property in Their Name?

What Happens in a Divorce if My Spouse/Partner Has All The Property in Their Name?

Oregon is an equitable distribution state. The distribution is not always an equal split. In a case to dissolve a marriage or registered domestic partnership, the court divides and distributes marital property based on what it deems fair and equitable. The court applies certain factors to assign assets to the spouses.

The spouses must fully disclose all of their assets to the court. The judge then determines whether an asset is considered separate or marital property. Separate property is property acquired before marriage and property acquired during the marriage as a gift to one spouse, through a will, or by inheritance. Each spouse retains the ownership of their separate property.

Marital property is property acquired during the marriage regardless of whether it is in the name of one or both spouses. If one spouse or partner has all of the marital property in their name, the other spouse still may receive ownership of the property by equitable distribution. Separate property can become marital property if the marriage funds significantly contribute to maintaining the asset.

The judge may apply factors to determine how to divide and distribute the marital assets, such as:

  • Contribution of one spouse as a homemaker to the acquisition of the marital assets,
  • Retirement or pensions plans,
  • The presumption that both spouses contributed equally to acquiring the property,
  • Costs of selling the assets,
  • Tax liability after property distribution; and
  • Other costs associated with the property are received by the equitable distribution.

The judgment for the dissolution of the marriage is a court order that outlines the divorce terms that the spouses must follow. The order includes the distribution of the marital and separate property. The judge may distribute property owned or titled in one spouse’s name to the other spouse. The new owner of the property may transfer the title to themselves.

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