The family boat is a great way to enjoy the weekend. What will happen to the boat in case of a divorce? Will you be able to hold on to it during a divorce? Many factors weigh into the equation.
The first determination is whether the boat is marital or separate property. Marital property includes assets acquired during the marriage. If you bought a boat during the marriage, it qualifies as marital property. Separate property is property that you and your spouse brought into the marriage. It also includes property, like a gift or an inheritance, acquired during the marriage. If you purchased the boat before the marriage or inherited the boat and treated the boat as your separate property, you can retain the boat.
Courts in Oregon distribute marital property equitably. That may or may not be an equal distribution, however. A factor in determining an equitable division is a party’s contribution. An Oregon court presumes that the parties contributed equally to property acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. The contribution does not have to be monetary. For example, if the husband contributes more monetarily, the court may consider the wife’s contribution as a homemaker of equal value.
You and your spouse may execute a marital settlement agreement setting out how your assets will be divided. For example, you may agree which party should receive certain assets until the division is basically even. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, the court will divide the marital property. The court may award the boat to one party with an offsetting award to the other party, or it may order the boat sold with the proceeds divided equally.