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Salem Family Law Blog

Jealousy and custody disputes

The emotional impact of the divorce process can be intense, and people may struggle with various negative feelings while they are bringing their marriage to an end (these emotions can also linger after the divorce process is complete). Aside from depression, or even anger, some people may have a difficult time with jealousy. For example, a parent may be jealous due to the amount of time that their child’s other parent will be able to spend with the child, or they may be upset because of some other facet of the custody process. These emotions can become especially strong when a difficult dispute occurs.

It is very important to manage your emotions properly during a dispute over child custody. The actions you take at this time could play a major role in your future relationship with your child, and they may impact your child’s life in different ways. Negative feelings like jealousy, when left unchecked, can have a detrimental impact on a parent’s ability to secure a favorable outcome. Of course, a certain amount of jealousy may be unavoidable and relatively harmless. However, those who become extremely jealous may allow their emotions to cloud their judgment, which can be problematic during such a crucial time.

Dealing with family law issues during pregnancy

Divorce can be hard for many reasons for couples who are facing a number of challenges, from financial problems to negative emotions such as stress or depression. For some people, such as those who are pregnant, the end of a marriage and the numerous family law issues that may arise can be especially difficult to deal with. For example, someone who is expecting a child may be unsure of how custody will be awarded or whether they will be able to receive child support. Moreover, they may worry about how marital property will be divided and how to deal with legal matters during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, it is important to focus on your health and the well-being of your unborn child. However, you should not overlook various family law concerns that you may have, either. The steps you take during the divorce process and even after your divorce has been finalized may have a significant impact on your future and your child’s future also. Our law office fully recognizes how challenging family law issues can be, especially for someone who is simultaneously dealing with pregnancy. Staying focused and having a clear understanding of your legal options is paramount.

What are the different types of alimony in Oregon?

If, during your marriage, your spouse was the primary income-earner in your home in Marion, then you may go into your divorce proceedings automatically expecting to be awarded alimony. Yet spousal support is not intended to simply punish your spouse for working while you stayed home; rather, it is simply meant to provide you with a means of assistance in attaining the same standard of living you enjoyed while married. If the court believes you can earn enough to support that one your own, it may not award you alimony at all. 

Even if you do happen to be granted alimony, be aware that it is likely only to be temporary. According to the Oregon Judicial Branch, the state recognizes three types of alimony: 

  • Transitional 
  • Compensatory
  • Spousal maintenance

Why is your 401k considered marital property?

You may go into your divorce proceedings feeling fairly comfortable that you understand exactly what properties you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse shared. Yet like many others in Marion who are in your same position, you may be shocked to learn that your workplace retirement accounts (such as your 401k) are also considered to be marital property. If the funds in such an account are there solely due to your own individual efforts, whey then would your ex-spouse be entitled to them? 

Consider the source of those funds. Any income that you earn while married is considered shared. Given that contributions to your 401k are taken from your earnings, it is reasonable to expect that those contributions would also be deemed to be marital property. Even in cases where your employer offers matching funds to your 401k, these are considered to be benefits of employment, which your spouse would also normally share in. 

How do you make divorce easier?

Divorce in Oregon can come with challenges. However, there are ways to make it easier. Forbes lists several tips to make divorce less painful, and therefore, less difficult.  

One suggestion is to adopt a business mindset when it comes to divorce. At the most basic level, you are seeking to terminate a contract. It is imperative that you understand your rights under the law and have an idea of what may happen in court. Your divorce will be easier if you process emotions outside of the business part of divorce.

Significant financial assets may complicate the divorce process

If you are an Oregon resident considering divorce, it is important to understand how your financial situation may affect the process and the settlement. If you and your spouse have financial assets of substantial worth, a fair divorce settlement may require an in-depth examination and valuation of all of your possessions. At Willamette Valley Legal, we have experience assisting high-net-worth clients through their divorce proceedings.

Discovery may be one of the most crucial phases of your divorce. When there are significant financial considerations at stake, it is essential to locate all existing assets and determine their financial values accurately. There are many types of assets that may be part of the divorce settlement: stocks, investments, retirement savings and even businesses that you may own or invest in. If you have physical property, such as boats, luxury vehicles, jewelry and real estate, those assets should also be part of the settlement. Sometimes you may need to work with experts, such as forensic accountants, to ensure that every asset receives a fair and correct valuation.

Splitting up with a financially irresponsible spouse

There may be a handful of reasons behind someone’s decision to divorce, whether they are tired of being subjected to emotional abuse or they cannot move beyond their spouse’s affair. In some instances, a person may be fed up with their spouse’s financial irresponsibility, to such an extent that they cannot move forward with the marriage. If your spouse is financially irresponsible, you may be tired of dealing with constant debt, a gambling problem, unnecessary shopping or any other number of financial concerns.

First, it is important to review property division laws and figure out what will happen to the debt that your spouse may have incurred during the marriage. However, you should not let divorce issues such as property division prevent you from filing for divorce if you are determined to bring the marriage to an end. Aside from being costly, it can be very emotionally draining to feel trapped in a marriage with someone who constantly spends too much. You may lose sleep over your partner’s spending, or you might become angry or depressed, and these emotions can interfere with your life in other ways.

Retirement, finances and divorce after 50

People in Oregon may once have believed that if they were still married by the time they were in their 50s or older that they would no longer have to worry about a divorce. This, however, is quite untrue. In fact, Forbes reports that a Pew Research Center study shows the rate of divorce among people in this age group has jumped a startling 109 percent in the last 25 years. Even for people in their 40s, divorces today happen at a rate 14-percent higher than 25 years ago.

The financial impact of a divorce is real no matter how old each spouse might be at the time. However, for people who are nearing retirement or who may even have already retired, the reality can be even more serious. For most people, retirement is a time in one's life when incomes fall or at least stagnate, so the loss of precious assets and savings can hit hard. For a person who considers staying employed or going back to work, the reality is that there are limited years left to recoup losses compared to getting divorced at a younger age.

Is all property eligible for division in a divorce?

Whether you are currently deep within the divorce process or you have just started filing papers, it is critical to have a firm understanding of property division. Although all factors in a divorce are important, property division may be one of the most intense issues. You may have grown attached to certain items during years of marriage, and it can be difficult to separate that property. You may be pleased to know that not all items are eligible for division in the divorce settlement. While marital property is considered divisible and may be distributed in a fair and equitable fashion, separate property may stay with the original owner even after the divorce is finalized.

Separate property includes property and assets that you owned prior to becoming married. For example, if you owned property before getting married and the title of the property remains solely in your name, it may be ineligible for division in the settlement. Similarly, if you received money and kept that money in your name, it may remain in your sole possession. Personal injury compensation, inheritance money and gifts given to you by a third party are also considered separate property.

What constitutes a fair and equitable property settlement?

When you go through your Oregon divorce, you likely will discover that the property settlement negotiations between you and your about-to-be ex-spouse will consume a good amount of time. Even assuming that both you and (s)he are fair-minded adults, neither of whom wants to deprive the other of what rightfully belongs to him or her, coming up with a fair and equitable property settlement agreement can sometimes be tricky.

Unfortunately, no statute or case law defines precisely what “fair and equitable” means. As the Huffington Post reports, however, the term seldom means that you and your spouse must split your marital property right down the middle. In other words, a property settlement agreement that would be eminently fair and equitable for a couple in your approximate financial situation could easily be highly unfair and inequitable for you and your spouse.

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