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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.

Factors involved

Many factors enter into the makings of a fair and equitable property settlement, including the following:

  • How old and healthy are you and your spouse?
  • How much does each of you earn per year?
  • How much potential exists that one or both of you could increase your income potential?
  • How long have the two of you been married?
  • What standard of living have the two of you attained during your marriage?
  • What financial and nonfinancial contributions have each of you made to your marriage?

Also bear in mind that only marital property must be divided fairly and equitably. Whatever separate property each of you owns belongs to that person regardless of how your marital property gets divvied up between you.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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