Would this be considered “separate property” or “marital property”? Should these funds be included in the splitting of the equity?

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Would this be considered “separate property” or “marital property”? Should these funds be included in the splitting of the equity?

We lived together for 2 years in his house. We then sold that house and purchased a home together (both on mortgage). He used the money from the sales of his home for the down payment of our new one.

Asked on May 8, 2009 under Family Law, Oregon

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had a written agreement about this, before you were married, the entire value of the house is almost certainly marital property.  While I don't practice in Oregon, almost every state would consider a house that has both of your names on the deed and on the mortgage, purchased while you were married to each other, as marital property, no matter where the money came from.  Like most states, the Oregon statute specifically says that a spouse's "services as a homemaker" are considered to be a contribution toward the cost of any property the two of you bought during marriage, and that includes the house.

Oregon does not have an automatic 50-50 split of marital property. So it is possible that the fact that the money from his old house was used to buy the new one might make a difference, depending on the rest of the facts of the case.

The house is a valuable enough asset that it is probably well worth it for you to hire an experienced divorce lawyer.  One place you can look for one is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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