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The Benefits of Dividing Assets and Debt Through Uncontested Divorce

Published September 4, 2022
Uncontested divorce has a lot of benefits, not the least of which is how assets can be divided.

No one plans for divorce. But when you experience irreconcilable differences with a spouse, divorce is often the best option for moving forward. When it comes to divorce in Oregon, there are typically two broad types that each situation falls into. One is a contested divorce, often characterized by contentious couples and endless court hearings. The other is an uncontested divorce, which is much more like a professional agreement between separating spouses. An uncontested divorce can save you money, time, and stress if you cooperate with your former partner.

What Is An Uncontested Divorce?

It’s easy to think of an uncontested divorce as a divorce in which neither party is the defendant. Rather than attempting to prove fault, both sides agree that their marriage cannot continue because of disagreements that they cannot get passed. Often, there is no need to attend a court hearing as long as the divorcing couple can agree on the terms of their divorce. The agreement may contain a parenting schedule for minor children, define the requirements of child support or spousal support (alimony), and give a detailed breakdown of the division of assets and debt.

The Divorce Judgment

The divorce judgment is a legal document that covers what will happen after the divorce is finalized. It is both a division of property agreement and a plan for parental rights and responsibilities in the future. In order for the agreement to be viable in the eyes of the court, it must contain the following information:

  • Child custody and parenting time rights
  • Child support payment agreements
  • Alimony payment agreements (if applicable)
  • The division of joint assets
  • The division of all debts accrued during the marriage
  • And any other issues that may pertain to your individual situation
  • If any of these items cannot be agreed upon, uncontested divorce is not possible. The couple must file for a contested divorce, and a judge will decide the divisive issues.

Equitable Distribution

Oregon operates on an equitable distribution model that attempts to divide assets and debts in a fair way, if not always an equal way. Things like income, bank accounts, property, and retirement accounts are divided in such a way as to leave both parties with the same general quality of life that they experienced prior to the divorce. In an uncontested divorce, these things are worked out on a personal level rather than decided upon by a judge. If cooperation can be achieved, the process is faster, costs less money, and often leads to more amicable relationships between the two parties.

The Benefits Of Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce has many benefits. The process is faster, so the divorce is not long and drawn out. It’s less expensive because you are using up less of the court’s time and the time of your legal counsel. It is also more peaceful because agreements are reached through cooperation instead of requirements enforced by the court. But perhaps the most significant benefit is that property is divided based on the needs and wants of the individuals involved.

The Division Of Assets And Debt

In Oregon, any asset or debt acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. That is, the court assumes the spouses equally contributed to the acquisition of property and the borrowing of money that makes up their current lifestyle. Even if only one spouse has a job, the court generally considers the other spouse entitled to half of the marital property because of their contributions to the management of the household and/or child-rearing. Under the equitable distribution model, each spouse will receive a fair amount of the assets, property, and debt.

With the personal agreements indicative of uncontested divorce, the spouses are allowed to switch and trade these items in a way that benefits each of them the most. As long as the agreements are fair, the court will always approve the plans of the divorcing spouses. If it is very important to one of the spouses to retain the house, for instance, they can “pay” the other spouse what their half is worth. This payment can be made by refinancing the mortgage or made from their pool of other assets, including those found in retirement plans and 401(k)s. Debt is handled in much the same way as assets are. Debt can be “bought and sold” between spouses through the distribution of assets. As long as the debt is distributed fairly between the two parties, the court will approve the agreement.

 

With an uncontested divorce, you can get through your divorce quickly, cheaply, amicably, and with the assets that mean the most to you. If you are ready to speak to a professional about your uncontested divorce, call Flat Fee Divorce Oregon at (503) 233-8868.

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