What Happens to Inheritance in a Divorce?

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Colin Amos, a Portland divorce lawyer and managing attorney of Goldberg Jones, was on the radio before the holiday to talk about a major change in Oregon divorce law. The change will affect how inheritance will be divided during divorce and is effective as of today.

Before the change, inheritance or gifts received during the marriage were presumed to be joint property. Therefore, the court often split inheritance between the two parties during the divorce. While the presumption could be overcome, it was difficult to find evidence show that the inheritance was intended only for one party. The results were unfortunate. For example, recently, there was a sad case where a husband, who received inheritance just before the separation and kept the money in a separate account, was still required to give half of the money to his ex-spouse.

Fortunately, Oregon has changed the law to prevent this situation. Effective today, 1/1/2012, SB386 has reversed Oregon’s position on inheritance. The law now presumes that money received as inheritance is separate property.  While that presumption can be overcome with evidence that the donor intended to give the money to both of the parties, the default position will now protect your rights to your inheritance during a divorce.


Colin provides more information about the change in his radio clip:


Colin makes a great point at the end of the video. You can save a lot of attorneys fees by educating yourself. We pride ourselves is being accessible and straightforward when working with you and we will answer any questions you have about divorce on the phone for free. If you are facing questions of separation of property during divorce, give us a call for a free consultation: (503) 731-8888.

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