Stepping into your home, you look around to see items that you and your spouse own. Dividing such property and debts, may not end on the friendliest of terms. What will they take? How much is this going to cost me? At the beginning of a divorce, it is important that you, yourself, take inventory of the marital property, all assets, and obligations both inside and outside the home. You must take note of all property that was accumulated during the marriage, because some items may go missing, even gifts. Also, creating a list of all the marital property, including assets and debts, will give you a clearer picture of what is important to you.
Second, you should take a walk with your spouse and make a list together. The key here is to understand what your spouse prioritizes without having to be in a hostile environment. Don’t tell them what you want yet; this is not a “calling dibs” contest. Your goal is to negotiate a settlement where your spouse doesn’t feel that they have been taken advantage of during the division of marital property. Also, keep in mind that Oregon is an equitable distribution state, but this does not necessarily mean that everything will be split right down the middle. Oregon courts will consider factors such as financial contributions to certain assets, taxes, and children to fairly determine what property will go to whom. In regards to financial contributions to certain assets, you can argue to a court if you feel that your spouse did not contribute to purchasing a certain item/asset.
Also, make sure that you take account of the smaller, less valuable items in the house. Is there a family album that you want? What about a book collection? These items are often mixed up during the move. Once these items are with your spouse, you may never get them back. To make sure that you stay protected during the divorce, be sure to hire an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that you get what you want.