Divorcing couples have a lot of considerations to manage, including ownership of joint property such as a house. Although many couples will experience an equal division of property during their divorce, other couples won’t experience an equal division of assets. This is because Oregon is an “equitable distribution” state. Read on to learn more about equitable distribution and how it may affect who gets the house in a divorce in Oregon.


Property Distribution in a Divorce

Couples may opt to divide assets and property on their own in a divorce. The courts in Oregon often accept the couple’s proposed divisions. The exception is in cases where the distribution of assets is unfairly weighed in one spouse’s favor. In these cases, the court may not accept the proposal and instead order a distribution that is more equitable.  


Factors That Determine Who Gets the House in a Divorce

The courts in Oregon tend to presume that both spouses contributed to the acquisition of a house. As such, the courts may consider a variety of factors when determining who gets the house in a divorce. These factors include:

  • Length of marriage
  • When the house was acquired (before or during marriage)
  • Number of total properties
  • Employment status of both spouses
  • Existing retirement/pension plans 
  • Other assets the couple needs to divide
  • Any minor children resulting from the marriage
  • Other


Factors that Do Not Affect Who Gets the House 

There are some very notable factors that do not matter to the courts when it comes to deciding who gets the house in a divorce. For example, the lack of a spouse on the title does not affect who gets the house in a divorce. It also doesn’t matter who paid the mortgage on the house, as the court assumes that both spouses contributed to a home acquired during a marriage. The court also does not care if only one spouse maintained the home or paid for repairs or renovations of the home. 


Dividing the House: Common Solutions for Divorcing Couples

Although the court may award the house to the primary custodial parent until any minor children are 18, that doesn’t mean the custodial parent owns the home. Instead, there are three common solutions to a dispute over a home.

  1. Both spouses agree to sell the home and split any profits
  2. One spouse refinances the mortgage to buy out the other spouse
  3. The custodial parent stays in the home until the children are adults, and then the home is sold, and profits are split, or one spouse buys out the other.


Buying Out Your Ex-Spouse: Get Help with a Mortgage Refinance

If you’re going through a divorce and wish to keep the home, Strategic Mortgage Solutions is here to help you understand the options available for refinancing and buying out your ex-spouse. Strategic Mortgage Solutions is a top-rated Oregon mortgage brokerage based in Eugene. To speak with an experienced mortgage adviser, call 541-275-1148 or send us a message