DiscoverModern Family MattersWhat Are the Legal Rights for Unmarried Couples Who Separate in Oregon?
What Are the Legal Rights for Unmarried Couples Who Separate in Oregon?

What Are the Legal Rights for Unmarried Couples Who Separate in Oregon?

Update: 2020-07-10


If you’re unmarried with children, establishing paternity is incredibly important in the event of separation. If paternity is not established, child support will not be ordered, unless it’s voluntary from one party. Additionally, there could be issues establishing custody and parenting time. If paternity is not established, you might be able to obtain custody and parenting time via third-party rights.

When dividing assets and disentangling two unmarried individuals, it first needs to be determined if they’re in a registered domestic partnership. A registered domestic partnership is only available in Oregon to same sex couples, and existed for the purpose of giving marital rights to same sex couples before it was constitutionally mandated that that was available.

An unregistered domestic partnership, which is common amongst heterosexual, homosexual, or non-binary couples, is when you’ve entangled all or many of your assets and life together. In this case, the court will approach this relationship through a lens of contract law.

Intention is a big player when it comes to unregistered domestic partnerships. When deciding how to untangle your assets, the court will be looking at the intention behind the relationship. Intent can be something that's found in a formal writing, informal writing (such as text messages or emails), but also unwritten but implied intentions. 

When distributing assets, if the writing of intent is unclear or if there is no writing, the court is going to have to interpret those intentions, and they will do so through the lens of equity. 

When it comes to handling this process on your own (DIY), there isn't going to be a statute that tells you "this is how it’s done", like you would see in a divorce. It's case-law and contract driven and is entirely dependent on each unique case. 

When in an unregistered domestic partnership, you should mindfully engage with the other person and consider a written relationship agreement that lays out what your intentions are in commingling your life, as well as your intentions in the event of a separation down the line. 

Having a good and comprehensive estate plan in place is key for unmarried couples. Everybody should be doing this, but especially when you don’t have a formal relationship that is legally binding. Be mindful of the benefits you can leave your partner and your family with when you pass away.

¿Cuáles son los Derechos Legales de las Parejas de Hecho al Separarse en Oregon?

Si está en una unión libre y tiene hijos, establecer la paternidad es sumamente importante en caso de separación. Si no se establece la paternidad, no se ordenará la manutención de hijos, a menos que una de las partes decida hacerlo voluntariamente. Además, podría haber problemas para establecer la custodia y el tiempo de crianza. Si no se establece la paternidad, es posible que pueda obtener la custodia y el tiempo de crianza a través de derechos de terceros.

Al dividir los activos y llevar a cabo la disolución de una unión libre, primero se debe determinar si se está registrada como una pareja de hecho. Los registros de parejas de hecho en Oregon solo están disponibles para parejas del mismo sexo, esta existía anteriormente con el propósito de otorgar derechos matrimoniales a parejas del mismo sexo antes de que la constitución ordenara su disponibilidad.

Una pareja de hecho no registrada, la cual es común entre parejas heterosexuales, homosexuales o no binarias, es cuando se han obtenido todos o muchos de sus activos y se ha compartido gran parte de su vida juntos. En este caso, el tribunal observará esta relación bajo la lupa del derecho contractual.

La intención juega un papel muy importante cuando se trata de parejas de hecho no registradas. 

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What Are the Legal Rights for Unmarried Couples Who Separate in Oregon?

What Are the Legal Rights for Unmarried Couples Who Separate in Oregon?

with Landerholm Family Law