Where can I find a form for the division of property in a same sex relationship?
03/29/2009 - Category:Divorce - Separation Agreements - State: OR #15810
I am in a lesbian relationship and I am trying to find a dissolution agreement. I saw a separation agreement but I am not sure if that is the right form. We do have joint property that needs to be split up.
The law on dividing property of a cohabiting couple isn't clearly established. It is recommended for cohabiting couples to create a cohabitation agreement, which can be enforced under contract law principles. Such agreements provide for the terms of dividing assets and debts upon termination of the relationship.
I am unable to determine whether you have registered as domestic partners. If you are able to agree on terms for dividing property, a separation or dissolution agreement may be modified to suit your needs and may be enforced by the court under contract law principles. In the Oregon case at the following link, a court dealt with property division in a domestic partnership:http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A133414.htm
In the dissolution of a domestic partnership, Oregon courts are required to divide property according to the express or implied intent of the parties at the time that they established their partnership. If the court cannot discern the parties’ intent, the court may exercise its equitable powers to reach a fair dissolution of the parties’ partnership. How the parties held legal title to real property is evidence of the parties’ intent, but it is not dispositive. Where there is no express agreement of the parties regarding the division of their property in the event of dissolution of their domestic partnership, the court will look at the following factors to determine the intent of the parties: 1. Inferences drawn from the way the parties lived; 2. The fact of cohabitation can be evidence of an intent to share incomes during the time the parties live together; and 3. Joint acts of a financial nature (joint checking account, joint savings account, joint purchases, etc…) may give rise to an inference of a intention to share equally. Where the evidence establishes that parties in a domestic partnership intend to share property equally but one party makes a greater initial contribution to the property, the property will be divided equally but the party making the greater initial contribution will be credited for that contribution.
A resulting trust is a trust created in property of one person who cohabits with another, whereby the property is deemed held for the benefit of their domestic partner. When there is no formal trust agreement, a resulting trust may still be found under certain circumstances in order to enforce agreements regarding the property and income of domestic partners. If there is evidence that the parties intended to create a trust, but the formalities of a trust are lacking, the court may find a resulting trust exists.
The court may also declare that a constructive trust exists, which is essentially a legal fiction designed to avoid injustice and prevent giving an unfair advantage to one of the parties. This may be based on the contributions made by one partner to the property of the other. The court typically requires a finding of unjust enrichment before it wil impose a constructive trust. Each case is decided on its own facts, taking all circumstances into consideration.
The doctrine of unjust enrichment is based upon the principle that one should not be permitted unjustly to enrich himself at the expense of another but should be required to make restitution of or for property received, retained or appropriated. The general rule is that a payment of money under a mistake of fact may be recovered provided that such payment will not prejudice the payee. It is considered unjust enrichment to permit a recipient to retain money paid because of a mistake, unless the circumstances are such that it would be inequitable to require its return. This applies even if the mistake is one on one side (unilateral) and a consequence of the payors negligence, or that the payee acted in good faith. "A person who has conferred a benefit on another by mistake is not precluded from maintaining an action for restitution by the fact that the mistake was due to his lack of care." (Restatement of Restitution § 59.) Equity, which is based on notions of fairness, often allows a person who pays money to another under the mistaken belief a valid contract exists to recover that money when the contract is subsequently canceled for fraud or mistake and the rights of innocent parties have not intervened. (Restatement of Restitution §§ 17, 28.)
A constructive trust is one that arises by operation of law against one who, by fraud, wrongdoing, or any other unconscionable conduct, either has obtained or holds legal right to property which he ought not to, in good conscience, keep and enjoy. A constructive trust is an appropriate remedy against unjust enrichment. Unjust enrichment is present in nearly every case where a constructive trust is imposed. However, the court's creation of a constructive trust is not necessarily dependent on a finding that the person whose property is subjected to it has acted wrongly, but may rest as well upon a finding of unjust enrichment arising from other circumstances that "render it inequitable for the party holding the title to retain it." (Starleper v. Hamilton 106 Md.App. 632, 666 A.2d 867 (1995).)
The basis for creating a constructive trust is to prevent unjust enrichment. (Restatement of Restitution § 160, comment c.) "Where a person wrongfully disposes of property of another knowing that the disposition is wrongful and acquires in exchange other property, the other is entitled to enforce a constructive trust of the property so acquired." If the property so acquired is or becomes more valuable than the property used in acquiring it, the profit thus made by the wrongdoer cannot be retained by him; the person whose property was used in making the profit is entitled to it." (Restatement Restitution § 202.) When property is given or devised to a defendant in breach of a donor's or testator's contract with a plaintiff, equity will impose a constructive trust upon that property being held by another even though (1) the transfer is not the result of breach of a fiduciary duty or an actual or constructive fraud practiced upon the plaintiff, and (2) the donee or devisee had no knowledge of the wrongdoing or breach of contract. (Jones v. Harrison , 250 Va. 64, 458 S.E.2d 766 (1995 ).)
A person who has been unjustly enriched at the expense of another may be required to make restitution to the other. Despite not having a contractual agreement, a trial court may require an individual to make restitution for unjust enrichment if he has received a benefit which would be unconscionable to retain. A person may be deemed to be unjustly enriched if he (or she) has received a benefit, and keeping it would create injustice.
The following is an Oregon staute:
107.104 Policy regarding settlement; enforcement of settlement terms; remedies.
(1) It is the policy of this state:
(a) To encourage the settlement of suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation; and
(b) For courts to enforce the terms of settlements described in subsection (2) of this section to the fullest extent possible, except when to do so would violate the law or would clearly contravene public policy.
(2) In a suit for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, the court may enforce the terms set forth in a stipulated judgment signed by the parties, a judgment resulting from a settlement on the record or a judgment incorporating a marital settlement agreement:
(a) As contract terms using contract remedies;
(b) By imposing any remedy available to enforce a judgment, including but not limited to contempt; or
(c) By any combination of the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection.
(3) A party may seek to enforce an agreement and obtain remedies described in subsection (2) of this section by filing a motion, serving notice on the other party in the manner provided by ORCP 7 and, if a remedy under subsection (2)(b) of this section is sought, complying with the statutory requirements for that remedy. All claims for relief arising out of the same acts or omissions must be joined in the same proceeding.
(4) Nothing in subsection (2) or (3) of this section limits a party's ability, in a separate proceeding, to file a motion to set aside, alter or modify a judgment under ORS 107.135 or to seek enforcement of an ancillary agreement to the judgment.
Please see the information at the following links:
Please see the forms at the following links:
03/29/2009 - Category: Separation Agreements - State: OR #15810
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