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Domestic Partnerships
Portland Domestic Partnership Lawyer

As a result of changing social values, it is not uncommon for parties to live together, to acquire assets, and to have children, all without being married. As with marriages, when these kinds of relationships break down, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved.

You cannot form a common law marriage in the State of Oregon. Instead, in Oregon, unmarried people who live together may have either a “common law” domestic partnership or, in the case of same sex couples, a statutory domestic partnership.

In a common law domestic partnership, the court looks to the parties’ intent in deciding how to divide their assets. Intent may be demonstrated by documents, such as deed or joint account statement, or may be implied by the parties’ conduct. For example, if the parties own real property in joint names, that property may be divided between them. If the home is held in one party’s name, but the other party contributed to the home by making substantial improvements or by paying mortgage payments, that could imply an intent to share in the home’s value.

Property division in common law domestic partnership cases is very fact specific. In a common law domestic partnership, the court does not have the power to award either party spousal support. If you and your common law domestic partner have children together, custody, parenting time, and child support will be determined as if you were married.

Except under very narrow circumstances, neither party may be awarded attorney fees in a common law domestic partnership dissolution proceeding.

The second kind of domestic partnership under Oregon law was created by the legislature in 2007. It applies only to same-sex couples. If the parties have registered as domestic partners under the new law, and later decide to end their relationship, all of the laws that apply to divorce apply to the dissolution of the domestic partnership.

Peter has worked with a number of clients to resolve domestic partnership disputes. He will help you understand the facts of your case and provide a range of possible results. Peter works with, and values, people from diverse backgrounds, and who have diversity in their relationships. Whatever your situation, Peter will work to achieve a fair result in your case.

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