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Community Property Rights in Common Law Oregon – Update


Oregon is a common law property state, so what happens when you move here from a community property state and you want to preserve your community property rights?

If you are a community property couple and you move to Oregon, you need to be careful how you buy property, how you title it, how you finance it, how you dispose of it, etc., etc., etc.

The January 2008 issue of the OSB Estate Planning and Administration Section newsletter has an article on the subject, Preserving Community Property Rights in Oregon, by Kevin Tillson, Hunt & Associates, PC.

P.S. For non-attorneys – please don’t confuse common law property rights with common law marriage, another matter entirely. See the Oregon State Bar blurb:

“Does Oregon have common law marriages?
A common law “marriage” is not created in Oregon. However, if a couple is from a state that acknowledges common law marriages, and the couple meets the requirements of common law marriage of that state, then the state of Oregon will recognize the marriage of that state as valid in Oregon.”

See also:
“Debt and Marriage: When Do I Owe My Spouse’s Debts” from
“Marriage & Property Ownership: Who Owns What?” from
Here’s a link to my How to Find a Lawyer guide.

Originally posted 1/28/08 
Updated 4/12/12

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4 responses to “Community Property Rights in Common Law Oregon – Update”

  1. Bonnie DeFriest says:

    My husband and I were married in 1994 by proxy, while he was incarcerated in Florida, and I was living in Washington – a communty property state. The proxy marriage took place in Montana. I later moved to Oregon, where I still reside, and he is being transferred to Oregon, and will be ether paroled or freed soon. We arel married and will both be Oregon residents He inherited some funds from his mother, during our marriage, but in his name only. They have been kept as an inmate account in the state where he has been incarcerated.

    Now that he is coming home to Oregon to be with me, his wife, how do we handle these funds and any other property that we either have or will acquire in the future? We have a solid marriage and don’t expect it to end until “death do us part.”
    Any advice or help that you can offer or direct us to will be appreciated.
    (Mrs.) Bonnie DeFriest

  2. margarita beard says:

    My friend is 11 years together with the father of her 3 kids, but he never did give hi last name to the kids, is no one bill in both name, electric, bank account, water and the two houses are only under he name, If she want have some benefit can she legally? Oh and he do over 1 million dollars at year and she did take care for 10 years of his two kids of hi preview relation with pay a dollar for babysitter. If she let what can she have?

  3. I have been with an Indian for twenty-seven years I left my house in Arizona after the children graduated there they’re my children but he claimed him as his were 10 years apart we are now in Oregon I’m 61 years old I’m crippled and now he wants me out of here I make $700 a month on SSI that’s all I have I do not have money for an attorney he has brand new Harley Harley parts in a shop a big Dodge truck horses everything you can desire I don’t even have a wheelchair ramp to get down the steps safely I have Lupus fibromyalgia degenerative disc disease I helped doing hair until I was 50 and fractured my back could no longer do it I have worked on this Farm since we have been here but I walk away with nothing because I’m told he’s an Indian and its solvent health fair can that be I can’t even get an apartment I will be homeless when I met him he had a duffel bag and on drugs I showed him how to get anything he wanted and how to have credit and I’ve never cheated on him but I never lied to him I’ve always took care of the whole farm when he left to visit his family I was always there till he meant a little person on Facebook it’s okay then to separate and to be apart but how do you make it fair how do you make it fair when you’ve planted all the apple trees the plum trees the flowers painted foundations build fences until you were crippled and you can do no more I don’t know what to do thank you for letting me write this I hope somebody reads it we never got married because of the medical issue I did not want to put the family in bankruptcy he calls the grandchildren his we went to court to fight for custody so we have grandparent rights to see about school he is the paternal grandfather of two of their grandchildren I would think I would have some rights somewhere Oregon I do not think is a state for common law but he’s claimed me on taxes for twenty-seven years and we lived and fought in court as a couple he makes real good money what does tribal checks verses to my $700 a month I sold everything I had so we could get here to build this Farm I just want it there how can I do it how can I fight when I’m not even strong enough to do it

  4. Julie says:

    Sister died in oregon. Lived with guy for 20-30 years never met him did not tell all brother & sisters of her death just one he then moved back to Michigan where they were both from is he by law entitled to all her possessions & money from sale of house & property? Even hesitated to take her to hospital right away & told hospital she had no relatives

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