Van Winkel and Van Winkel

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 01-10-2018
  • Case #: A160074
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeHoog, P.J. for the Court; Egan, C.J.; & Aoyagi, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In determining what is just and proper in the distribution of marital assets, the trial court focuses “on equitable considerations, including such matters as . . . the extent to which a party has integrated a separately acquired asset into the common financial affairs of the marital partnership through commingling.” ORS 107.105(1)(f); Kunze and Kunze, 337 Or. 122,135-36, 92 P.3d 100 (2004). “[A]cts of commingling may convert a separately acquired asset into a joint asset of the marital partnership,” Kunze, at 139.

Wife appealed a trial court judgment dissolving the parties’ marriage. Wife assigned error to the methodology the trial court used in determining Husband was entitled to one-half of the equity in the marital house. Wife argued that the trial court failed to determine the just and proper disposition of the house by not factoring in her contributions. Husband argued his sweat equity and financial contributions entitled him to one-half of the equity in the house under ORS 107.105(1). In determining what is “just and proper” in the distribution of marital assets, the trial court focuses “on equitable considerations, including such matters as . . . the extent to which a party has integrated a separately acquired asset into the common financial affairs of the marital partnership through commingling.”  ORS 107.105(1)(f); Kunze and Kunze, 337 Or. 122,135-36, 92 P.3d 100 (2004). “[A]cts of commingling may convert a separately acquired asset into a joint asset of the marital partnership,” Kunze, at 139. The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err when it determined Husband was entitled to one-half of the equity in the house because “the parties had commingled their finances, including their interests in the home, with husband’s sweat equity commingling with wife’s down payment and husband and wife both contributing to the mortgage payment.” Affirmed.

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