Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Oregon

in wa state. If spouse dies before divorse is final, does the divorse become null and void?

Asked on 5/13/19, 12:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Greg Freeze Greg Freeze, Attorney-at-Law

If the divorce is not final, that means there is no divorce. That fits you wording, "null and void."

You posted this in the Probate, Trusts, Wills & Estates forum. Your underlying question based on the intersection of your question and this form is, as the surviving spouse, do I inherit everything as though we were married.

Yes. I've done this particular set of facts in Oregon in a Dissolution of Marriage case. Most interesting, but not binding on a Washington court, is Allen v. Allen, 628 P.2d 995 (1981). In that case, the husband died between when the judge made his dissolution of marriage ruling from the bench and when the judge was to "sign" the judgment. At issue was whether the judge should sign the judgment, even if one of the spouses was deceased. The outcome of that question would change important things, like who got the husband's share of everything.

In that case, the Arizona court ruled that when the judge spoke from the bench, declaring the parties divorced, that was a final thing. Thus, the wife only got what she got from the divorce, and nothing more from the husband's stack of things.

Your question, although it looks simple, might be one that you seek the advice of a local divorce attorney for help.

Disclaimer: This posting is made available for general informational purposes only. There is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney author. This posting is not a substitute for competent legal advice. Only a licensed attorney that specializes in this area in your home state and with whom you have an attorney client relationship can provide legal advice to you. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and any advice depends on the particular factual circumstances of your case. The information and materials provided are general in nature.

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Answered on 5/13/19, 4:57 pm

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