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Is my spouse allowed to change beneficiary on life insurance,will the business etc to someone else in middle of divorce process

Corvallis, OR |

We are in the middle of divorce process, is my husband allowed to change beneficiary to the life insurance policy at this time, change his will to give the company away, one of the houses away, and other assets?

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Attorney answers 3


I am sorry that he is acting this way and that you are gong through such a dificult time. If the divorce is filed in court you have the right to request that none of these things occur until the case is resolved.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


In Oregon, if a divorce petition has been filed and served, a statutory restraining order preventing the dissipation of assets would have gone into effect. A notice of that statutory restraining order, which outlines what each party is prohibited from doing, should have been attached to the summons and petition when it was served. The language of the statutory restraining order can be found at ORS 107.093. Failure to comply with that restraining order could result in the imposition of sanctions against the non-complying party by the court. But because this is a fairly complicated procedure, you should speak to a lawyer to explore your options further.

Alternatively, if a divorce petition has not been filed, you should still speak with an lawyer immediately about your situation to preserve your interests.

Howard M Lewis

Howard M Lewis


great counsel


With regard to the specific bequests you say that your spouse is now making in his will, regardless of whether the ORS 107.093 restraining order applies to this or not, please note that the will has no effect on his interest in his property until he dies. If he should die before the divorce is completed and leaves you nothing in his will, you are still married and may be able to elect against the will (ORS 114.600) and receive an elective share of the estate, subject to ORS 114.725. If he dies after the divorce is completed and the court has awarded these properties to you in the general judgment, then it does not matter what his will says. If I give the Brooklyn Bridge to you in my will and at the time of my death I do not own that property, then the gift is meaningless. You cannot give what you do not own. I would encourage you to discuss the details of your situation with an attorney experienced in Oregon family and probate law.

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