An Overview of Oregon Divorce Laws

Posted on February 22, 2016 03:15pm
An Overview of Oregon Divorce Laws

Are you considering filing for dissolution of marriage in Oregon? You may have questions about how it works and how the state’s laws will affect the outcome of your case. Below is a list of factors specific to divorce in Oregon. For more information on the divorce process, we encourage you to speak with a Portland divorce lawyer at McKinley Irvin during an initial case evaluation.

  • Oregon is a no-fault state. This means that a couple can file for divorce without establishing fault. A couple needs only to cite “irreconcilable differences” leading to a breakdown of the marriage.
  • The age of emancipation in Oregon is 18, which is typically when child support payments end. However, in Oregon, child support may be ordered for students up to the age of 21.
  • Oregon courts may not consider a parent’s marital status, conduct, income, lifestyle, or social environment when it comes to making a child custody decision, unless any of these factors may cause or is causing social or physical harm to the child.
  • When it comes to child custody, no preference is given to the mother. Rather, the court objectively looks at the family’s unique situation to determine which parent is best suited for custody.
  • Alimony may be granted to a lesser-earning spouse after a divorce in the form of transitional support (which allows the lower-earning spouse to attend school or receive training in order to become self-supporting), compensatory support (reimbursing a spouse for their role in increasing the earning capacity of the other spouse), or spousal maintenance (allowing the lower-earning spouse to maintain his or her standard of living after a long marriage).
  • In order to file for divorce in Oregon, the marriage must have taken place within the state and either party must have been an Oregon resident for the past six months. The petition must be filed in the county in which one or both parties reside.
  • Oregon generally does not recognize common law marriages, so if you were never legally married, you cannot technically get a divorce. There are legal options for unmarried couples who have property division or custody issues, however.
  • In Oregon, there is no right to a jury in family law cases. Contested cases will be resolved only by a judge.
  • A spouse can request that a judge grant them back use of their former name. However, a spouse cannot force the other spouse to stop using a particular name.
  • Oregon law gives divorce trial judges abundant discretion. If you are unhappy with the outcome of a divorce trial, you do have recourse, but appeals are not always successful.

The success of your divorce may depend on the quality of representation you choose. If you are considering a divorce in the Portland area, please get in touch with an experienced Oregon divorce lawyer at McKinley Irvin. Contact us at (503) 395-0244.

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