How Do I Get a Divorce in Oregon?
If you are considering a divorce in Oregon, you may have some questions about how it works. Below, we have briefly summarized the process so that you have a better idea of what to expect.
If you are looking for a fuller explanation of the process and the issues at stake in divorce, check out our extensive online resource, “A Guide to Divorce in Oregon.”
Here’s what you need to know about divorce in Oregon:
- Oregon is a no-fault state, which means that you don’t need to provide a legal reason for a divorce other than claiming that you and your spouse simply cannot get along. This is what it known as “irreconcilable differences.”
- You must have lived in Oregon for at least six months before you can file for divorce in the county in which either of you resides. If you haven’t lived in Oregon that long, it is still possible to obtain a legal separation and then convert it to a divorce after you meet the residency requirement.
- To get started on your divorce, you must file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the local county courthouse and the circuit court clerk’s office. Then, you must have the petition, which outlines what you are asking for in the divorce, and all other required documents served to your spouse. You will also have to pay the required fees for the filing and serving of the petition. Currently, it costs each party $260 to file for divorce.
- After your spouse receives the petition, they will have 30 days to file a response if they wish to challenge any of the items listed in the petition. If they agree with all terms, no response is required – they simply have to show up for the indicated court date. If they fail to appear after being served, the case will be decided by default.
- Divorcing couples should hire legal representation for their divorce, especially if the terms of the divorce are contested or if the couple has significant assets or children together. The best time to consult an attorney is before you file (or as soon in the process as possible).
- Mediation is a smart option for couples who wish to work out the terms of their divorce as cooperatively and amicably as possible.
- If the spouses cannot come to an agreement on things like property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support, their attorneys can litigate the matter in court. The more complex the divorce, the longer it will take to resolve and the more it will cost.
- The divorce process ends when the judge signs a judgment of dissolution of marriage. It will then be each ex-spouse’s responsibility to begin carrying out the court orders. If a divorce case goes to trial and a spouse is unhappy with the outcome, Oregon does give the right to appeal the decision.
- A spouse can request a return to a former name, although one spouse cannot force the other to change their name.