How to Begin the Divorce Process in Oregon
After you and your spouse have made the difficult decision to divorce, it is important that you prepare for what comes next. The divorce process can sometimes be overwhelming, especially amid all the emotional turmoil most people experience at the end of a marriage. To make navigating this process a bit easier, we’ve simplified the steps for obtaining a divorce in Oregon to a manageable list. However, before you begin the divorce process make sure you meet the specific requirements.
Anyone filing for a divorce in Oregon must have been married in that state, and at least 1 spouse must currently be a resident. If the marriage took place outside of Oregon, at least 1 spouse must have lived in Oregon for a minimum of 6 months prior to filing for the divorce.
Filing a Petition
In the state of Oregon, a divorce, also called a dissolution of marriage, begins with filing a petition. One spouse should file the Petition for Divorce with the circuit court, or both spouses may file together as co-petitioners. The petition is 5 pages long and will include several documents covering the personal information about each spouse and whether spousal maintenance will be requested. The petitioner(s) will also need to state that assets and debt will be divided equitably. If the married couple has young children, additional forms will also need to be filled out. Oregon is a no-fault divorce state, so there is only one option to file and the reason for the divorce will not need to be stated in the forms.
Summary Dissolution or Standard Dissolution
Oregon enables couples to file through a simplified procedure called summary dissolution if certain requirements are met. Summary dissolution will allow you to divorce without the added cost and delay of a court hearing, making the process less complicated. To file for a summary divorce, the marriage must have lasted for 10 years or less, you must have no minor children or adult children enrolled in high school, and must have limited marital assets. You must also give up rights to spousal support.
If you do not qualify for summary dissolution, you and your spouse must file for a standard dissolution. The petition for either summary dissolution or standard dissolution should be turned into the circuit court clerk’s office at your local county courthouse.
Serving Divorce Forms
After all forms have been appropriately filled out and filed, the divorce papers must be served to your spouse, formally stating your wish to end your marriage. In Oregon, if a couple files together as co-petitioners, there is no need to serve official divorce papers. However, if one spouse files for the divorce, it is required that the official papers be delivered to the other spouse. Anyone who is not the spouse and is over the age of 18 may serve the papers.
After papers have been served, the spouse who received the forms has 30 days to respond to the court. If the spouse does not contest the divorce, Oregon courts can issue a final decree a minimum of 3 months after the filing. However, if spouses do not agree on all terms of the divorce, they may need to go through mediation or litigation to seek a resolution before the divorce can be finalized.
Retaining a Divorce attorney
You can retain the services of a divorce attorney at any time before or during this process. A divorce attorney can help you submit your petition for divorce or help you respond to a petition for divorce that you have been served.Contact McKinley Irvin divorce lawyers in Oregon for help with your divorce.