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Oregon Divorce Laws – What You Need to Know!

In Oregon, a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage. Either party or both may file for dissolution. The party who files the petition for divorce is the petitioner; the party that must respond is the respondent. If they both file together, they are referred to as the co-petitioners.

There are many documents that must be filed in order for a judge grant a divorce or dissolution of marriage, especially if there are children born of the marriage. For example, if there are pending child support orders and proceedings, then the petitioner must file a certificate that explains the current proceedings. A Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act affidavit must be filed, as well, that details where the children have lived for the past five years and the details regarding pending parenting time orders and proceedings.

What Happens After a Petitioner Files for Divorce?

If the couple is not co-petitioners, then the respondent must be served a summons and a copy of the petition. If the respondent cannot be located, then the petitioner can ask the court to allow a notice to be published in a local newspaper or posted at the courthouse.

If the respondent was served, then he or she has 30 days to respond to the petition. If the respondent does not file a response, then the petitioner may be given everything that was asked for in the original petition. If there is a response filed, then the case may be set for a settlement hearing, mediation or for trial, depending on what the court’s procedures are.

Is Oregon a No-Fault Divorce State?

Oregon is a no-fault divorce state. All that is required is that the marriage is irretrievably broken. One spouse does not need the other’s permission to file for divorce.

Do Oregon Courts Recognize Different Types of Dissolutions?

A summary dissolution is allowed if a couple has a simple dissolution case. There are specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a summary dissolution. Some of those include, but are not limited to:

  • You may not have been married for longer than 10 years.
  • You and your spouse cannot have any children under the age of 18 born or adopted by the two of you. The wife may not be pregnant.
  • Neither party can own any real estate.
  • Neither party can own, either together or individually, personal property worth more than $30,000 after the amount owed is deducted.
  • Marital debts must not be more than $15,000.
  • No spousal support is sought by either party.

How Long Does a Dissolution of Marriage in Oregon Usually Take?

Each court in Oregon that handles dissolution cases will have their own timelines for such things as parenting classes, mediation or other requirements. How long it takes for a dissolution depends on a number of factors, including how complex your case is and if the respondent files a response.

As you can see, filing for a divorce or dissolution of marriage in Oregon can be a very time-consuming, complex endeavor. An experienced family law attorney can provide advice and guidance, as well as ensuring that your rights and the rights of your children are kept at the forefront.