How to Get an Oregon Divorce
The Oregon divorce process can be confusing. This article will help explain how to get a divorce in Oregon. If you have questions specific to your case, you should seek the legal expertise of Oregon divorce lawyers.
Whether you are filing for divorce in Portland, Eugene, Salem or another part of the state, Attorneys.com can connect you to an Oregon divorce lawyer. You can begin the search process by filling out the form on this site or by calling 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will provide you with the contact information of at least one Oregon divorce attorney. The lawyer will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.
Ensure You Meet the Preliminary Requirements
To file for divorce in Oregon, you or your spouse must meet certain residency requirements. Specifically, you can only get a divorce in Oregon if:
- You and your spouse were married in Oregon and one of you is a resident of or domiciled in the state
- Either you or your spouse has been a resident of or domiciled in Oregon for at least six months continuously
You must also cite proper grounds, or a reason, for your divorce.
The majority of divorces in Oregon are no-fault divorces. This means that neither party blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage. If you are filing for a no-fault divorce, you will need to cite the ground of irreconcilable differences.
You may also file a fault-based divorce. This means that one spouse blames the other for the dissolution of the marriage. Fault-based divorces are not common in Oregon. To file for a fault-based divorce, you must show one of two things:
- One of you was incapable of entering into the marriage or consenting to the marriage
- One of you consented to the marriage under force or fraud
If you are not sure if you meet these requirements, you should set up a meeting with an Oregon divorce lawyer.
Hire an Oregon Divorce Attorney
Because Oregon divorce laws can be quite complex, you should strongly consider hiring a divorce attorney.
Prior to hiring an attorney, you will want to set up an initial consultation with any lawyer you are interested in hiring. An initial consultation is your opportunity to ask the lawyer about his practice, tell him about your case and make a hiring decision.
Be sure to prepare a list of questions prior to the consultation. Questions to ask include:
- How long has the attorney worked on Oregon divorce cases?
- Has he ever handled a case like yours?
- What type of fee arrangement does he use?
- How much do his services cost?
- If you have any questions, how can you reach him? How long does it take for him to respond?
Also, bring a pen and paper to the consultation so you can take notes. Once you have interviewed all the attorneys you are interested in, make a hiring decision.
File Your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
The document you file to initiate the divorce process is called a petition for dissolution of marriage. Your attorney can assist you with completing the petition.
Once the petition is complete, you will want to file it with the applicable Oregon Circuit Court. The proper court is in the county in which either you or your spouse has residency.
Your spouse will then be served with a copy of the petition. He will then have a chance to respond.
Resolving Oregon Divorce Issues
If you and your spouse do not dispute any terms of the divorce, including property division and spousal support, a court can grant your request fairly quickly.
However, if there is a dispute or if the couple shares custody of minor children, additional hearings may need to take place. In fact, under Oregon law, if parents disagree on the terms of a parenting plan, they will be ordered to take part in divorce mediation. Oregon divorce mediation provides a forum for parents to work out their parenting plan disagreements outside of court. A third-party impartial mediator oversees the confidential process. If the parents can come up with a parenting plan on their own, it will then be passed on to the court for approval.
However, if mediation does not result in an agreement, the parents will have to resolve their dispute in court. If this is the case, an experienced Oregon divorce attorney can assist you with your child custody and child support issues.