Oregon divorce details
Uncontested VS Contested Divorce in Oregon
Considering a dissolution of the marriage, you should know that the choice is between contested and uncontested divorce. What does it mean? A contested divorce refers to the “traditional” proceeding that includes cooperation with attorneys, several court hearings and interviews, and rather long time spent to get a result. A contested divorce is a necessary measure when there is a case that demands a really hard work and cannot be resolved wisely without the lawyer’s help. If you have the complicated relationship with your spouse, and afraid to lose your property or rights during the divorce, you definitely should contest your case. But fortunately, most divorce cases can be actually finalized without unnecessary complications, so now, the most popular option across the US is an uncontested divorce.
Uncontested Divorce in Oregon
An uncontested divorce, or “Summary Dissolution” as it’s called in Oregon, occurs when the spouses can agree about all the aspects of their case without the court orders. They still may need an attorneys’ help if they want to, but in fact, they just should make a Marital Settlement Agreement which would work for both of them.
An Oregon uncontested divorce can be finalized without the couple’s appearing in the court, but it depends on whether the spouses meet the requirements need to file for a “Summary Dissolution”. If not, they still can get a simple divorce but must attend a court hearing.
Oregon dissolution of marriage can be initiated both by one of the spouses or jointly. If you decide to file as co-petitioners, you can get a divorce in even less than 2 weeks.
Grounds for Divorce in Oregon
Oregon is a “no-fault state”, that means that the only official ground for dissolution is the irreconcilable differences. Any other causes that can make you be eager to terminate your marriage cannot affect a better settlement or other benefits for your, or be used as a “punish” for your spouse.
Also, the Petitioner (the spouse who initiates a divorce) has not to seek a consent for a dissolution of marriage from the other spouse. The intent of one spouse is enough to grant a divorce, you do not need to prove anything or to disclose something personally relevant.
Oregon Residency Requirements to File for Divorce
To file for divorce in Oregon, first of all, you should check whether you meet the state’s residency requirements.
So, just the one or both of the spouses must live in Oregon for at least 6 months before filing a petition. And also, unlike most other states, it is allowed to arrange a divorce in Oregon if the spouses were married here, and one of them still lives in the state.
You should file a petition in the county where either you or your spouse resides.
How to File for an Uncontested Divorce in Oregon?
In Oregon to file for an uncontested divorce, and to arrange it without any court hearing you must meet some requirement. Among these are:
- marriage is 10 years or less
- have no children together
- the wife is not pregnant
- neither party owns any interest in real estate in any state
- you and your spouse own less than $30,000
- debts are no more than $15,000
- no request for spousal support
- there are no divorce, separation, or annulment actions pending in any other state
- both spouses agree on all issues related to asset and debt division.
If you satisfy these requirements the next step is to file the paperwork to the court (in person, or just mail it).
Then, if you file as a sole petitioner, you must serve your spouse with the Summons and the Petition, and he or she has 30 days to respond.
But if you are in touch, you should better file as co-petitioners. As Oregon no longer has a waiting period, your divorce can be finalized just in few days or weeks. This time is needed for the court to process your dissolution paperwork.
Spouses who have minor children but still want to get an uncontested divorce should file as co-petitioners. They take nearly the same steps, but the forms kit is different, and after filing the paperwork they should attend a final hearing in the courthouse. Also, it can be useful to spend some time on mediation, which can help to arrange children-related aspects of the case.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Oregon
Actually, in Oregon, the divorce laws are aimed to guarantee as simple as possible divorce process, so you probably can try to do it yourself. The main thing you have to consider is whether your case is initially simple enough. If you have no minor children and you are not going to deal with so-called high net worth divorce, the situation is favorable. In Oregon, the major amount of cases end with the parties’ mutual agreement before the court hearing, and very few cases really need a trial.
To manage a DIY divorce you must be sure that you can negotiate constructively with your spouse so that it would not be difficult to agree to all terms of the dissolution, and to sign a successful marital settlement agreement.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?
The final amount of the divorce cost can include filing fee, fees for serving your spouse with the divorce documents, and for responding to it, attorney or mediator fees and others depending on the complexity of your particular case.
The start price for Oregon dissolution of marriage is equal to the filing fee. An average filing fee in Oregon is about $300, but it varies by the county.
Let’s compare it with expenses for a contested case. An average contested divorce in Oregon costs about $12,700 including $10,000 in attorneys' fees ($240 per hour).
How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Oregon?
Time you need to take a divorce also varies according to the type of your divorce. So, if you file for dissolution of marriage as co-petitioners it’s typically take about 2 weeks or even less. If you file as a single petitioner the proceeding can take about 5-6 weeks since your spouse is served with the paperwork.
A timeline for a contested case is hard to predict because of many circumstances, but it typically takes from 3 to 9 months.
Papers & Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Oregon
Surely, an amount of forms and document that you may need for your particular divorce case varies depending on your circumstances. Nevertheless, here's the list of some basic and commonly filed forms you need to fill out as a petitioner in case of uncontested divorce:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/RDP.
This is the main document that starts a case. It tells that you are seeking for divorce, and also, what are you are expecting from it.
- Petitioner's Affidavit Supporting Judgment of Dissolution.
- Summons Family Law Cases.
The Summons informs your partner about the divorce proceeding. He/she must respond it within 30 days.
- Notice of Statutory Restraining Order Preventing Dissipation of Assets.
This order prevents either party from canceling any insurance to the detriment of the other.
- Record of Dissolution of Marriage, Annulment, or Registered Domestic Partnership.
This form provides to the court some personal data about the spouses and their marriage.
- Child Support Computation Worksheets (CSCW).
It is needed to calculate the amount of child support, according to the state guidelines.
- General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
An extremely important form for an uncontested divorce. It fully describes all the terms & conditions of the spouses' agreement. This form may contain a parenting plan, statement of child support and the division of the marital property.
How to Serve Your Spouse in Oregon
If you decided to file for dissolution like a single petitioner it’s your responsibility to serve your spouses with the divorce paperwork as soon as you file your divorce papers in the court. Your ex can sign an Acceptance of Service form and waive the "service of process", confirming that he/she received the papers.
In another case, you can use a private process service or sheriff service to deliver the documents. It typically costs about $60.
The rarest and expensive option is a notice by publication. It may be needed if you cannot locate your spouse.
Online Divorce in Oregon
If you can file as co-petitioners and get your Summary Dissolution in Oregon without even attending the court hearing, why not make the process even easier? Whatever, do you file for a Summary Dissolution or for Uncontested Divorce, it is not compulsory to go to the court to get and fill out your divorce forms.
If your case is simple enough, and all the aspects of the post-divorce life are agreed between you and your ex, you can download the necessary forms on the Oregon court website or use our online divorce service. The court website provides separate packets for different cases, for example, Dissolution (Divorce) for Petitioners with/without children, Dissolution (Divorce) for Respondents with/without children, and so on. But if you think you need some additional forms you can solve this problem online too. So, our service customizes the documents kit for your unique case and offers an online-support to help you immediately.
Rules for Child Support and Visitation in Oregon
Child support is a payment from one parent to another (from non-custodial parent to the custodial parent) for their child/children care, education, welfare and other child-related expenses. In Oregon, child support is established according to the state’s Uniform Child Support Guidelines.
The Guidelines calculate an amount of child support with a formula that considers both parents’ income, usual child daycare and healthcare costs, insurance costs, and other factors. The spouses should provide all the necessary information with the worksheets so that the formula could define a presumptively amount of a child support.
There are 3 types of custody arranges in Oregon.
- The most common is the case when the one party gets a legal custody, and the other has some visitation rights (parenting time).
- Joint custody. It doesn't mean that both parents must spend an equal time with the child, but the spouses should agree to all related issues so that they could make important decisions about the upbringing process jointly.
- Split custody. This type of custody can be chosen if there are several children in the family. Some of them can live with one of the parents, and some - with the other. Oregon judges do not welcome this type of custody, but it can take place when the children (teens) are old enough to express their own clear wishes.
Rules for Spousal Support in Oregon
Spousal support is the regular payment from one spouse to another during the dissolution proceeding or after the divorce. The spouses can agree on the amount of the support or ask the court to order ot.
There are 3 types of a spousal support in Oregon:
- Transitional spousal support. Typically, one spouse can provide it to another for a certain period of time, and it should be spent on educational purposes or with the aim to upgrade the professional skills. So that the spouse who is in need now, could earn more money.
- Compensatory spousal support. It’s clear from the definition, that this type of support helps to compensate expenses, that one of the spouses had spent on partner's education or other activities that contributed to his or her earning capacity.
- Spousal maintenance. Oftenly, it is ordered in cases when the marriage lasted long, and one of the spouses cannot be self-supporting (because of lack experience, for example). This kind of support can be either temporary or ongoing.
Division of Property in Oregon
Oregon law claims the property must be divided “just and proper way in all the circumstances”, what allows to refer Oregon to "equitable distribution" states. It implies that the property can be divided in different proportions, and every case is considered separately with a lot of aspects that can affect the result. Among these factors are: amount of the property, each spouse’s contribution to the property (both financial and non-monetary), children’s needs, retirement plans and so on.
While the marital property is divided, the sole property (acquired prior to marriage) usually stays with the original owner.
Division of Debt in Oregon
In Oregon, debts and responsibilities are considered to be the part of the property, so they are subject to division. So, credit cards, home loans, and other debts are also divided in equitable, but not really equal way.
It is worth to know, that though according to the rules, the spouses cannot divide property by themselves if there is an agreement between them, the court usually accepts it. If just a part of your property can be divided agreed, the rest of it can be divided by the court.
Divorce Mediation in Oregon
Oregon courts welcome mediation as a process that helps spouses to negotiate and take an active part in their own case (what doesn’t always work with the participation of attorneys).
Mediation implies that the spouses jointly work with their agreements and try to resolve some significant issues like division property, support, or custody, with the mediation of a neutral third party. The mediator can be a lawyer by profession, but cannot act like a lawyer in the certain case (to give a legal advice or take someone's side).
Mediation usually plays an important role in uncontested cases (as the spouses must to make their Separation Agreement), and sometimes, even can help reduce the likelihood that a trial will be necessary if the case was initially contested.
How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in Oregon
In Oregon, it is possible to get a divorce even if you have no idea where your spouse is.
Whether your case is contested or uncontested, you must start your divorce by filing a Petition for the dissolution and sending the copies of documents to your spouse. In the first case the paperwork must be officially served by an attorney, and in the second case your spouse should just sign a form indicating that they are aware of the divorce and no response is needed since you agreed all the terms.
Officially, the Respondent has 30 days to answer the Petition. If all of your attempts to serve your spouse with the document failed, you should request an alternative method of service called a Divorce by Publication. The Summons of your divorce must be published in a local newspaper as an official notice for the missing spouse, and you must pay the newspaper to do this. After the publication, and if there is still no response the uncontested divorce can be granted under your conditions.
Default Divorce in Oregon
Default divorce means the divorce finalization without the Respondent’s participance. It can be granted if your spouse fails to give an answer to the court for 90 days or refuses to sign the document.
During the Default proceeding your interests and requests will be likely considered as the only.
Annulment of the Marriage in Oregon
Annulment is a procedure of terminating the marriage by declaring it void from the very beginning as if the marriage never happened.
In Oregon, there two types of marriages that are subject to be annulled:
- Void Marriages. Marriages that are prohibited by the state law, such as:
- bigamy and polygamy;
- incest (marriage to first cousin or closer relative).
- Voidable marriages. Originally valid but can be classified as illegal under some circumstances. Grounds for voidable marriages can be waived by, for example, cohabitation after the condition is discovered or cured. So, among voidable marriages are:
- underage marriage;
- one of the spouses is unable to consent to marriage due to mental incapacity;
- marriage consent was obtained by force or fraud.
But nevertheless, a voidable marriage can be cancelled if you contest it in court.
Legal Separation in Oregon
Legal Separation is recognized by Oregon laws and is usually elected by the couples who want to separate but cannot obtain a dissolution of marriage for some reasons (maybe they don’t meet residency requirements, or don’t want to lose an insurance etc). Generally, the Legal Separation offers the same rules of property division and custody issues as a regular divorce, but officially, the marriage remains valid.
Same-Sex Divorce in Oregon
Oregon laws recognized same-sex domestic partnerships in 2008, and in 2014, same-gender couples finally obtained a right to marry. The state also recognizes sex-same marriages of other states.
At the same time, Dissolution rules and laws became relevant for the same-gender couples too. Now, there are the same requirements, types of dissolution of marriage, and steps to be taken for all spouses who want to terminate their union.
Military Divorce in Oregon
Military divorce is alike to a civil, but there are still some tips for you to know.
In addition to the fact that you or your spouse must reside in Oregon, the requirements for the military divorce assume that you or your spouse can be stationed in Oregon.
Also, all the military members are protected from the default judgment by the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. It means that the dissolution proceeding may be postponed for the period of an active duty + 60 days after it so that the active service member could be served with the Summons and Petition. Surely, this right to delay the proceeding can be waived at the request of the military spouse.
How to Divorce a Spouse in Jail in Oregon
As Oregon is a no-fault state, your intention to get a divorce is enough to file a Petition with the court. You should serve your inmate spouse with the copy, using the help of sheriff service. Probably, your ex will not file a response, because he/she cannot do anything to stop the divorce proceeding anyway, and he/she will have to sign an Acceptance of Service, confirming that he/she received the papers.
So, if you have not any complex financial matters between you, you likely can get a quite easy uncontested divorce or Summary Dissolution.
Oregon Divorce Filing Fee
Divorce filing fee is an initial fee that is charged for court service. Its amount can vary by county and typically is around $200 - $300.
Fees for additional services are charged separately, for example, the cost of serving your spouse with the paperwork starts from $35.
Can a Filing Fee be Waived?
In Oregon, the filing fee can be both waived and deferred. In the first case, it means that you have not to pay the fee, and a deferred fee means that it should be paid later. The state court provides such forms to order the filing fee waiving/deferring:
- Application and Declaration for Deferral or Waiver of Fees
- Order Regarding Deferral or Waiver of Fees
- Limited or Supplemental Judgment and Money Award re: Deferred Fees.
So, if you need to waive or defer the filing fee, you must present an information about your income and assets to convince the court that you really experience a financial hardship.
How We Can Help
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