Oregon divorce details
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Uncontested VS Contested Divorce in Oregon
Considering a dissolution of the marriage, there is the choice between contested and uncontested divorce. A contested divorce refers to the “traditional” proceeding that includes cooperation with attorneys, several court hearings and interviews, and a lot of time and money spent to get a result. A contested divorce is necessary when there is a case that cannot be resolved wisely with a lawyer’s help. If you have a complicated relationship with your spouse and are afraid of losing rights to property during the divorce, you should definitely contest your case. But fortunately, most divorce cases can be finalized without unnecessary complications. As a result, 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 on all the issues of their case without the court orders. They may still request an attorneys’ help if they want to, but they just need to make a Marital Settlement Agreement that work for both of them.
An uncontested divorce in Oregon can be finalized without the couple having to attend court, but it depends on whether the spouses meet the requirements needed to file for a “Summary Dissolution”. If not, they can still get a simple divorce, but must attend a court hearing.
Dissolution of marriage can be initiated by both one of the spouses or jointly. If you decide to file as co-petitioners, you can get a divorce in less than 2 weeks.
Grounds for Divorce in Oregon
Oregon is a “no-fault state”, which means that the only official ground for dissolution is irreconcilable differences.
Furthermore, the Petitioner (the spouse who initiates the divorce) does not need to seek consent for a dissolution of marriage from the other spouse. The intent of one spouse is enough to grant a divorce and you are not required to prove anything or to disclose something personally relevant.
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Oregon Residency Requirements to File for Divorce
To file for divorce in Oregon, you should first check whether you meet the state’s residency requirements.
Either one or both of the spouses must live in Oregon for at least 6 months before filing a petition. Furthermore, unlike most other states, it is allowed to arrange a divorce in Oregon if the spouses were married there, 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 order to file for an uncontested divorce and arrange it without any court hearings, you must meet the following requirements:
- Length of marriage is 10 years or less
- You have no children together
- 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
- There is no request for spousal support
- There are no divorce, separation, or annulment actions pending in any other state
- Both you and your spouse agree on all issues related to asset and debt division.
If you satisfy these requirements, the next step is to file the paperwork with the court (in person or through the mail).
If you file as a sole petitioner, you must serve your spouse with the Summons and Petition, and they have 30 days to respond.
It is better to file as co-petitioners. As Oregon no longer has a waiting period, your divorce can be finalized in just a 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 are 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, as it can help to arrange children-related aspects of the case.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Oregon
Do-it-Yourself divorce refers to a process where all the steps of the divorce procedures are arranged by the spouses independently. This involves preparing all the documents and representing yourself in court without the help of an attorney. The step of preparing the documents correctly can be quite tricky, so you can request the help of online services. If you are fully prepared and are fully aware of the process, a DIY divorce can help save you a lot of time and money.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?
The final cost of a divorce can include the 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 starting price for dissolution of marriage in Oregon is equal to the filing fee. The average filing fee in Oregon is about $300, but it varies by county.
On the other hand, the average cost of a contested divorce in Oregon is around $12,700 including $10,000 in attorney fees ($240 per hour).
How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Oregon?
The time it takes to get a divorce depends on the type of your divorce. If you file for dissolution of marriage as co-petitioners, it typically take about 2 weeks or even less. If you file as a sole 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.
How to Serve Your Spouse in Oregon
If you decide to file for dissolution as a sole petitioner, it is your responsibility to serve your spouse with the divorce paperwork as soon as you file with the court. Your spouse can sign an Acceptance of Service form and waive the "service of process", confirming that they received the papers.
You can also use a private process service or sheriff service to deliver the documents. This typically costs about $60.
The rarest and most expensive option is a notice by publication. It may be needed if you cannot locate your spouse.
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Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Oregon
The forms and documents that you may need for your particular divorce case varies depending on your circumstances. Nevertheless, below is a list of the main documents you need to file for divorce in Oregon:
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/RDP.
This is the main document that starts the case. It states that you are seeking a divorce, and what 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. They must respond to 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 court with some personal data regarding the spouses and their marriage.
- Child Support Computation Worksheets (CSCW).
This is used to calculate the amount of child support, according to the state guidelines.
- General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
This is 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.
Online Divorce in Oregon
Online divorce refers to the process of preparing all the necessary documents accurately through an online service. You just need to order the papers, pay the filing fee, print out the documents, and file them at court. Such a process can help you save a lot of money as compared to getting the documents completed with the help of an attorney. For just $139, you can rest assured that the documents are prepared accurately and on time to be approved by the court.
Rules for Child Support and Visitation in Oregon
Child support is a payment made from one parent to the other (from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent) for their child related expenses such as education, healthcare, general welfare, and others. 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 so that the formula could define a presumptively amount of child support.
There are 3 types of custody arrangements in Oregon.
- The most common is the case when the one party gets legal custody, and the other has some visitation rights (parenting time).
- Joint custody. It doesn't mean that both parents must spend 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 made 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 it.
There are 3 types of spousal support in Oregon:
- Transitional spousal support. Typically, one spouse can provide support for the other for a certain period of time, and it should be spent on educational purposes or with the aim to upgrade their professional skills. This is so that the spouse who is in need can become self-sufficient.
- Compensatory spousal support. This type of support helps to compensate for expenses that one of the spouses had spent on their partner's education or other activities that contributed to their earning capacity.
- Spousal maintenance. Oftentimes, it is ordered in cases when the marriage lasted long, and one of the spouses cannot be support themselves (because of a lack of experience, for example). This kind of support can be either temporary or ongoing.
Division of Property in Oregon
Oregon law claims property must be divided in a “just and proper way in all the circumstances”. As a result, Oregon is referred to as a "equitable distribution" state. It implies that property can be divided in different proportions, and every case is considered separately with many different factors affecting the result. Among these factors are: amount of property, each spouse’s contribution to the property (both financial and non-monetary), children’s needs, retirement plans, and others.
While marital property is divided, 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 part of property, so they are subject to division. As a result, credit cards, home loans, and other debts are also divided in an equitable (but not necessarily 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 is agreed on, 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 (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 such as property division, 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 this certain case (such as give legal advice or take someone's side).
Mediation usually plays an important role in uncontested cases (as the spouses must make their Separation Agreement), and sometimes, even can help reduce the likelihood that a trial will be necessary if the case was initially contested.
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How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in Oregon
In Oregon, it is possible to get a divorce even if you are unaware of your spouse’s location.
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 to 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 fail, 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 that the divorce is finalized without the Respondent’s participation. It can be granted if your spouse fails to give an answer to the court within 90 days or refuses to sign the document.
During the Default proceeding, your interests and requests will likely be granted.
Annulment of 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 are two types of marriages that are subject to annulment:
- 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. Others include:
- Underage marriage;
- One of the spouses was 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 reason (for example, they don’t meet the residency requirements, or don’t want to lose insurance). Generally, 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 the right to marry. The state also recognizes sex-same marriages of other states.
At the same time, dissolution rules and laws became relevant for same-gender couples too. Now, the requirements, types of dissolutions, and steps needed to be taken are all the same for all the couples who wish to terminate their union.
Military Divorce in Oregon
Military divorce is alike like a civil one, but there are still some things that you should 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.
Furthermore, all military members are protected from a default judgment by the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. This means that the dissolution proceeding may be postponed for the duration of active duty plus an additional 60 days after it so that the active service member can be served with the Summons and Petition. 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. Most likely, your spouse will not file a response, because they cannot do anything to stop the divorce proceeding anyway. They will have to sign an Acceptance of Service, confirming that they received the papers.
So, if you do not have any complex financial matters with your spouse, you can likely can an easy uncontested divorce or summary dissolution.
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Oregon Divorce Filing Fee
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
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 no not to pay the fee, and in the second case, it means that the fee can be paid later. The state court provides the following forms to either wave or defer the fee:
- 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.
If you need to waive or defer the filing fee, you must present information about your income and assets to convince the court that you are really facing financial hardship.
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