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Oregon Divorce Laws

The following Oregon divorce laws are unique to those people who wish to terminate their marriage.

We are providing the important divorce laws in Oregon online as an easy reference guide to help you while you are completing your divorce.

Residency Requirements: In order to file for a divorce in Oregon, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. These requirements permit the court to have jurisdiction of your case, resulting in allowing you to use their judicial system. These requirements are only a concern for spouses who have recently relocated or plan to relocate in the near future. They are as follows:

The parties may file for a dissolution of marriage in Oregon if: The marriage took place in the state and either party is a resident of or domiciled in the state or at least one party must be a resident of or be domiciled in this state at the time the suit is commenced and continuously for a period of six months prior thereto.

A petition for marital annulment, dissolution or separation may be filed only in a county in which the petitioner or respondent resides. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 14.070, 107.065, 107.075)

No-Fault Grounds: Most uncontested divorce cases are filed according to a "no-fault" ground. We are using the term "no-fault" in a generic fashion by labeling all grounds that do not actually declare a "fault" as "no-fault". In the state of Oregon the "no-fault" grounds are as follows:

(1) Irreconcilable differences between the parties have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.025, 107.036, 107.015)

Filing Party Name: The Petitioner or Co-Petitioner. This is the spouse who is recognized as the initiator of the divorce and is the one who actually files the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the county court.

Non-Filing Party Name: The Respondent or Co-Petitioner. This spouse plays a lesser role in an uncontested divorce versus a contested divorce. He or she will be required to sign and/or respond in a timely fashion to the documents filed by his or her spouse.

Family Law or Domestic Relations Court: In the Circuit Court for the State of Oregon for the County of __________. All divorce cases in the state of Oregon are facilitated through this court for that particular county.

Clerk's Name: All correspondence with a Oregon clerk of the court should formally address him or her as follows: Office of the Clerk of the County Circuit Court.

Property and Debt Division: Oregon is considered an "equitable distribution" state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on how the marital property will be divided, the court shall use a three step process. First, it will determine what property is marital. Second, it will put a value on the marital property. Third, it will divide the marital property in an equitable fashion, which is not necessarily equal, but rather what is considered to be fair.

In dividing, awarding and distributing the real and personal property (or both) of the parties (or either of them) between the parties, or in making such property or any of it subject to a trust, and in fixing the amount and duration of the contribution one party is to make to the support of the other, the court shall not consider the fault, if any, of either of the parties in causing grounds for the annulment or dissolution of the marriage or for separation.

For the division or other disposition between the parties of the real or personal property, or both, of either or both of the parties as may be just and proper in all the circumstances. A retirement plan or pension or an interest therein shall be considered as property. The court shall consider the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker as a contribution to the acquisition of marital assets. There is a rebuttable presumption that both spouses have contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage, whether such property is jointly or separately held. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.036, 107.105)

Changing Name: The name of either spouse to a name the spouse held before the marriage. The court shall order a change if it is requested by the affected party. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.105)

Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony: Determining the amount of spousal support, if any, is not as objective as determining child support. Spousal support, whether permanent or temporary, is typically decided on a case-by-case basis, because it is very likely that unique circumstances and factors regarding the marriage and the property award will play a significant role in allowing the court to arrive at the appropriate amount.

The factors to be considered by the court in awarding transitional spousal support include but are not limited to: (i) The duration of the marriage; (ii) A party's training and employment skills; (iii) A party's work experience; (iv) The financial needs and resources of each party; (v) The tax consequences to each party; (vi) A party's custodial and child support responsibilities; and (vii) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.

The factors to be considered by the court in awarding compensatory spousal support include but are not limited to: (i) The amount, duration and nature of the contribution; (ii) The duration of the marriage; (iii) The relative earning capacity of the parties; (iv) The extent to which the marital estate has already benefited from the contribution; (v) The tax consequences to each party; and (vi) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.

The factors to be considered by the court in awarding spousal maintenance include but are not limited to: (i) The duration of the marriage; (ii) The age of the parties; (iii) The health of the parties, including their physical, mental and emotional condition; (iv) The standard of living established during the marriage; (v) The relative income and earning capacity of the parties, recognizing that the wage earner's continuing income may be a basis for support distinct from the income that the supported spouse may receive from the distribution of marital property; (vi) A party's training and employment skills; (vii) A party's work experience; (viii) The financial needs and resources of each party; (ix) The tax consequences to each party; (x) A party's custodial and child support responsibilities; and (xi) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.036, 107.105, 107.412)

Custody and Visitation: Shared or joint child custody has become more and more popular with the Oregon courts. If you and your spouse request to have joint or shared "legal" custody, it will almost always be granted. As for joint or shared "physical" custody, the court will examine this a bit more closely to determine if it is a realistic choice that would result in an arrangement that is best for the children.

A general parenting plan may include a general outline of how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be shared and may allow the parents to develop a more detailed agreement on an informal basis. However, a general parenting plan must set forth the minimum amount of parenting time and access a noncustodial parent is entitled to have.

The court shall consider the following relevant factors in making a custody award: (1) The emotional ties between the child and other family members; (2) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child; (3) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship; (4) The abuse of one parent by the other; (5) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and (6) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.105, 107.137, 107.169)

Determining Child Support: The basis for determining a monthly support amount is best achieved by referring to the Oregon child support worksheet. The worksheet utilizes the child support guidelines that are defined by state law. The court will use this same worksheet as a building block for determining the support obligation.

The terms of child support and parenting time (visitation) are designed for the child's benefit and not the parents' benefit. You must pay support even if you are not receiving visitation. You must comply with visitation orders even if you are not receiving child support. Violation of child support orders and visitation orders is punishable by fine, imprisonment or other penalties.

When the court issues a child support obligation it may also require the obligor (paying parent) to have a life insurance policy with the children as the beneficiaries to ensure future support.

When the court determines the appropriate support amount it will use the current state child support guidelines and also consider the following factors: the opportunity each parent has to borrow funds; the earning capacity of each parent; the income history of each parent; the overall needs of the child; the needs of any other dependents; and any other relevant factors. (Oregon Statutes - Volume 2 - Sections: 107.105, 107.106, 107.820)

Copyright Notice: These Oregon divorce laws above are copyrighted by 3 Step Solutions, LLC. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.

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