How to File for Divorce in Oregon

A couple sitting at a desk, hands folded. Their wedding rings are on the desk with a piece of paper under it. A paper heart torn in half rests below them.

Starting the Process Properly

If the marriage you’ve hoped to have just isn’t working out, it may be time to look into ending the relationship with a Portland, OR divorce. Many who consider divorce, however, are unsure of how to start the process and what is involved. Here is what you should know about filing for divorce in Oregon.

No Reason Needed

Before you begin the divorce process, keep in mind that Oregon is a “no-fault” state as it relates to divorce, which means that you do not have to have a reason such as infidelity or cruelty as your basis for seeking a divorce. Instead, you can merely cite differences that are causing the relationship to be irreparable, which is an acceptable reason for the divorce.

Starting Requirements

In order to begin the divorce process, you must meet certain requirements in the state of Oregon. You or your spouse must live in Oregon and have lived here for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. If you can check this box, then you can begin filing.

Filing for Divorce

Your first step in filing for divorce is to fill out a petition for dissolution of marriage; this form will vary depending on if you and your spouse have children and whether or not you are filing on your own (sole petition) or with your spouse in a mutual decision (co-petition). You should file this with the county courthouse where you and your spouse are residents. This petition lists your request for dissolution of marriage as well as what you are asking for in the divorce. You can either fill out this paperwork yourself or have the assistance of your attorney.

At this time, you must also pay the fees necessary to file for divorce. Filing for divorce costs approximately $400, but each county tends to have different fees depending on their services. If you are unsure of what the cost will be, it’s best to call your local county clerk’s office in order to determine your exact cost for filing.

Once you have filed the petition, the next step is to have that paperwork served to your spouse. Serving your spouse essentially just means they are given a copy of the divorce petition. Note that you cannot serve your spouse these papers on your own; this must be done in an official manner. If you are working with an attorney at this time, they can have the paperwork served on your behalf; otherwise, you can have the local sheriff’s office serve the paperwork for a fee.

Your spouse can then either sign the paperwork acknowledging they have received the petition or they can contest the divorce.

What Happens After Paperwork is Complete

With no waiting period in Oregon, how long your divorce takes and what occurs will vary depending on a number of factors. If you and your spouse co-filed for divorce or your spouse does not contest your petition, then provided you two can come to an agreement on a settlement, your divorce could be completed rather quickly. If, however, you have more issues that need resolution or your spouse contests the divorce, then your divorce may last longer.

You and your spouse can then work to resolve issues such as child custody, spousal support, and property division, either on your own, through mediation, or with court assistance.

Working with an Oregon Attorney

Whether you have questions about divorce or are ready to get started, it is crucial to work with an attorney capable of handling your case and helping you work through your marital issues. Levine Law Center LLC has worked with numerous clients on their divorces and has helped them achieve the best possible outcome. Let us do the same for you.

To set up a consultation with our Oregon attorneys, call us at (503) 433-8340 or visit our website and fill out an online form.