Portland Divorce Lawyer
File for Divorce in Oregon
Nobody enters into a marriage expecting it will end in divorce. But when it happens, it is painful on so many levels. Those going through a divorce can experience a mix of emotions — anger, sadness, and confusion, among others. These feelings are more acute when a divorcing couple has children. On top of everything, there are financial and legal ramifications to a divorce that need to be assessed.
If you are going through a divorce in the Portland area, please know that you are not alone — approximately half of all marriages end in divorce. The fact of the matter is that no divorce is easy; however, our Portland divorce attorney's mission at Levine Law Center is to make the process as pain-free for you as possible.
- No-Fault Divorce
- Oregon Divorce Process
- How Much Does a Divorce Cost in Oregon?
- How Long Does a Divorce Take in Oregon?
- Is Oregon a 50/50 State?
- Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?
Divorce Matters in Oregon
Asset division, spousal and child support, and child custody are just a few of the many legal issues that may arise throughout your divorce. Once you hire our Portland divorce attorneys, it is our job to be your number one advocate and ensure that your interests are strongly represented, in pursuit of a favorable outcome.
With experience and skill across all areas of family law, our Portland divorce lawyer at Levine Law Center can handle:
- Contested divorce
- Collaborative divorce
- High-asset divorce
- Divorce mediation
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Asset division
- Business valuation
- Protective orders
Oregon is an exclusively no-fault divorce state. This means that proving fault in the other spouse in order to get a divorce is not an option in Oregon’s divorce laws. Instead, a spouse or couple simply needs to claim that there are “irreconcilable differences” and the marriage is broken beyond repair as a result.
It’s important to note though that faults could be used as a factor to decide matters related to divorce such as property division, spousal support, child custody, child support, etc.
There are a few key aspects to the Oregon divorce process that you should note if you are considering divorce in the state.
- Residency requirement – Like most states, Oregon has a residency requirement that a couple must meet in order to file for divorce in the state. At least one of the spouses needs to be an Oregon resident for 6 or more months before the couple can file for divorce there. If the couple was married there, and one spouse resides in the state, then this will also satisfy the residency requirement. If you are required to "prove residency", then you can do so in a multitude of ways which includes via driver's license, employment verification, current address on public assistance paperwork, or third-party testimony.
- Waiting period – Unlike many states, Oregon does not have a waiting period for a divorce to be finalized after the initial petition is filed. Your divorce decree can realistically be completed within several days, depending on when the judge signs. Keep in mind, this is for a bare minimum type of divorce in which both parties agree to the terms. If disagreements occur during the filing, then the waiting period will largely depend on how many matters will need to be taken to trial.
- Basic process – If a couple is filing for an uncontested divorce, then they will file as co-petitioners. However, if it is a contested divorce, then one spouse will initiate the divorce as the sole petitioner. The sole petitioner will file for divorce and the other spouse (or respondent) will be served with the divorce papers. The respondent will have 30 days to respond to the initial petition for divorce. If there is no response, then the petitioner may enter into default which would move the divorce process forward regardless.
Without a doubt, the cost of divorce is among anyone’s key concerns with this process. When all is said and done, a divorce may cost somewhere between $10,000 to $15,000 to settle, but this is assuming the marital estate is modest and most of the divorce goes smoothly.
Factors that can drive up the cost of divorce in Oregon include the following:
- Long-term marriage (10+ years)
- A large marital estate
- Complex ownership of property
- Children (determining custody and child support)
- Business ownership
- High level of contention between spouses
- Commingling separate property with marital assets
- Retirement investment accounts
The more complicated matters that a divorce must resolve, the longer it may take. That can translate to higher costs in court fees and attorney’s fees. Keep in mind that each divorce case is unique, but your attorney may be able to ascertain a ballpark figure for what your divorce could cost.
Contact our Portland divorce lawyer to learn more about the process for divorce in Oregon.
Oregon Divorce FAQ
Every divorce is unique, including how long it takes to be finalized. For a simple, uncontested divorce with minimal property and assets and no children, it may be possible to finalize the divorce in a matter of weeks.
Contested divorces can take a year or even several years to be finalized. This is because complex divorce cases involve extensive marital property, debts, assets, and/or children. These issues can take a long time to resolve if they are disputed, since divorce court dates are subject busy court schedules. Contested divorces may also undergo a discovery phase where issues like hidden assets/property are brought out into the open. If the spouses own a business together, or have high-value assets, then a valuation needs to take place to determine how they will be split. All of these add to the timetable.
When it comes to divorce, Oregon is an "equitable distribution" state, not a 50/50 state. This means that the court will divide marital property in a way that is "fair and impartial", which does not necessarily mean equally. In addition, Oregon courts will always assume that each spouse contributed equally to the marriage. Debt is also handled in the same manner, where both parties are responsible. When it comes to asset division in Oregon, it's important to have an experienced, aggressive Portland divorce lawyer on your side.
Although Oregon courts give no preference regarding who files first, there may be a few advantages to it, such as:
Time to prepare - If you file for divorce first, you’ve likely had time to consider what your ideal outcomes are regarding property division, child custody, and spousal support, as well as time to prepare any financial statements/legal documents/other important papers. You will also have time to find the best Portland divorce attorney for your case.
Prevent your spouse from hiding assets - Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, your spouse may attempt to hide assets or empty bank accounts if he or she decides to file first.
Setting jurisdiction - You will get to decide which county to file in, which makes it more convenient for you if you and your spouse live in different cities or states. Jurisdiction may impact child custody, spousal support, and more.
Presenting your case first - The spouse who files for divorce first gets to present his or her case first, which, with the help of an experienced Portland divorce lawyer, could help you make a convincing first impression.
There are only a couple disadvantages to filing first, but they shouldn't hinder you from doing so. The first is that you may create a negative first impression, which can snowball throughout your case, especially if a jury is involved. You will also show your strategy to the opposing attorney first, which gives them ample time for a reply. Still, if you have created a solid foundation of evidence and have communicated everything with your divorce lawyer, you should always aim to file first.
Contact Our Portland Divorce Attorney To Learn More About Oregon Divorce Laws
Levine Law Center is not your typical law firm. We take a fresh, innovative approach to divorce, focusing on how we can match our services to our clients’ unique needs. We are confident in our ability to understand and address each client’s immediate objectives and long-term goals.
With the right approach, your divorce just might open the door to a brighter future. Contact our Portland divorce lawyer to find out how.