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 mixed emotions — anger, sadness, and confusion. These feelings are more acute when a divorcing couple in Portland 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. 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?
Contact Our Portland Divorce Attorneys at (503) 433-8340 Today for an Honest Assessment of Your Case.
Family Law Matters in Portland, Oregon
Asset division, spousal and child support, and child custody are just a few legal family law issues that may arise throughout your divorce. Once you hire our family law attorneys in Portland, our job is 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 family attorneys in Portland 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 to get a dissolution of marriage is not an option in Oregon’s divorce laws. Instead, a spouse or couple needs to claim there are “irreconcilable differences” and that the marriage is broken beyond repair.
It’s important to note that couples could use faults to decide matters related to divorce, such as property division, spousal support, child custody, child support, etc.
There are a few critical aspects to the Oregon divorce process that you should note if you consider annulment in the state.
- Residency requirement – Like most states, Oregon has a residency requirement that a couple must meet to file for a dissolution of marriage. At least one of the spouses must be an Oregon resident for six or more months before the couple can file. If the couple was married there, and one spouse resides in the state, this will also satisfy the residency requirement. If you are required to "prove residency," you can do so in many ways, including 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 be completed within several days, depending on when the judge signs. Remember that this is for a minimum official separation in which both parties agree to the terms. If disagreements occur during the filing, the waiting period will largely depend on how many matters will be taken to trial.
- Basic process – If a couple is filing for an uncontested divorce, they will file as co-petitioners. However, if it is a contested divorce, one spouse will initiate the divorce as the sole petitioner. The sole petitioner will file for official separation and serve the other spouse (or respondent) with the divorce papers. The respondent will have 30 days to respond to the initial petition for divorce. If there is no response, the petitioner may enter into default, which would move the annulment process forward.
Without a doubt, the cost of divorce is among anyone’s critical concerns with this process. A divorce may cost between $10,000 to $15,000 to settle, but this assumes the marital estate is modest and most of the annulment 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 family law issues a separation must resolve, the longer it may take. That can translate to higher costs in court fees and attorney’s fees. Remember that each divorce case is unique, but your family law attorneys may be able to ascertain a ballpark figure for what your divorce could cost.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyer in Portland 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.
However, it may be possible to complete the divorce in weeks for a simple, uncontested divorce with minimal property and assets and no children.
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 children. These issues can take a long time to resolve if they are disputed since divorce court dates are subject to 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 determine how they will be split. All of these add to the timetable.
Regarding divorce, Oregon is an "equitable distribution" state, not a 50/50 state. This means that the court will divide marital property in a "fair and impartial" way, which does not necessarily mean equal.
In addition, Oregon courts will always assume that each spouse contributed equally to the marriage. Debt is also handled similarly, where both parties are responsible.
Regarding asset division in Oregon, it's crucial to have an aggressive,
experienced divorce attorney in Portland on your side.
Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Portland?
Although courts in Portland 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 your ideal outcomes regarding property division, child custody, and spousal support, as well as time to prepare any financial statements/legal documents/other vital papers. You will also have time to find the best divorce attorney Portland has to offer for your case.
Prevent your spouse from hiding assets - Depending on the circumstances of your separation, 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 divorce lawyer in the Portland area, could help you make a convincing first impression.
There are only a few disadvantages to filing first, but you should be able to do so. First, 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 family law attorney, giving them ample time to reply. Still, if you have created a solid evidence foundation and communicated everything with your divorce lawyer, you should always aim to file first.
Contact Our Portland Family Law Attorney To Learn More About Oregon Divorce Laws
Levine Law Center is not your typical family law firm. Our attorneys take a fresh, innovative approach to family law, focusing on how we can match our services to our client's unique needs. Our family law lawyers are confident in understanding and addressing each client's immediate and long-term objectives.