Oregon Divorce Law

Divorce – State Law Summary – Oregon

Notes:  This summary is not intended to be an all-inclusive summary of the laws of divorce in the State of Oregon, but does contain basic and other procedures.

The State of Oregon permits a judgement of dissolution of marriage to be granted upon the following grounds:

1. When either party to the marriage was incapable of entering into the marriage contract because the party was under the legal age to so contract or due to insufficient understanding

2. When consent to the marital contract was obtained by force or fraud

3. Irreconcilable differences which have caused an irremediable breakdown of the marriage.  107.015, 107.025

Residency requirements
If the marriage was not solemnized in the State of Oregon, at least one of the parties to the marriage must have resided in Oregon for at least six continuous months immediately prior to the filing of the petition.  If the marriage was solemnized in the State of Oregon, there is no length of residence requirement for either party as long as one party is a resident. 107.075

A petition for dissolution may be filed in the county where either party resides.  107.075

Name of court and title of action/parties
An action for dissolution of marriage filed in the State of Oregon is filed in the Circuit Court.  The title of the action initiating the dissolution proceeding is a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, while the title of the action granting the dissolution is a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.  The filing party is referred to as the Petitioner, while the other party to the proceeding is the Respondent.  If the action is filed jointly, both parties are referred to as Co-Petitioners. 107.085

Legal separation
The State of Oregon permits judgements of legal separation to be granted upon the grounds of irreconcilable differences between the parties that has caused a temporary or unlimited breakdown of the marriage. 107.025

Waiting period
Generally, there is a ninety day waiting period from the date of service of the summons and petition upon the respondent or the first publication of the summons to the trial or hearing on the merits of the dissolution petition.  The court may, however, upon written motion supported by affidavit, waive the waiting period.  In addition, if the parties have filed the dissolution petition jointly or the respondent has waived further appearance or permits a default judgement to be taken, the court may enter a judgement of dissolution upon affidavit of the petitioner or co-petitioners.  107.095

Summary dissolution proceedings
A marriage may be dissolved by summary proceedings in the State of Oregon when the following conditions are met:
1. The parties seek dissolution based upon irreconcilable differences and the residence requirements are met
2. There are no children of the marriage and the wife is not pregnant
3. The marriage has not existed for more than 10 years
4. Neither party has any interest in real property
5. There are no unpaid obligations in excess of $15,000 incurred by either or both parties since the date of marriage
6. The total aggregate fair market value of all personal property assets of either party does not exceed $30,000
7. The petitioner waives any right to spousal support
8. The petitioner waives any right to pendente lite orders
9. The petitioner knows of no other pending domestic relations suit involving the marriage in the State of Oregon or any other state.  107.485

Either party to a dissolution proceeding may be ordered to pay alimony to the other.  Said support may be in gross amount or in installments, or both.  Oregon recognizes three types of alimony.

1. Transitional support- Support ordered to permit a party to attain education and training necessary for reentry into the job market or advancement therein.  Factors the court will consider in awarding this type of support include:
a. The duration of the marriage
b. A party’s training and employment skills
c. The financial needs and resources of each party
d. Tax consequences to each party
e. Custodial and child support responsibilities
f. Any other factor deemed relevant and just.

2. Compensatory support-  Support ordered to compensate one spouse for significant financial or other contributions to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other spouse.  Factors the court will consider in awarding this type of support include:
a. The amount, duration, and nature of the contribution
b. The duration of the marriage
c. The relative earning capacity of the parties
d. The extent that the marital estate benefited from the contribution
e. Any other factor deemed relevant and just.

3. Spousal maintenance-  Support ordered to support a spouse for a specified or indefinite period.  Factors the court will consider in awarding this type of support include:
a. The duration of the marriage
b. The age of the parties
c. The physical, mental and emotional health of the parties
d. The standard of living established during the marriage
e. The relative income and earning capacity of the parties
f. A party’s training and employment skills
g. A party’s work experience
h. The financial needs and resources of each party
i. The tax consequences to each party
j. A party’s custodial and child support responsibilities
k. Any other factor deemed relevant and just.  107.105

Distribution of property
The court will divide all of the property of the parties, whether jointly or separately held, as it deems equitable and just.  There is a rebuttable presumption that both spouses contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage.  Prior to distribution, the court will require full disclosure of all assets owned by the parties. 107.105

In any case involving minor children where it appears that custody, parenting time, or visitation is contested, the court may refer the parties to mediation to assist the parties in resolving the contested issues. 107.765

Child custody
Custody of minor children of the marriage will be determined according to the best interests of the children.  Factors the court will consider in determining the child’s best interests include:
1. The emotional ties between the child and other family members
2. The interests 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 of the child
6. The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and other parent.

No preference shall be given to either parent based solely on the parent’s status as father or mother.

In addition, any order or judgement providing for custody must include provisions addressing the issues of payment of uninsured medical expenses, maintenance of insurance or other security for support, and maintenance of health insurance for the child.  107.106, 107.137

Child support
Oregon has enacted child support guidelines which establish the presumptive correct amount of child support to be paid for each minor child. 107.105

Name change
The court will change the name of a party to any former or maiden name upon request.  107.105

Inside Oregon Divorce Law