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Oregon Information

Oregon Frequently Asked Questions
What are the grounds for Dissolution of a Marriage in Oregon?
Answer: Oregon is a “no fault” state. Marriages in Oregon are terminated by “dissolution”, without any requirement of a finding that one party is at fault. This means that you need only state that “irreconcilable differences have caused the immediate breakdown” of your marriage. The Court is not concerned with the specific problems that led to the breakdown of the marriage. Nor is there any need to show that one party is at fault. Technically, the term “divorce” is not used to describe the termination of a marriage under Oregon law. The term “dissolution” more accurately describes the no-fault process.
How is an action for divorce commenced in Oregon?
Answer: An action for divorce begins when you sign and file your Petition for divorce, which states that there has been a breakdown of your marriage, and sets forth your requests with respect to children, property, debts and support. You will also complete a Certificate of Residence, and a Record of Dissolution of Marriage, which asks for basic information regarding you and your spouse, such as addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.
What happens After the Petition for Dissolution is Filed?
Answer: After the Summons and Petition is filed with the Court and delivered to your spouse, you must wait at least ninety (90) days from the date your spouse is served before obtaining a Judgment of Divorce. Under the law, this period is intended to allow for possible reconciliation. The law states that this period does not apply to situations in which spouses file a co-petition for divorce. However, some counties require spouses who file a joint petition to sign a waiver of the ninety-day period.
Is it necessary to attend a court hearing?
Answer: Usually, no. In most cases, if the divorce is uncontested, then after the ninety-day waiting period, you file your appropriate forms with the clerk’s office and simply wait for the judge to sign your Judgment of Dissolution.
What factor is used by the court to determine custody of children?
Answer: Custody decisions are based on the “best interests” of the children. Under the law, neither the father nor the mother is given preference in determinations of custody. The Court will order the parent not having custody (the “non-custodial parent”) to pay child support based on his or her income.
What factors are used by the court to determine spousal support (alimony)?
Answer: The court considers such factors as the length of the marriage, the ages of the parties, their health and conditions, their work experience, their earning capacities, and any impaired future earning capacity. Other factors taken into account include the standard of living that parties had during the marriage, tax issues, and responsibility for debts.
How is child support determined under Oregon law?
Answer: Oregon child support is based upon official scales and formulas. Factors include the needs of the child, parent’s ability to pay support, standard of living child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved, educational and emotional needs of the child, potential earnings of the parents, needs of other children/dependents, and tax consequences.
What is the Procedure if my spouse and I file a Co-Petition for divorce?
Answer: On the same day that you and/or your spouse file a co-petition, you can also file the other forms necessary to complete your divorce, including
  1. Motion and order waiving 90-day waiting period;
  2. Motion for judgment without hearing; Affidavit of Petitioner;
  3. Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage;
  4. Child support computation worksheets if there are children involved;
  5. Support Order Abstract if child or spousal support is awarded.

The procedures for a co-petition are much simpler than those required if you are filing on your own (as a sole petitioner).

Are procedures for the divorce different if I chose to file as a sole petitioner (without my spouse’s signature on the petition)?
Answer: Yes, the divorce procedure is more complicated if you commence the case as the sole petitioner. The law requires that your divorce papers be served on your spouse by a competent individual who is over 18 years of age and who is not a party or an attorney for a party. The papers should be served on your spouse by the sheriff or a professional process server. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to serve the papers yourself. After service of the papers, the sheriff or process server will provide you with proof of service, which you should take to the clerk’s office to be placed in your court file. You must wait 30 days from the day after your spouse is served with the summons and petition. If your spouse has not filed an answer within this thirty-day period, you may file a motion and affidavit for judgment by default.
How can I obtain forms required for the dissolution proceeding?
Answer: Regardless of whether you will be filing a sole Petition, or a co-Petition for dissolution together with your spouse, you can utilize our on-line application form to obtain fully customized divorce papers, which are guaranteed to meet the filing requirements of your counties. Our customized forms contain your personal information. All you need to do is sign and deliver the papers to your local court clerk. Thousands of Americans have utilized our system to avoid the expense and hassle of hiring an attorney. If you and your spouse are in agreement on all issues, our system is perfect for you.
Why are Divorcetoday.com’s prices so much lower than the fees quoted by attorneys in my area?
Answer: We have a simple philosophy: You do not need to pay high legal fees for a simple divorce case! If you and your spouse have significant disputes, we encourage you to contact a lawyer. However, we believe that in cases where both parties are in agreement, our professionally prepared forms provide an ideal yet cost-effective solution. You pay only for the basic forms that you need, and your information is conveyed to us by a simple, secure on-line application form. All of our services are fully guaranteed. Unlike lawyers, we do not charge you for services that you do not need.
What is your refund policy?
Answer: Because the vast majority of our customers find that our forms and instructions are excellent, and give them the ability to obtain an inexpensive and hassle-free divorce, we gladly offer an unconditional, no-questions-asked refund if your request is made within ten days of your purchase. We guarantee all of our products and services.
Summary Of Oregon Divorce Law

The following is a brief summary of the divorce laws and procedures in Oregon. If you have questions, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of an attorney. The information contained herein is for information purposes only.

The only reason you need is that you and your spouse cannot get along, and you see no way of settling your problems. The law calls this “irreconcilable differences.”
In almost all cases, either you or your spouse must have lived in Oregon for six months before filing for divorce. In addition, the divorce must be filed in a county in which one of you lives.
If you or your spouse has lived in Oregon for six months or longer, you need to do three things to start your divorce: (1) You must pay or be excused from paying the fees that are charged for filing a divorce petition. There might also be costs for having your spouse served; (2) – You must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court clerk’s office at the courthouse. The petition states what you are asking for in the divorce; (3) You must have the petition and any other required documents served on (officially delivered to) your spouse. This lets your spouse know that a divorce action has been started and what you are asking for.
Court costs and filing fees range from $250-350. The court clerk’s office can tell you the costs and fees in your county. If you cannot afford to pay the costs and fees, you can ask the judge to waive or defer your payments to a later date.
The law usually requires a waiting period of 90 days before a divorce becomes final. This may not apply if you and your spouse are jointly filing the petition for dissolution.
Oregon Child Support Law

Oregon law currently provides that child support orders be established by a state mandated formula. The formula is presumed to be correct unless the court makes a specific finding that the formula would be unjust or inappropriate in that particular case.

The court will consider all earnings, income and resources of each parent, including salaries, wages, commissions, advances, bonuses, dividends, pensions, trusts, workers’ compensation, social security, unemployment, alimony and all other sources of income. The court will then use a chart (the Child Support Guidelines Scale) to calculate the needs of the children based on the combined gross income of both parents. The court will then calculate the obligation of the non-custodial parent as being that fraction of the needs of the children that his or her income represents in comparison to the combined gross incomes of both parties. The court must make adjustments in establishing the needs of the children by considering the cost of child care, recurring medical expenses, recurring educational expenses and the cost of health and dental insurance. The court will also consider the needs of other dependents, such as stepchildren and new children living in the home, as well as amounts paid as spousal support.

The following factors can be used to rebut the presumption that the amount calculated (under the Child Support Guidelines Scale) is appropriate: evidence regarding the other resources of a parent; necessities of a parent; net income; the ability to borrow; the number and needs of other dependents; the desirability of the custodial parent remaining at home; the tax consequences of spousal support; the tax consequences of who claims the child as a dependent; and the financial advantage afforded by one income of a spouse over someone living with the parent in a relationship similar to husband and wife. Unless the court finds that the presumption is rebutted or makes findings that the figure is unjust or inappropriate, support will be set at the amount arrived at by application of the formula.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Marital Settlement Agreements under Oregon Law
  1. Are a husband and wife permitted to resolve the financial issues relating to the dissolution of their marriage by entering into an agreement?Yes. The Oregon legislature has expressed a strong policy in favor of the enforceability of settlement agreements executed in the context of dissolution disputes. In 2001, the legislature enacted ORS 107.104,[fn2] which provides:
    1. It is the policy of this state:
      1. To encourage the settlement of suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation; and
      2. For courts to enforce the terms of settlements described in subsection (2) of this section to the fullest extent possible, except when to do so would violate the law or would clearly contravene public policy.
    2. In a suit for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, the court may enforce the terms set forth in a stipulated judgment signed by the parties, a judgment resulting from a settlement on the record or a judgment incorporating a marital settlement agreement:
      1. As contract terms using contract remedies;
      2. By imposing any remedy available to enforce a judgment, including but not limited to contempt; or
      3. By any combination of the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection.
  2. Are Marital Property Settlement Agreements Enforceable?Yes. Property settlement agreements that are incorporated into Oregon divorce judgments are fully enforceable through the same legal processes that apply to judgments that are entered by the court upon a plenary trial.
  3. Are There Provisions/Agreements that a Court may Refuse to Enforce?Yes, there are two types of circumstances in which a court in Oregon may decline to enforce an marital agreement. First, settlement agreements will not be enforced if doing so would contravene the law. ORS 107.104(1)(b) (it is the policy of the state “[f]or courts to enforce the terms of [settlement agreements] to the fullest extent possible, except when to do so would violate the law”); see McDonnal v. McDonnal, 293 Or 772, 779, 652 P2d 1247 (1982) (“[S]hort of conflict with the statutory powers of the court we recognize the court’s responsibility to discover and give effect to the intent of the parties as reflected in the incorporated settlement agreement.”). Second, even if enforcement would not directly violate the law, a separation agreement will not be enforced if doing so would contravene public policy. ORS 107.104(1)(b) (settlement agreements are to be enforced “to the fullest extent possible,” unless enforcement” would clearly contravene public policy”); See, e.g., Porter and Porter, 100 Or App 401, 404, 786 P2d 740, rev den, 310 Or 281 (1990) (“Courts should enforce, not disturb, negotiated settlement agreements, unless there is an overriding public policy reason for not doing so.”); Hearn and Hearn, 128 Or App 259, 265, 875 P2d 508 (1994)

The above information provided for general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. This information may not be applicable in all situations.


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