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Divorce Laws in Oregon

During a divorce, in Oregon, the court may order a couple to engage in a conciliation attempt. This will put the divorce on hold and can last for no longer than 45 days. If reconciliation or an agreement is not reached during this time, the divorce will continue, picking up where it left off.

Oregon has a 90-day waiting period for divorce.

Oregon law strongly states that child support and visitation are granted for the benefit of the child, not the parents. A parent who refuses visitation due to the other parent’s failure to pay court ordered support, or a parent who refuses to pay support because he or she has been denied court ordered visitation, can be fined or imprisoned.

Residency and jurisdiction in Oregon
To file for divorce in Oregon, at least one spouse must live in the State for at least six months before filing unless the marriage took place in the state. If the couple was married in Oregon then at least one spouse must currently live in the State, but there is no minimum amount of time.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce in Oregon
Oregon grants fault and no fault divorce. No fault divorce will be granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.

Oregon has very limited grounds for fault which are:

  • Either spouse was incapable of entering the marriage because he or she was either under the legal age of consent or mentally incompetent
  • Either spouse entered the marriage due to force or fraud

Division of property in Oregon
Oregon is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50, but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. Important elements of property division in Oregon include:

  • Marital fault is not a factor when dividing property
  • Retirement benefits are treated as property
  • Contribution as a homemaker is considered a contribution to the acquisition of assets
  • The court will assume that both spouses have contributed equally to the acquisition of both joint and separate property

Spousal support in Oregon
Oregon grants three types of spousal support. Transitional support, called rehabilitative support in most states, is provided to assist the supported spouse while he or she pursues the education or training necessary to become self supporting. Compensatory support pays back the spouse who has contributed to the earning capacity or career of the paying spouse. The third type of support is spousal maintenance which may be paid for a specified or indefinite period of time.

Factors the court must consider when awarding transitional support include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Employment skills and training
  • Work experience
  • Financial needs and resources
  • Parental responsibilities
  • Tax consequences

Factors the court must consider when awarding compensatory support include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Amount, length and type of contribution made to the other spouse
  • Earning capacities of each spouse
  • The extent to which the marital estate has already benefited from the contribution
  • Tax consequences

Factors the court must consider when awarding spousal maintenance include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Age
  • Physical, mental, and emotional health
  • Earning capacity and income, without considering property awarded to the receiving spouse
  • Employment skills and training
  • Work experience
  • Financial needs and resources
  • Parental responsibilities
  • Tax consequences

Child custody and support in Oregon
Oregon allows the court to establish a general or a detailed parenting plan, when establishing custody. If a general plan is ordered, the parents are allowed to work out the details on their own. A general parenting plan must include the minimum amount of visitation and access to the child that the non-custodial parent must be allowed.

A detailed parenting plan may include instructions for:

  • Residence of the child
  • Holidays, birthdays and vacations
  • Weekends including “three day” weekends
  • Decision making and responsibility
  • Information sharing and access
  • Relocation
  • Telephone access
  • Transportation
  • Methods for solving disputes

When determining custody the court must consider:

  • Emotional ties between the child and other family members
  • Attitude toward the child
  • Desirability of continuing an existing relationship
  • Abuse of the other parent
  • Preference of the primary caregiver
  • Willingness to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parent, unless the other parent has abused or sexually assault the parent or child

Oregon uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. The court may require the paying parent to obtain life insurance in order to guarantee support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Oregon, contact an experienced Oregon divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Oregon and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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