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Understanding the Divorce Process in Oregon

Published June 2, 2021
The Oregon divorce process offers couples the opportunity to collaborate on the terms of their divorce through mediation, while contentious divorces may proceed to court for a resolution. Either way, a divorce lawyer can help you obtain the support you need to move forward.

If you have come to the realization that divorce might be your best option for moving forward, you likely have several questions and concerns about the process. In Oregon, there are several steps that need to be completed before your divorce is finalized. You may wonder whether you’ll need an attorney, or whether you’ll be able to negotiate the terms of your divorce through mediation. Or, perhaps you are struggling with a contentious separation that may need to be resolved in court. It’s worth taking a few minutes to look at the general process for obtaining a divorce in Oregon so that you can understand your options moving forward.

Elements of a Divorce Proceeding in Oregon

No matter how divorce is achieved, the final divorce judgment will decide several important factors. It will state the date on which your marriage legally ends, clarify spousal support obligations, and determine the division of property and debts. If you have children, the final judgment will also detail child custody and visitation schedules, child support obligations, and other important child-related matters. The purpose of the divorce judgment is to ensure both parties have successfully dissolved their marriage and understand their obligations and responsibilities as they go their separate ways.

Initiating the Oregon Divorce Process 

Oregon is considered a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you or your spouse may initiate the divorce process without having to establish wrongdoing on the part of your spouse; rather, you may cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason you and your spouse are separating. If you or your spouse has lived in Oregon for more than six months, you can start the divorce process by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage at the local county courthouse. This petition will then be “served” or delivered to your spouse, informing them of your intention to pursue a divorce. From there, you may be asked to try negotiating the terms of your divorce through mediation. In particularly contentious cases where collaboration is impossible, the negotiations may take place in court.

How an Attorney Can Help

If you are facing a contentious divorce, working with an experienced divorce and family law attorney is essential. Your attorney will work hard to protect your best interests—and those of your children—and ensure that you obtain an equitable outcome. Even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms and plan on navigating the divorce process through mediation and collaboration, it is still a good idea to have an attorney look over the paperwork to make sure you both have the support you need to move forward. 


For personalized and compassionate legal assistance with your divorce in the Portland area, reach out to Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today by calling (503) 233-8868.

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