Divorce is a hard time, but it does not need to be drawn out and contentious. There are a few types of divorce in Oregon that can lead to the end of the marriage. If the couple cannot agree on the essential elements of their breakup, they can file for a contested divorce. This means that they require mediation and court intervention to help them reach an amicable end to their marriage. Disagreements on issues like asset and debt division, child custody, or spousal support can lead to a contested divorce.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce is also called a dissolution of marriage. It is an end to the marriage in which both parties have agreed to all aspects of legal separation. Because they are in agreement, the couple can find themselves paying significantly less than an average divorce. Additionally, an uncontested divorce process is more straightforward and simple, and the waiting periods are often shorter. This can equate to less fighting and less stress in the long run.
Requirements for Summary Dissolution
Oregon is a no-fault state, meaning neither side must prove a reason for the divorce in order to be granted one. Either side can simply seek a divorce based on irreconcilable differences, and the state will grant it. The simplest form of dissolution is called a summary dissolution. As long as the spouses and marriage meet specific requirements, a court hearing can be avoided entirely. This is something of a “do-it-yourself divorce,” as it does not usually require an attorney. The requirements for summary dissolution are as follows:
- The marriage must have lasted less than ten years.
- The couple must have either no children or children who are grown and out of school.
- Neither party in the marriage is currently pregnant with the other’s child.
- The couple must own less than $30,000 in assets either together or separately.
- The couple must owe less than $15,000 in debt either together or individually.
- The couple must agree on the separation of all debts and assets.
- And finally, one or both spouses must have lived in Oregon for at least the last six months.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce
If you find that your marriage does not match each of these criteria, yet you believe you and your spouse can agree on all the requirements of a divorce, an uncontested divorce is probably right for you. Like with a summary dissolution, the couple can probably handle most of the prep work themselves. The Oregon court system offers the paperwork for dissolution online. Note how the forms are separated for couples with and without young children. Those with minor children will be required to submit a parenting plan that includes child support and will also need to attend a parenting education class on how the divorce may affect the children.
How an Attorney Can Help
An uncontested divorce is still a lasting legal document that will affect your children and property for the rest of your life. To ensure everything is filed correctly the first time, it is recommended that you hire an attorney to help with your uncontested divorce. An experienced attorney can assist with the collection and submission of all required paperwork. They can also spot any glaring mistakes that may halt or prolong the divorce proceedings. The packet of forms that Oregon requires can be dense and confusing, and your attorney will be experienced in the “legalese” that the forms contain. They can also catch any elements about your situation that may trigger a rejection from the court. Catching an issue before it causes a problem will ensure your uncontested divorce is completed quickly and easily. And that’s the reason you chose an uncontested divorce in the first place.
Assistance When Things Go Wrong
Another way an attorney can help is when the uncontested divorce is rejected. An overlooked asset may cause the court to reject your proposal for a dissolution. Your spouse may decide they no longer wish to cooperate on one or several of the required topics. If these things happen, the uncontested divorce must become a contested one, which involves litigation and court appearances. The next steps you take in this contingency are crucial ones, and you will benefit significantly by having legal aid at the ready.
If you are considering divorce, call the knowledgeable and sympathetic experts at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. at (503) 233-8868. Let us help make this difficult transition as smooth as possible.