Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
An Oregon divorce is called a dissolution of marriage. It is necessary to legally end a marriage or registered domestic partnership (RDP) between a same-sex couple. If you want to marry again, or separate your financial and credit history from your former partner, you will need to file a petition and go through the divorce process.
Oregon is a “no-fault” divorce state. That means if either spouse or partner wants to dissolve the marriage, that spouse may request a dissolution of marriage without showing the other has done anything wrong. Instead, your Oregon divorce lawyer will help you prepare a petition that cites “irreconcilable differences that have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.” In other words, that the marriage has broken down and can’t be fixed.
Oregon family law judges apply the same rules for child custody and parenting time in a divorce or custody action between unmarried parents. The court will consider what is best for the child before awarding child custody (decision-making authority) and creating a parenting time plan that assigns visitation times for each parent. In most cases, the court will encourage the parties to resolve child custody and parenting time disputes themselves through mediation and other forms of negotiation. This is generally best for all involved. However, when the parties cannot agree, the court is able to make the final decision.
Alimony is now called spousal support or partner support. It isn’t granted in every case, but if you have been in a long marriage, need help transitioning back into the workforce, or have become used to a particular lifestyle, the court may grant you spousal support. This award could be transitional (short-term), compensatory (part of the distribution of assets), or maintenance support.
Oregon is an equitable distribution state. In a divorce, the court will distribute the spouses’ assets and debts in a way the court thinks is fair. This includes anything in the inventory of property owned or debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to equity from your home, a portion of your spouse’s 401k, or ongoing pension payments even long after the divorce is settled. It is important to discuss your short- and long-term priorities with an experienced Oregon divorce lawyer so that you can be sure to have assets to cover your immediate needs, as well as provide for your future.
There is no one price for a dissolution of marriage. The court charges a filing fee, as well as additional fees for services, settlement conferences, and the trial. The more hearings you take to resolve your case, the more you will pay to the courts. The same is true for attorney fees. Whether you work with a divorce consultant, hire a lawyer to draft up your agreement with your spouse, or need to litigate all the details, it will affect how much you will pay your lawyer. The longer, and more complicated your case becomes, the more you can expect to pay in legal fees.
Compassionate, Competent Legal Representation for Oregon Divorce Matters
Coast Family Law regularly represents clients in courts along the Oregon coast, including Clatsop and Tillamook counties. Our office is in Gearhart, conveniently located between Astoria and Tillamook. We invite you to contact us at (503) 739-7616 or using our online contact form to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney. We look forward to working with you.