What Are The Grounds For Granting A Divorce In Oregon? Do I Have To Prove That My Spouse Did Something Wrong?

What Are The Grounds For Granting A Divorce In Oregon?

When married couples seek an Oregon divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, one spouse must file a petition with the court in the county that either party resides. The petitioner, the spouse who filed the suit, must state why they are seeking a divorce. The court can only grant the divorce based on the grounds stated in the state laws. Oregon law requires prospective spouses to have the capability and free will to get married. Therefore, a judge may grant a divorce if either spouse could not contract or consent to marriage because of their age, understanding, or lack of choice due to force or fraud.

Oregon is a no-fault divorce state, and the most common ground for granting a divorce in Oregon is irreconcilable differences. The petitioner does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong in the marriage. The spouses only need to show that the differences caused a breakdown in the union that they cannot repair. Oregon law abolished its fault grounds for divorce. Spouses can present evidence to the judge about specific instances of misconduct unless it is necessary to prove the irreconcilable differences. For example, a party can show the other spouse's misconduct when child custody is at issue in the case. However, fault does not factor into property division and distribution or spousal support. The court still assigns marital property to the spouses by equitable distribution based on several factors outlined in the law. The judge may order spousal support by designating one spouse to pay one or more types to the other spouse.

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