What is separation?
In Oregon, a legal separation is similar to a divorce in that upon entry of a judgment of separation, a judge will divide the couple’s debts and assets, make child custody and parenting time decisions, and determine whether spousal support is necessary. The primary distinction between a legal separation and a divorce is that, even once a legal separation is final, the couple is technically still married. Thus, neither spouse can remarry unless one of the spouses later changes the separation to a divorce.
There are a few reasons why a couple may seek a judgment of separation rather than a divorce. For example, a couple may have irreconcilable differences could potentially improve over time. Legal separations can be temporary or indefinite. If one of the spouses later decides to convert the separation into a divorce proceeding, they can do so. Alternatively, if the parties work things out, a legal separation can be set aside so that it is no longer in effect.
Another reason why a couple may file for separation rather than divorce is that there are no residency requirements to file for an Oregon legal separation. To file for divorce in Oregon, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. That is not the case with a legal separation; either spouse can file the petition in the county where either spouse lives. Once a legal separation is filed, and the other spouse served, the court will impose a restraining order prohibiting either spouse from disposing of or diminishing marital assets. Under this order, spouses can only spend money on necessities, including food, shelter and medical treatment.
Certainly, legal separations have a limited purpose. However, the few reasons why a couple may choose to file for a legal separation over a divorce:
- If neither of the spouses meet the residency requirement to obtain an Oregon divorce;
- If either of the parties have a religious or moral objection to getting divorced;
- After a legal separation, one spouse may be able to stay on the other spouse’s insurance policies; and,
- If the parties do not desire the finality of a divorce, but want a court to divide the couple’s property, make custody decisions and award spousal support.
Legal separations are also useful for parties who intend on divorcing, and want to get the process started, but do not want to rush into the process. For example, if one spouse was a homemaker, filing for separation before divorce may give that spouse time to get in a better financial position before initiating the divorce proceeding. Legal separations are also commonly used to allow children to finish out a school year before starting the divorce process.
Other Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I File For Divorce In Oregon If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?
- Can My Spouse Keep My Children From Me While Our Oregon Divorce Is Pending?
- Do I Have To Move Out Of My Home During A Divorce?
- Do Stepparents Have Rights In An Oregon Divorce?
- Do You Have To Go To Court To Get A Divorce?
- Does A Non-Custodial Parent Automatically Have Parenting Time After An Oregon Divorce?
- Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First In Oregon?
- How Do Courts Determine Child Custody in an Oregon Divorce?
- How Do I File For Divorce In Portland?
- How Do I Separate From My Spouse?
- How Does Divorce Impact Financial Aid For My Child’s College Education?
- How Does The Process Of Serving Divorce Papers Work?
- How Is Debt Divided During Divorce?
- How Is Property Divided During Divorce?
- How Long Do You Have To Be Separated To Get A Divorce?
- How Long Does It Take To Get A Divorce?
- How Much Does A Divorce Cost?
- How To Start A Divorce Conversation?
- How To Start A Divorce Process?
- Is It True That I Will Need To Complete A Parenting Class Before The Court Finalizes My Divorce?
- Is There A Waiting Period Before A Divorce Is Granted In Oregon?
- Should I Move Out During The Divorce?
- What Am I Not Allowed to Do During a Divorce?
- What Are The Grounds For Granting A Divorce In Oregon? Do I Have To Prove That My Spouse Did Something Wrong?
- What Do I Ask A Divorce Attorney in Oregon?
- What Documents Do I Need To Bring To A Divorce Lawyer?
- What Does a Collaborative Divorce Mean for Oregon Parents?
- What Happens After I File For Divorce In Portland?
- What Happens in a Divorce if My Spouse/Partner Has All the Debt in Their Name?
- What Happens in a Divorce if My Spouse/Partner Has All the Property in Their Name?
- What Happens To My Art Collection If I Get Divorced In Oregon?
- What Happens To My Boat If I Get Divorced In Oregon?
- What Happens to My Retirement Account if I Get a Divorce in Oregon?
- What Happens To My Vacation Home If I Get Divorced In Oregon?
- What Is A No-Fault Divorce?
- What Is Considered Grounds For Divorce In Portland?
- What Is Separation?
- What Is The Process For A Divorce?
- Why Should I Contact A Divorce Lawyer Before Filing?
- Why Would The Court Reject My Divorce Paperwork?
- Will My Spouse Get My Inheritance After We Divorce?
- Will Obtaining A Restraining Order Against My Spouse Help Me In My Divorce?