A divorce is a legal process of ending a marriage. If you or someone you know is looking to divorce their spouse, it’s important to remember that divorce laws differ from state to state. When a spouse wants to get a divorce in Oregon, they must comply with the state’s divorce rules and statutes. Additionally, state law has specific terminology and requirements for an Oregon divorce. Here are ten facts about divorce in Oregon.
- Dissolution of marriage is the term for an Oregon divorce.
A spouse begins the divorce process in Oregon by filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage form. The spouse that files for divorce is the petitioner. The other spouse is the respondent. The petition must contain the names of all children born, adopted, or conceived during the marriage. It must also list any children born before the couple married. The spouses’ unmarried and unemancipated adult children ages 18, 19, or 20 are necessary parties to the divorce case, and the petitioner must list their names on the petition. The adult children may file with the court to remove them as a party to the dissolution of marriage case.
- Oregon does not require a period of separation before a spouse can file for a divorce.
Some states require spouses to separate for a minimum time before filing for a no-fault divorce. The time may increase if the spouses have or decrease based on factors including having minor children of the marriage or consent of the spouses. However, Oregon law does not require spouses to separate before they seek a dissolution of their marriage.
- A spouse must file for divorce with the appropriate Oregon court.
An Oregon divorce must occur in court. A judge cannot listen to a divorce case in Oregon if a spouse files the petition for marriage dissolution with the wrong court. The spouse must file the petition in the county where either spouse resides.
- A spouse must meet the residence requirements to have a divorce in Oregon.
Spouses married in Oregon have different resident requirements than couples married in other states. If the spouses did not marry under Oregon law, they must meet residency requirements before filing for divorce in Oregon. At least one party must be an Oregon resident and live continuously for six months before filing the petition. For couples married in Oregon, a spouse may file for divorce without waiting if either party is a resident at the beginning of the suit.
- Each spouse retains the ownership of their respective separate property.
Separate property is real and personal property that a spouse acquires:
- Before marriage; and
- During the marriage, by gift to one spouse, inheritance, through a will, beneficiary designation, or operation of law.
Couples may bring their possessions into the marriage and obtain additional property after wed. When a spouse files for divorce, the property’s division and distribution occur. The separate property remains with the spouse who owns or holds the title to the property.
- Oregon is an equitable division state. Oregon laws require equitable distribution of marital property.
The court determines which assets and liabilities are separate and marital property in an equitable division state. Marital property is all property and debts acquired during the marriage unless received by gift to one spouse, by inheritance, through a will, as a beneficiary, or under law.
The separate property remains with the spouse who owns it. The court divides and distributes marital property between the parties by equitable distribution. It is not necessarily an even split. The judge distributes the marital property based on what is just and proper.
- The law presumes that the husband is the legal father of his wife’s child conceived or born during the marriage.
The petition for dissolution of marriage must list the names of all children born, adopted, or conceived during the marriage. Divorces cases involving children establish child custody, child support, and parenting time. One of the spouses may question or challenge paternity to prevent custody, support, and visitation. However, Oregon law presumes that the husband is the legal father of any children. Either parent can disprove the assumption by providing evidence that the husband is not the legal father, such as the results of a blood test.
- Parenting time is the term for child visitation in Oregon law.
Parenting time is court-order child visitation. Usually, the time is given to non-custodial parents to spend with their children to encourage and maintain the parent-child relationship. Parenting time is for a child’s benefit and is not an exchange for f child support. The custodial parent cannot withhold visitation because the other parent is behind on or not paying child support.
- Oregon is a no-fault divorce state.
A fault divorce occurs when one spouse wants a divorce because the other spouse did something to end the marital relationship. Fault grounds for divorce include adultery, cruelty, and abandonment.
Oregon is a no-fault divorce state. A spouse may file for dissolution of marriage on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences. The petitioner must show that the differences caused an unfixable breakdown of the marriage.
- An automatic restraining order remains in effect during the divorce.
A restraining order is a court order that stops a person from doing something, especially to another person. In Oregon, an automatic restraining order goes into effect after a spouse files the petition for dissolution of marriage and serves a copy of it to the other spouse. The restraining order remains effective until the court issues a final judgment.
The order prevents either spouse from:
- Canceling, modifying, or terminating insurance policies in which the other spouse or minor children receive coverage or are beneficiaries,
- Selling, disposing, or concealing property the other spouse has an interest in without written consent; and
- Spending extraordinarily without written notice and accounting to the other spouse