Coming to the conclusion that you need to get divorced is not an easy thing. In most cases, it is the result of careful consideration and often a lot of stress. Now that you have reached this point, you want to find the quickest, least expensive and most trouble-free way to move forward. The time, cost and stress of your divorce will vary greatly depending on your circumstances. Fortunately, in many cases, divorce in Oregon can be a straightforward process.
Divorce in Oregon is not difficult if you and your spouse are in agreement about the need to end the marriage, if you agree on how you will divide up your property and you agree on how you will handle issues of child custody and child support (if you have children). You may even be able to divorce without a lawyer. If this is the case, you only have to fill out the correct Oregon divorce papers and submit them to your county court to begin the process.
If there are problems between you and your spouse, where you cannot come to agreement on any of these issues, you may find yourself in a more difficult position. Oregon courts need to come to a final decision on issues like property division and children before they can grant the divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree to a plan, the courts will need to create one for you. This is when you move into costly court battles and the need for attorneys. One popular option that allows you to avoid attorney fees and legal battles is divorce mediation.
The following information will help you understand how divorce works in Oregon, and how you can move forward with your own divorce.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in Oregon in 2011 was 3.8 for every 1,000 residents. This rate puts Oregon in the middle of divorce rates in the United States.
Oregon only allows no-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you do not have to place the blame for the divorce on your spouse. Many people prefer this type of divorce, as it avoids the need to bring up unpleasant details about the relationship into the public eye. You only have to state that the marriage is broken, that you have “irreconcilable differences”, and the court will consider it grounds for dissolution.
You or your spouse must live in Oregon for at least six months to file for divorce in the state. There is one exception to this. If you were married in the state, you do not have to live in Oregon for a specific amount of time to get a divorce.
Oregon offers two different ways to get a divorce, a “Summary Dissolution” and a “Dissolution of Marriage”. A summary dissolution is desirable because it allows you to get divorced without needing to go to a court hearing, but you have to meet certain requirements to use this option. You must have been married for less than 10 years, have no minor children, no real property, have no debts over $15,000 and have no desire to seek spousal support. If you do not meet these requirements, you will need to seek a standard dissolution of marriage.
The Oregon Courts website offers a list of divorce forms that you can read about and download to complete. It is advisable that you review the site thoroughly. The more you understand about state requirements and divorce, the more informed your decisions will be. If you are feeling overwhelmed or confused, understand that this is normal. The legal process is often complex and confusing. This is why many people choose to get their Oregon divorce papers online from CompleteCase.com. At CompleteCase, you can get assistance in both the selection of divorce papers and completing those papers. You can ensure that you are filling out the correct forms accurately and completely, which can help you avoid possible delays or added costs to the divorce process.
When you have completed your Oregon divorce papers online or otherwise, you will need to print and file them with either the county clerk where you or your spouse resides. Make several copies of your documents. You will need one copy for your records, and one copy to serve your spouse. It is also a good idea to check online or call the county clerk to ask about payment for state filing fees, so you arrive at the court fully prepared to file.
The last step in the filing process is to serve your spouse. If you and your spouse filed as co-petitioners, you can skip this step. Otherwise, you will want to serve your spouse as soon as you file your divorce papers with the clerk.
If your spouse is willing to sign an “Acceptance of Service” form, which states that your spouse received the documents, you can take this signed form and file in with the clerk. If your spouse refuses to sign the form, you can have a third party serve the documents. You can hire a local sheriff's deputy to serve the papers, or a private process server. The private process server usually costs more, but will often serve the papers faster than the sheriff. If you cannot locate your spouse, you need to notify the court know so you can perform a service by publication in a local newspaper. This is the most expensive option, so it is worth locating your spouse if at all possible.