State Of Oregon Divorce Laws

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Oregon Family Divorce And Family Law Resources

U.S. Divorce Laws are enacted by each state using their respective legislative process. Once legislation is enacted into law, the divorce courts in Oregon have the authority to manage the divorce proceedings, including, spousal and child support payments, custodial rights of parents and the division of community property.

Since state laws are repealed and amended frequently, it is always advisable to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer before making any important decisions about your marriage. You can also visit the GotTrouble Divorce Resource for a more in-depth understanding of related divorce and family law topics.

As of 2016, all states allow for “no fault” divorce. Yet many courts still factor in the respective parties past behavior when determining the division of community property, debts, custody, support and related issues.

SAME-SEX DIVORCE –UPDATE

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a right protected by the US Constitution in all 50 states. It follows, therefore, that the rights and obligations between same-sex divorcing parties are subject to the same dissolution laws of that state. Reference: US Supreme Court Opinion: Obergefell v. Hodges. (For more information visit ProCon.org).

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS:

The law requires that at least one spouse currently lives in Oregon before filing for divorce. You can also establish residency if at least one spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of six months prior to filing for a divorce.

LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE – NO FAULT DIVORCE 

Oregon is a pure “no-fault” divorce state. Neither spouse is allowed to allege any wrongdoing as the reason for the divorce. All that needs to be stated is that the spouses have  irreconcilable differences.

LEGAL SEPARATION:

To file for a separation, at least one party must be a resident of the state at the time the suit is commenced.

WAITING PERIOD BEFORE FILING

Although Oregon used to require a 90-day waiting period before filing for divorce, this requirement has been repealed under certain circumstances.

MEDIATION OR COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS:

When there is a dispute by either party to a joint child custody issue, the court shall direct the parties to participate in mediation in an effort to resolve their differences concerning custody.

PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION:

Oregon is an equitable distribution state, and fault is not a consideration when dividing the marital estate. Retirement plans shall be considered part of the marital estate, and the court shall consider the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker as a contribution to the acquisition of marital assets. The court presumes that both spouses have contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage, whether such property is jointly or separately held, and thus should be divided equitably. In arriving at a just and proper division of property, the court shall consider reasonable costs of sale of assets, taxes and any other costs reasonably anticipated by the parties. If spousal support is awarded in lieu of a share of property, the court shall order the obligor to provide for and maintain life insurance in an amount commensurate with the obligation and designating the recipient as beneficiary for the duration of the obligation.

ALIMONY /SPOUSAL SUPPORT:

Spousal support may be awarded on a transitional, compensatory, indefinite basis.

The following factors are taken into consideration when awarding spousal support:

  •  Duration of the marriage
  • The age, health, and station of each party
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • The relative earning capacity of the parties
  • The financial needs and resources of each party
  • The tax consequences to each party
  • Custodial and child support responsibilities of each party
  • Any other factors that the court deems relevant

SPOUSE’S NAME:

The court may include an order to change the name of either spouse to a name the spouse held before the marriage, if it is requested by the affected party.

CHILD CUSTODY:

Custody may be awarded to either the father or the mother. The court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child when determining custody.

In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:

  • The emotional ties between the child and other family members;
  • The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child;
  • The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;
  • The abuse of one parent by the other;
  • The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court;
  • The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child, unless a continuing relationship with the other parent will endanger the health or safety of either parent or the child.

Note: In determining custody of a minor child, the court shall also consider the conduct, marital status, income, social environment or life style of either party only if it is shown that any of these factors are causing or may cause emotional or physical damage to the child.

CHILD SUPPORT:

In ordering child support, the formula established by ORS 25.287 shall apply. Child support is not required for any minor child who has become self-supporting, emancipated or married, or who has ceased to attend school after becoming 18 years of age.

ENFORCING OREGON CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS – FEDERAL OPTION:

FIND LOCAL FEDERAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY NEAR YOU

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  

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