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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to have "grounds" for dissolution in Oregon?  

2. How long does it take to get divorced in Oregon?  

3. What is an annulment?

4. What is "Joint Custody"?

5. When can a judge order my spouse to pay me spousal support?

6. Can I get a restraining order against my neighbor?

7. Does the mother of a child automatically get custody?

8. Can I get divorced in Oregon if I do not live in Oregon?

 

1. Do I need to have "grounds" for dissolution in Oregon? 

Oregon is a "no fault" state.  The only required "grounds" for dissolution in Oregon are "Irreconcilable Differences."  This means that in order to petition for a divorce in Oregon a party must allege that "Irreconcilable Differences" exist between the parties, and a Judge must find the same to grant the divorce.  No further information is required according to state law. 

 

2. How long does it take to get divorced in Oregon? 

This depends on the circumstances of the divorce.  With few exceptions, once a dissolution case is filed, a judge may not sign a final judgment of dissolution until 90 days has passed.  Dissolution cases can take much longer if there are disputed issues.

 

3. What is an annulment? 

An annulment makes a marriage void or voidable under Oregon law.  Annulments are available in limited circumstances.  An annulment may be granted when either party to the marriage was incapable of consenting to the marriage due to lack of legal age or sufficient understanding.  An annulment may also be granted if the marriage was coerced by fraud or force.  An annulment cannot be granted because one or both of the parties had a change of heart after a short term marriage.  In that case, it is necessary to obtain a dissolution.

 

4. What is "Joint Custody"?

Joint custody is an arrangement by which parents share rights and responsibilities for major decisions concerning the child.  In Oregon, both legal parents must agree to joint custody. If both parents agree to joint custody, the judge must order it.  If either party objects to joint custody, the judge must make a custody determination awarding legal custody to just one parent.  Parties may have joint custody but one party may still have significantly more time with the child.

 

5. When can a judge order my spouse to pay me spousal support?

There are three types of spousal support in Oregon: 

  1. Compensatory: intended to compensate a spouse for time and effort supporting the other spouse in pursuing a career or financial endeavor;
  2. Transitional:intended to support a spouse, for a time, while they develop the ability to support themselves; and
  3. Maintenance: intended to maintain a spouse who cannot easily become self-supporting.

The question of when a court will order one or more types of spousal support is contingent on many factors including the length of the marriage and the earning capacity of each party.

 

6. Can I get a restraining order against my neighbor? 

Restraining orders in Oregon are commonly known as FAPA orders after the "Family Abuse Prevention Act."  FAPAs can be granted in limited situations where parties have a certain relationship.  FAPAs can be granted between family or "household members."  Household members include spouses and former spouses, adult persons related by blood, marriage or adoption, people who are cohabiting or have cohabited with each other, persons who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship within 2 years preceding the filing of the petition, and unmarried parents of a child.  If the neighbor does not fit into one of the preceding categories, the Judge cannot grant a FAPA order against the neighbor.

 

7. Does the mother of a child automatically get custody? 

No.  The judge considers a series of factors when determining which party should have custody of a child.  These include which parent has been the primary caregiver of the child, the desirability of maintaining an existing relationship, and the abuse of one parent by another. 

 

8. Can I get divorced in Oregon if I do not live in Oregon? 

No.  At least one party to a dissolution must have lived in Oregon for at least 6 months prior to filing for dissolution in Oregon.

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