Oregon Divorce Laws: Child Custody & Support, Alimony, Property Division

The following is a summary of Oregon’s divorce laws. In some cases, the exact text of the statute has been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code or ask an attorney how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Oregon Divorce Laws

Oregon Divorce Grounds

What to Expect When Help Yourself Divorce Prepares Your No Fault Oregon Divorce.

The following is a summary of Oregon divorce laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

When Help Yourself Divorce prepares your divorce papers, your divorce will be filed based on the grounds of irreconcilable differences (“no-fault” divorce).

Oregon Residency Requirements

If you and your spouse were married in the state of Oregon, the only residency requirement is that at least one party resides in Oregon at the time you file for divorce.

However, if you and your spouse were not married in the state of Oregon, at least one party must reside in Oregon for a continuous period of six months before filing for divorce.

If you and your spouse have minor children, the court must have jurisdiction over them. Generally this means your children must currently live in Oregon, and must have lived in Oregon for at least six months.

Filing for Divorce in Oregon

A petition for divorce can be filed only in the county where either of the spouses reside.

Service

In Oregon, you file as joint petitioners. This means that you do not need to serve your spouse. You simply both sign the petition and one spouse files it with the Court.

Waiting Period in Oregon

There is a 90 day waiting period after filing before your divorce can be finalized. However, Oregon allows you to file an affidavit requesting that the Court waive that 90 day waiting period. Help Yourself Divorce will provide you with the necessary paperwork to use if you wish to do this. What this means for you is that if you do not wish to wait 90 days, you can simply file this paperwork and if the court allows, your divorce will be granted much sooner (typically about 15 days).

Final Divorce Hearing in Oregon

Oregon does not require a final hearing. The judge will review your paperwork and mail your decree back to you about 15 days after filing (or 105 days if you don’t ask the Court to waive the 90 day waiting period, see above).

Oregon Alimony Laws

The following is a summary of Oregon alimony laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

In awarding alimony, Oregon laws do not consider the fault of either party in causing the grounds for divorce. Oregon laws allow the court to order one of the following types of spousal support, for a period of time as may be just and equitable, in gross or in installments or both:

(A) Transitional spousal support as needed for a party to attain education and training necessary to allow the party to prepare for reentry into the job market or for advancement. The factors to be considered by the court in awarding transitional spousal support include but are not limited to:

(i) The duration of the marriage;

(ii) A party’s training and employment skills;

(iii) A party’s work experience;

(iv) The financial needs and resources of each party;

(v) The tax consequences to each party;

(vi) A party’s custodial and child support responsibilities; and

(vii) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.

(B) Compensatory spousal support when there has been a significant financial or other contribution by one party to the education, training, vocational skills, career or earning capacity of the other party and when an order for compensatory spousal support is otherwise just and equitable in all of the circumstances. The factors to be considered by the court in awarding compensatory spousal support include but are not limited to:

(i) The amount, duration and nature of the contribution;

(ii) The duration of the marriage;

(iii) The relative earning capacity of the parties;

(iv) The extent to which the marital estate has already benefited from the contribution;

(v) The tax consequences to each party; and

(vi) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.

(C) Spousal maintenance as a contribution by one spouse to the support of the other for either a specified or an indefinite period. The factors to be considered by the court in awarding spousal maintenance include but are not limited to:

(i) The duration of the marriage;

(ii) The age of the parties;

(iii) The health of the parties, including their physical, mental and emotional condition;

(iv) The standard of living established during the marriage;

(v) The relative income and earning capacity of the parties;

(vi) A party’s training and employment skills;

(vii) A party’s work experience;

(viii) The financial needs and resources of each party;

(ix) The tax consequences to each party;

(x) A party’s custodial and child support responsibilities; and

(xi) Any other factors the court deems just and equitable.

-From 107.105 of the Oregon Statutes.

Oregon Child Custody Laws

The following is a summary of Oregon child custody laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Child Custody Guidelines. 
Oregon laws require the court to give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child when making a child custody determination. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:

(a) The emotional ties between the child and other family members;

(b) The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child;

(c) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;

(d) The abuse of one parent by the other;

(e) The preference for the primary caregiver of the child, if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court; and

(f) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child, unless there has been sexual assault or a pattern of abuse against the parent or the child that will endanger the health or safety of either parent or the child.

The best interests and welfare of the child shall not be determined by isolating any one of these factors, and relying on it to the exclusion of other factors. However, if a parent has committed abuse, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests and welfare of the child to award sole or joint custody of the child to the parent who committed the abuse.

The court shall 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.

No preference in custody shall be given to either parent on the basis of that parent’s sex.

Oregon laws do not allow the court to hear evidence of specific acts of misconduct, unless the misconduct is relevant to determining child custody.

-From 107.036 & 107.137 of the Oregon Statutes.

Parenting Plans. 
The parties should file a parenting plan to be included in the judgment. A parenting plan may be either general or detailed.

A general parenting plan must set forth the minimum amount of parenting time and access a noncustodial parent is entitled to have, and how parental responsibilities will be shared. The parents may develop a more detailed agreement on an informal basis.

If the parents wish to file a more detailed parenting plan with the court, this plan may include, but need not be limited to, provisions relating to:

(a) Residential schedule;

(b) Holiday, birthday and vacation planning;

(c) Weekends, including holidays, and school in-service days preceding or following weekends;

(d) Decision-making and responsibility;

(e) Information sharing and access;

(f) Relocation of parents;

(g) Telephone access;

(h) Transportation; and

(i) Methods for resolving disputes.

-From 107.102 of the Oregon Statutes.

Parental Rights. 
Unless otherwise ordered by the court, when one parent has sole custody, the other parent will still have the following rights, to the same extent as the custodial parent has the following rights:

(1) To inspect and receive school records and to consult with school staff concerning the child’s welfare and education;

(2) To inspect and receive governmental agency and law enforcement records concerning the child;

(3) To consult with any person who may provide care or treatment for the child and to inspect and receive the child’s medical, dental and psychological records;

(4) To authorize emergency medical, dental, psychological, psychiatric or other health care for the child if the custodial parent is, for practical purposes, unavailable; or

(5) To apply to be the child’s conservator, guardian ad litem or both.

-From 107.154 of the Oregon Statutes.

Moving with the Child & Notice of Changes. 
Neither parent may move to a residence more than 60 miles from the other parent without giving the other parent reasonable notice of the move, and providing a copy of such notice to the court.

Unless otherwise ordered by the court, both parents shall have a continuing responsibility to provide addresses and contact telephone numbers to the other parent and to immediately notify the other parent of any emergency circumstances or substantial changes in the health of the child.

-From 107.159 & 107.164 of the Oregon Statutes.

Oregon Child Support Laws

The following is a summary of Oregon child support laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

College Expenses. 
The court may order either or both parents to provide child support of an unmarried child, between the ages of 18 and 21, who is a student regularly attending school, community college, college or university, or regularly attending a course of professional or technical training designed to fit the child for gainful employment. The child must be enrolled in an educational course load of at least one-half that determined by the educational facility to constitute “full-time” enrollment.

A child for whom this educational child support has been ordered:

(a) Must maintain the equivalent of a C average or better.
(b) Shall notify a parent paying support when the child ceases to be a child attending school.
(c) Shall submit all information necessary to establish eligibility to receive support, including grades earned and the courses in which the child is enrolled.

If the child fails to comply with any of these requirements, the educational child support will cease.

-From 107.108 of the Oregon Statutes.

Oregon Property Division Laws

The following is a summary of Oregon property division laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Oregon Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

The court will divide the real and personal property of the parties as may be just and proper in all the circumstances, without regard to fault. In arriving at a just and proper division of property, the court shall consider:

(1) reasonable costs of sale of assets, taxes and any other costs reasonably anticipated by the parties.

(2) the contribution of a spouse as a homemaker as a contribution to the acquisition of marital assets. There is a rebuttable presumption that both spouses have contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage, whether such property is jointly or separately held.

(3) evidence of the tax consequences on the parties of its proposed judgment.

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