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Oregon Divorce Laws

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Oregon Divorce Laws:

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS AND WHERE TO FILE:

At least one party must be a resident of the state for six month prior to filing for a divorce. A petition for marital dissolution must be filed in Circuit Court of the country where either party resides. [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.075 and 107.086]

LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE:

Fault is not grounds for divorce in Oregon. The only grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences. [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.025]

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. The court shall determine and fix in its judgment the duration of the separation. At the expiration of such time, the judgment shall have no further effect.

The court may, within two years after the entry of a judgment of separation, convert a judgment of separation into a judgment of dissolution of the marriage, at the request of either party. [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.075, 107.465, and 107.475]

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. [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.179]

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. In determining the proper division of property, the court may consider evidence of the tax consequences on the parties of its proposed judgment. [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.105]

ALIMONY/MAINTENANCE/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.

[Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.105]

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. [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.105]

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; and
  • 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.

In determining custody of a minor child, 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.

An order providing for joint custody may specify one home as the primary residence of the child and designate one parent to have sole power to make decisions about specific matters while both parents retain equal rights and responsibilities for other decisions. Modification of a joint custody order shall require showing of changed circumstances and that the modification is in the best interests of the child. Inability or unwillingness to continue to cooperate shall constitute a change of circumstances sufficient to modify a joint custody order [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.137 and 107.169]

CHILD SUPPORT:

In ordering child support, the formula established by ORS 25.270 to 25.287 shall apply. Information can be found at the Oregon Division of Child Support. 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.

Child support orders shall include provisions for payment of uninsured medical expenses of the child, maintenance of insurance to back the support, and maintenance of a health care plan for the child [Based on Oregon Revised Statutes: Chapter 107.105 and 107.106]

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