How Do I File for Divorce in Oregon?
We know that ending a marriage is a life altering decision – one that is often accompanied by emotional turmoil, feelings of betrayal and loss. To ensure the smoothest divorce experience possible, it’s important to know how to file for divorce in Oregon and to take the steps needed to ensure a smooth divorce filing in Oregon.
In Portland and throughout Oregon, your thorough understanding of legal requirements can have a significant impact on the speed and ease of completing your divorce and moving on from your relationship. Attorney Steve Leskin of Leskin Law and Mediation provides invaluable guidance through the process. Read on to learn more about how to file for divorce in Oregon and how we can help.
What do I need to do to start a divorce?
To initiate a divorce and file for divorce in Oregon, you or your spouse must have lived in Oregon for at least six months before you file for divorce. If you’ve lived here that long, you’ll have to do three things to get divorced:
- To dissolve your marriage, you must submit a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the county in which you reside or your spouse lives. The petition tells the court and your spouse what you are asking for in the divorce.
- Your spouse must be served (officially delivered) with the petition. By doing this, you inform your spouse that a divorce action has been filed and what you are asking for.
- For filing a divorce petition, you must pay fees or be excused from paying fees. You may also be charged for serving your spouse.
How are the divorce papers served?
The divorce papers will be served on your spouse by an attorney handling your divorce. When using “do-it-yourself” forms, the instructions will instruct you on how to proceed. When your spouse agrees with all terms, he or she will sign papers that indicate service has been made. Alternatively, your spouse must be served by either the sheriff, a process server, or an adult other than you (not you or your children).
What if I am served with divorce papers?
You have thirty days to file for divorce in Oregon and schedule an appearance with the court. If you fail to file an appearance, your spouse will win by default. That means your spouse will get everything he or she asked for in the Petition for Dissolution. An “appearance” is an “Answer” or “Response” to the Petition. On the other hand, if you and your spouse agree, and you both sign a Stipulated General Judgment of Dissolution, then you do not need to file an Answer or Response.
Filling out your divorce papers will ultimately require legal knowledge in addition to other necessary divorce documents. While it’s possible to complete these court documents on your own, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer who can help you go through them and avoid the pitfalls that would extend your case or burden you with extra expenses. Many times, people either do not know the full extent of what they are entitled to receive or give up more than they have to. You may still end up in court later to resolve some of the conflicts which could have been avoided at this stage.
How do I fill out the divorce petition?
The Petition of Dissolution is the document that officially starts the divorce process: it is where you notify the Oregon court and your spouse what you are asking for in the divorce. If you decide to file on your own, more information will be required. You can find this information on the various county court websites, the Oregon Department of Justice website, or the website for the Oregon State Bar.
How much does it cost to file the petition and serve it?
It costs $301 to file a divorce Petition with the court.
Costs to “serve” the Petition and Summons on your spouse vary. If you hire the sheriff, the cost is generally around $35, depending on the county. The Sheriff will make three attempts. If you hire a private process server, you can expect it to cost about $40 or more.
The Sherriff or process server will file a proof of service with the court. If your spouses does not appear, and later contests that he or she did not receive the Petition and Summons, the process server will need to come into court and testify that your spouse was, in fact, served.
Contact Leskin Law & Mediation for help filing for Divorce in Oregon
When you decide to file for divorce in Oregon, our team at Leskin Law & Mediation will support you and make the experience as easy and efficient as possible. To learn more about the One Day Divorce process or to schedule your free consultation with a divorce attorney, contact us online or call (888) 888-8911 today.