Oregon couples who wish to end their marriage as quickly as possible have several options. The state provides spouses with an array of free online resources that allow people to prepare their own divorce paperwork. Although Oregon imposed a 90-day waiting period for divorces in previous years, the state has done away with this requirement. Under certain circumstances, couples can end their marriage within a matter of days.
In Oregon, courts refer to divorce as a "dissolution of marriage." Rather than a plaintiff and defendant, the filing spouse (spouse asking for the divorce) is called the petitioner, and the other spouse is the respondent. Oregon also allows spouses to file together as co-petitioners.
Oregon is a pure "no-fault" divorce state, which means it does not permit spouses to allege any wrongdoing as the reason for the divorce. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.036.) The only ground permissible under Oregon family law is irreconcilable differences. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.025.)
Divorcing couples can satisfy the state residency requirement in one of two ways. You can file for dissolution if you were married in Oregon, and at least one spouse currently lives there. You can also file in Oregon if at least one spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of six months. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.075.)
In Oregon, the court refers to an uncontested divorce as a "Summary Dissolution" or "Short Form Dissolution." Spouses who meet certain criteria can file for one of these abbreviated forms of divorce—which allows couples to end their marriage without ever appearing in court. Summary dissolution is available to couples who satisfy the following requirements:
In addition to the above list, couples hoping to utilize the summary divorce process must agree on all divorce-related matters, including division of property and debt.
Completing and filing the necessary paperwork
Couples who satisfy the above requirements can either file their forms in person or mail them to the court. You can find helpful links on the Oregon Judicial Branch website, which provides the following forms:
Because there is no longer a mandatory waiting period in Oregon, it is possible to end your marriage within days of filing. In a traditional divorce, if your spouse doesn't submit an acceptance of service, you'll have to wait up to 30 days for your spouse to answer your petition. For practical reasons, even in summary dissolution cases, it generally takes several days to a few weeks for the court to process dissolution paperwork.
Although these summary divorce processes are not available to parties with minor children, divorcing parents can still file for a regular "Dissolution of Marriage" as co-petitioners. As with summary dissolution, the parties have the option to mail their dissolution documents to the court. However, they must attend a court hearing in person.
The court requires different forms for a dissolution of marriage for parties with minor children, which are available online and include the following:
Couples with minor children must agree on child custody and child support, and also complete a mandatory parent education course designed to give them information about how divorce affects children. Petitioners who wish to end their marriage as soon as possible can speed up the dissolution process by completing this course immediately after they file their case.
If you have questions about filing for divorce in Oregon, you should contact a local family law attorney for help.
For the full text of all divorce-related statutes, review the Oregon Revised Statutes Section 107.