There are generally two types of divorces available in most states: contested and uncontested. A divorce is "contested" when the spouses don't agree on some or all aspects of the divorce—meaning that a judge will need to hold a trial and examine evidence to determine the outcome. The contested divorce process takes quite a while.
On the other hand, in an uncontested divorce, the spouses agree on all of the issues required to end their marriage, so there's no need for a judge to hold a trial. Spouses have the option of getting professional help in an uncontested divorce, but can often use a DIY solution like an online divorce service instead to save money. Most of the time, an uncontested divorce is much faster and cheaper than traditional divorce.
In Oregon, a divorce is called a "dissolution of marriage." The spouse who files for the dissolution 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 (2021).) The only ground permissible under Oregon family law is irreconcilable differences. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.025 (2021).)
Oregon has two options for spouses who wish to proceed with an uncontested divorce: a short-form summary dissolution and an uncontested dissolution of marriage.
No matter what type of dissolution you choose to pursue, Oregon requires divorcing couples to meet at least one of the following residency requirements:
(Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.075 (2021).)
Some uncontested dissolutions where the parties have no children can be completed in under a month. Most often, though, an Oregon uncontested dissolution will take one to three months to finalize.
When you're filing an uncontested divorce in Oregon, you might be able to qualify for a short-form dissolution—known as a "summary dissolution"—if you meet certain criteria. If you do not meet the criteria for filing a summary dissolution, you can file a standard petition for dissolution of marriage.
A summary dissolution is an uncontested divorce which allows couples to end their marriage without ever appearing in court. Summary dissolution is a streamlined option, but is available only to couples who satisfy the following requirements:
(Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 107.485 (2021).)
In addition to meeting the requirements above, couples hoping to file a summary dissolution must agree on all divorce-related matters, including division of property and debt.
Couples can either file their forms in person or mail them to the court. Oregon does not have a mandatory waiting period for divorces, so it is possible to end your marriage quickly. It generally takes several days to a few weeks for the court to process dissolution paperwork.
Many couples who want to file an uncontested divorce do not qualify for a summary dissolution. However, they can still file for a "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 Oregon Judicial Branch provides dissolution forms online. Note that the forms for couples with children are different from the forms for couples without children.
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.
It costs $301 to file a dissolution of marriage in Oregon. Filing fees do change, though, so you'll want to confirm the fee with the clerk of the court where you'll be filing your petition. Most of the time, you pay the filing fee at the same time you file the petition.
If you can't afford to pay the filing fee, you can request a fee waiver from the court.
Your divorce is final when the judge signs the judgment of dissolution of marriage. The judgment will include all of the judge's rulings (which, in an uncontested divorce, will often mirror your agreements with your spouse). Once the dissolution judgment is signed, be sure to request a copy for your records.