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Oregon Legal Requirements for Divorce

Residency requirements to file for divorce in Oregon

If you were married in Oregon, you can file for divorce in Oregon if:

Either you or your spouse is a resident of Oregon at the time you file for divorce.

If you were not married in Oregon, you can file for divorce in Oregon if:

Either you or your spouse is currently a resident of Oregon, and either you or your spouse has lived in Oregon continuously for at least six months prior to the divorce being filed.

What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Oregon?

In Oregon, you do not need a legal reason to separate. Oregon has “No Fault” divorce, meaning that the only reason you need is that you and your spouse cannot get along, and you see no way of settling your problems. The law refers to this as “irreconcilable differences.”

The basic steps of filing for divorce

  • You must pay or be excused from paying the fees that are charged for filing a divorce petition. There might also be costs for having your spouse served.
    If you cannot afford to pay the costs and fees, you can ask the judge to waive the fees or defer them to a later date. You will need to fill out court papers that show your income is low, and possibly that your expenses are more than your income.
  • You must fill out and file (turn in) a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the court of the county where either you or your spouse live.
  • You must have the petition served on (officially delivered to) your spouse. This lets your spouse know that a divorce action has been started and what you are asking for.

Summary Dissolution

A summary dissolution is a type of uncontested divorce, allowing couples to end their marriage without the need to meet in court.  This option allows for a streamlined divorce process, but is only available to couples who meet specific requirements. 

  • At least one spouse has been an Oregon resident for the past 6 months
  • Have been married for 10 years or less
  • Do not have children between the ages of 18 and 21 who are currently attending school
    Neither spouse is pregnant
  • Less than $30,000 of personal property, jointly or individually
  • Less than $15,000 in total debt incurred on or after the date of marriage, jointly or individually
  • Neither spouse may own any interest in real estate, in Oregon or any other state
  • Must waive the right to receive spousal support
    Must waive the right to request temporary orders
  • No divorce, separation, or annulment actions pending in Oregon or any other state

Do I still need an attorney in an uncontested divorce? 

While you may be able to complete much of the divorce paperwork yourself, you will still very likely want advice from a lawyer to answer questions and ensure the accuracy of your paperwork. Tensions run high during separations, and a lawyer can also help safeguard your rights and make sure that you’re not agreeing to something that won’t serve you or your family well in the long term. 

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