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Oregon Family Law and Divorce FAQs

Knowledgeable family law and divorce attorneys in Salem answer your questions

There is plenty at stake when you have a family law or divorce issue, and not knowing the law could lead to mistakes that have a lasting influence on your life and the lives of your children. If you have questions about a divorce, child custody, parenting time, child support, domestic abuse, adoption or other family law issue, the professionals at Johnson & Taylor know the law and are here to help guide you through the legal system. We have provided answers to a few of the more common family law questions below:

Allow an Oregon family law and divorce firm to help you make informed decisions

If you have questions regarding your divorce or family law problem, do not let them go unanswered. Entering into a legal process without full knowledge of what you are facing can ruin your chances of a successful outcome and leave you with disappointing results that could affect you for years. When it is concerning your problem, Johnson & Taylor answers your questions and advises you every step of the way, giving you the best chance for success. Our Salem office has free parking and is conveniently located near mass transit. Contact us at 503-990-6641 or online.


How do I file for divorce in Oregon?

There are a few initial steps you must take to file for divorce in Oregon. First, you must pay a filing fee to the state. Second, you must fill out a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the circuit court in the county in which you live. Third, you must have the petition served on your spouse. Additionally, you may not start the filing process until either you or your spouse has been living in Oregon for at least six months.

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Does Oregon recognize common-law marriages?

You cannot create a common-law marriage in Oregon, but if you previously lived in a state that acknowledges common-law marriages, and you met the requirements for a common-law marriage that marriage is valid in Oregon.

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Is same-sex marriage legal in Oregon?

Currently, the Constitution of Oregon recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex partners over the age of 18, at least one of whom is an Oregon resident, can have their partnership recognized by the state by filing a Declaration of Domestic Partnership at the county clerk’s office. This affords a same-sex couple the same state rights as those of a married couple.

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How long does a divorce proceeding take in Oregon?

There is no simple answer to this question. The time it takes to get a divorce depends on the complexity of the issues and the willingness of the parties to cooperate. Uncontested divorces can be finalized in a few weeks, whereas divorces with contested support and custody issues could last for more than a year.

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How much does a divorce cost?

Again, this varies according to the complexity of the divorce and the cooperation of the parties. While basic filing and service fees are only a few hundred dollars, the costs start to climb when couples contest numerous issues and court time is required to resolve disagreements.

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How do I file for legal separation in Oregon?

Filing for legal separation is done the same way as filing for divorce, but with different paperwork (Petition for Legal Separation) and a reduced waiting period. Separation involves the same issues as a divorce, including support, custody, visitation and division of property, but the main difference is that the parties are still legally married after the process.

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How much is child support, and when does it end?

The court uses a child support guidelines calculator to determine the amount of support for which the noncustodial parent is responsible. It is a fairly mechanical process, but the judge does have discretion to alter the amount based on various factors. Child support generally ends when the child turns 18 (or 21 if the child is attending school). Certain factors can cause child support to end earlier than age 18, such as if a child gets married, or later than 18, such as if a child is disabled.

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How do I file for child custody in Oregon?

If you are currently married to the child’s other parent, child custody is determined during the divorce process. If you are an unmarried parent, you need to file a lawsuit to get a court order establishing custody. If you are an unmarried father wishing to get custody of your child, you are required to establish paternity to exercise your parental rights.

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How do I file a restraining order?

If you meet the requirements for filing a restraining order, you file the paperwork with the court, and the judge issues a temporary restraining order while the alleged abuser is served with the order. The abuser has 30 days to respond and challenge the order, and if no challenge is made, or if the challenge is unsuccessful, a permanent order is issued that lasts for one year.

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