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Divorce Law in Oregon

How to Find an Oregon Divorce Attorney

Do you know how many divorces are finalized in Oregon each year? In 2011, over 14,000 divorces were finalized. In addition, approximately 100 domestic partnerships were dissolved.


Moreover, thousands of other divorces (and dissolutions) are in process, but are not yet resolved. Some divorces take a few months; others take years (and years).


If you want a swift resolution so you can move on with your life and start fresh (even if you’re sad), this article is for you.


She took a step and didn’t want to take any more, but she did.

-Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

In this article (which is based upon Oregon divorce law), we’ll discuss:

  • Oregon specific divorce law requirements;
  • What you need to know about divorce; and
  • Whether it’s in your best interest to hire an Oregon divorce lawyer and, if so, how to find one and how to prepare to work with him or her.

Oregon Divorce Law Specifics

Divorce law varies from state to state. Here, we highlight Oregon divorce law.

  • If you want to file for divorce in Oregon and either you or your spouse live in the state and your marriage took place in Oregon, you are entitled to file for divorce at any time.
  • If your marriage did not take place in Oregon, either you or your spouse must have been an Oregon resident for at least 6 months, immediately prior to the filing.
  • Oregon has both “no-fault” and “fault” divorce grounds.
  • Oregon uses the terms, “petitioner” to refer to the spouse who files the initial divorce papers and “respondent” to describe the other spouse.
  • In Oregon, divorce papers are filed in the Circuit Court for the State of Oregon for the County of XXX.
  • In some cases, alimony is available.
  • Child support will be based upon the Income Shares Model.
  • Though bordered by community property states, Oregon is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that marital property will be divided as is fair, which is not necessarily equal.

What You Need to Know About Divorce

In this section, we’ll highlight the aspects of divorce that will help you this most. Of course, we’ll emphasize moving on, getting things settled, and starting fresh.

  • Everyone needs someone to talk to. Don’t use your children or your divorce lawyer to vent anger, frustration, or despair; instead consult with a trained therapist.

  • It will take awhile but in a year (or a year and a half or so), your divorce won’t be the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning. That’s when you’ll know that you have indeed have moved on.

  • For your own peace of mind (and pocketbook), focus on “compromise, collaboration, communication, and cooperation” throughout your divorce and any time you need to deal with your spouse.

  • Don’t hire a shark-like attorney. An attorney, who angers your spouse (or you), will push you into court. Only hire a divorce attorney who is willing to work collaboratively.

  • Divorces that go to court instigate anger and bad decisions, are a loss of control, costs a lot of money, and take much longer to resolve. If your divorce goes to court, it takes longer to move on.

Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with an Oregon Divorce Lawyer?


  • Even Oregon attorneys, who go through divorce, hire their own divorce attorneys.
  • If you give up any marital rights during divorce, you will be forever barred from asserting them. There are no do-overs.
  • Hiring a divorce lawyer helps you to move on. You can put 99% of the responsibility for moving the divorce forward on your lawyer’s shoulders and you can focus on healing, moving on, and creating the life you want.

How to Find and Select an Oregon Divorce Attorney

For fast, easy, and private results, enter “How to Find an Oregon Divorce Attorney” into Google.

Next, research a short list of Oregon divorce lawyers to make your selection.

  • Be sure that the attorneys on your list focus their practice on divorce law and family law.
  • Before hiring ask questions about working collaboratively; avoiding court, if possible; legal fees and costs; what to expect; how to handle communications with your spouse and attorney; and how long everything will take.
  • Hire the attorney who is the best fit for you and your individual situation.

How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney

The better you prepare to work with your lawyer, the faster the divorce will be finalized and the more readily you can move on.

Here is a checklist to help you to prepare to work with your divorce lawyer:

  • Remember that your feelings of distress will lessen and you will feel good again. You will move on.
  • Consider reconciliation. It’s okay to wait to file divorce; if you still want to file in 6 months, you can always file then.
  • Consult with a therapist, who specializes in helping people who are going through divorce.
  • Make a “wish list” of everything you would like in the divorce (e.g. marital property division, spousal support, living arrangements, and child related matters). Know that compromise will absolutely be required.
  • Make a list of questions to ask your divorce attorney during your next communication.
  • Gather financial documentation for all expenses, debts, income, and assets.
  • If your attorney has requested any information, provide it in a timely manner.

Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.

– Albert Einstein

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