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Legal Information: Oregon

Oregon Divorce

Laws current as of
March 26, 2018

In this section, you will find state-specific information about divorce in Oregon. You will find more information about divorce, including the risks of taking your children out of state while a divorce is pending, on our general Divorce page. To watch brief videos about divorce in Spanish with English sub-titles, go to our Videos page. Lastly, learn more about the court process on our Preparing for Court – By Yourself page.

What are the grounds for divorce in Oregon?

The most common ground (reason) for divorce in Oregon is the no-fault ground called “irreconcilable differences,” which basically means that there are issues in the marriage that cannot be resolved.1 A divorce (or an annulment) can also be based on one of the following fault-based grounds:

  1. either party to the marriage was incapable of consenting to the marriage because s/he was not of a legal age or didn’t have “sufficient understanding”; or
  2. the consent of either party was obtained by force or fraud.2

However, you lose the right to get a divorce or annulment based on one of these two grounds if certain actions were taken after the marriage. For more information, please talk to a lawyer who specializes in divorce. You can find legal referrals on our Oregon Finding a Lawyer page.

1 O.R.S. § 107.025(1)
2 O.R.S. § 107.015(1)

What are the 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 Oregon at the time you file for divorce.1

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.2

1 O.R.S. § 107.075(1)
2 O.R.S. § 107.075(2)

Can I get spousal support? What factors will a judge consider?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse when a divorce is granted. If you request spousal support and the judge grants your request, s/he will decide what amount and for how long you will receive spousal support. The judge will make a decision about spousal support after considering multiple factors. The factors that the judge will consider depend on what type of spousal support you request, but will include factors such as:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • the age of you and your spouse; and
  • the work experience of you and your spouse.1

1 O.R.S. § 107.105(1)(d)

What types of spousal support are there?

In Oregon, there are three different types of spousal support. If the judge decides to grant spousal support in your case, s/he must also decide which type is appropriate. The types of spousal support are:

  • transitional;
  • compensatory; and
  • spousal maintenance.1

Transitional spousal support

A judge can grant transitional spousal support to help you get the education or training you need to go back into the workforce or advance in the job market. When deciding whether to grant transitional spousal support, the judge will consider:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • your training and employment skills;
  • your work experience;
  • the financial needs and resources of you and your spouse;
  • the tax impact of a spousal support award;
  • your and your spouse’s custody and child support responsibilities; and
  • any other factors necessary to make a fair decision.2

Compensatory spousal support

A judge can order compensatory support when one spouse has made a significant financial or other type of contribution to the other spouse’s education, training, vocational skills, career, or earning capacity. When deciding whether to grant compensatory spousal support, the judge will consider:

  • the amount, length, and type of the contribution you made to your spouse;
  • the length of the marriage;
  • how much you and your spouse will each be able to earn in comparison to each other
  • how much your contribution helped to increase joint assets during the marriage
  • the tax impact of a spousal support award; and
  • any other factors necessary to make a fair decision.3

Spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance is ordered to allow you to keep a similar standard of living as you had during the marriage and is generally only ordered in long-term marriages. When deciding whether to grant spousal maintenance, the judge will consider:

  • the length of the marriage;
  • your age and your spouse’s age;
  • your health and your spouse’s health, including physical, mental, and emotional condition;
  • the standard of living during the marriage;
  • the income and earning ability of you and your spouse;
  • your and your spouse’s training and employment skills;
  • your work experience and your spouse’s work experience;
  • your and your spouse’s financial needs and resources;
  • the tax impact of a spousal support award;
  • your or your spouse’s custody and child support responsibilities; and
  • any other factors necessary to make a fair decision.4

1 O.R.S. § 107.105(1)(d)
2 O.R.S. § 107.105(1)(d)(A)
3 O.R.S. § 107.105(1)(d)(B)
4 O.R.S. § 107.105(1)(d)(C)

What are the basic steps for filing for divorce?

While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps:

  1. First, you must meet the residency requirements of the state.
  2. Second, you must have “grounds” (a legally acceptable reason) to end your marriage.
  3. Third, you must file divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse.
  4. Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, then he will have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. This is called “contesting the divorce.” If he contests it, then you will have a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. If your spouse does not disagree with anything, then he should sign the papers and send them back to you. If your spouse agrees with everything and signs the papers, this is called an “uncontested divorce.” Also, if a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. (Speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers before you can continue with the divorce).
  5. Fifth, if there is property that you need divided or if you need financial support from your spouse, then you will have to work that out either in an out-of-court settlement or in a series of court hearings. Custody may also be decided as part of your divorce.

Where can I find additional information about divorce?

We hope the following links to outside sources may be helpful.

The Oregon Courts website provides links to court forms that you might need if you wish to get a divorce as well as information about divorce, including the costs and time it takes to get a divorce.

WomensLaw.org is unrelated to the above organization and cannot vouch for the accuracy of the sites. We provide these links for your information only.