Going through divorce can be a difficult time legally, financially and emotionally. It marks a major life change and it’s important to have an Oregon family law attorney to guide you through the process so that you can start a positive and productive new life.
Oregon is a “no-fault” divorce state and that means you won’t need to show a specific harm. The state allows people to divorce based on irreconcilable differences. Basically, if you believe your problems cannot be resolved, a judge can grant you a divorce.
To file in Oregon, you will need to have lived in the state for six months or longer. After papers have been filed with the clerk, you or your spouse will be served and have 30 days to respond in writing. If you agree on the terms of divorce, there will be a short hearing and the judge will issue his ruling.
When spouses cannot agree on certain things such as child placement, alimony and the distribution of asset, Oregon offers medication sessions. When a resolution isn’t reached, a judge will hear arguments and issue a ruling. Fortunately, at Litowich Law we bring valuable experience about conflict resolution to the table that can help avoid an unnecessary trial.
If you find an impediment to filing for divorce, Oregon has alternative remedies that may bring about the life change you are seeking. These include:
People who have lived in Oregon for less than six months can petition the court for a legal separation. This is also an option for people who are religiously opposed to divorce. Separations can resolve issues such as living arrangements, spousal support, property division and child custody. They are similar to divorce in many ways.
This rarely used method of rendering a marriage invalid can be pursued based on bigamy, polygamy, one party being under 18 years old, coercion, fraud or close blood relations.
Child Custody & Support
It’s important to understand that while child support and custody are part of a family breakup, they are separate issues. A parent is not entitled to custody or visitation based on their ability to provide financial support. Child custody is always based on what is in the best interests of the child. Judges generally weigh things such as:
- Primary caregiver
- Emotional bonds between parent and child
- Criminal or substance abuse history of a parent
- Home environment
- Domestic abuse
In most cases, joint custody is awarded with one parent having primary physical placement and the other enjoying reasonable visitation. The parent with placement generally receives child support based on state-mandated regulations. If you already have an order in place, it’s important to keep in mind that custody and support orders can be modified if there have been significant changes such as financial earnings, age of the child or relocation.
At Litowich Law, we help guide people in Oregon through family law matters to give them renewed opportunities. We listen. You get results.