How Long Does a Divorce Take in Oregon?

Weeding rings on word divorce in dictionary - How long does a divorce take concept.
If you’re considering divorce, one of the first questions you probably have is, “how long does a divorce take?”. The short answer is, it depends. No two divorces are the same and there are many variables that can come into play when ending a marriage — including the number of issues that must be settled and the court’s docket. The lengthier the marriage and the more issues that must be resolved, the longer a divorce will usually take. But when couples can agree on all the issues that must be determined to part ways, a divorce may only take a short time to finalize.

Is There a Waiting Period to Divorce in Oregon?

In some states, there is a mandatory waiting period from the time the paperwork is filed until a divorce decree can be issued. This is also sometimes referred to as a “cooling off” period. While Oregon used to have a 90-day waiting period in place, the state no longer imposes this requirement. Even though there is no time frame imposed to divorce once the papers are filed and served, it is important to note that the respondent spouse has 30 days to answer the divorce petition. If they fail to answer, the petitioner can seek a default judgment.

Is There a Minimum Residency Requirement in Oregon?

Spouses should be aware that there is a six-month residency requirement in Oregon which can affect how long a divorce takes in some cases. This means that no divorce case can be filed in Oregon unless one of the spouses has lived in the state for a period of at least six months. However, married couples who have recently moved to the state and are seeking divorce can obtain a legal separation — the case can be converted to a divorce once the six-month residency requirement is met.

What Can Be Done to Make the Divorce Process Move Faster?

The most important thing couples can do to ensure the divorce process moves faster is reach an agreement regarding all the issues that must be decided before a judge will sign the decree. When a divorce is uncontested, it is usually resolved more quickly. Contested divorces can take months, if not years, to finalize since they often require extensive litigation in the courtroom. When spouses settle their divorce matters among themselves, not only can the action move forward faster — but they are usually more satisfied with the outcome. This can also mean that the chance of litigation in the future is reduced. To move the divorce along in an efficient manner, spouses must agree on the following issues:
  • The amount of spousal support (alimony), if any
  • How property will be divided
  • Child custody and visitation, if there are children of the marriage
  • The amount of child support, if there are children of the marriage
  • How debts will be allocated
Reaching an agreement in advance regarding the above issues can significantly limit the amount of time the parties spend in court. Once the parties settle the matter, a settlement agreement can be drafted and submitted to the judge to sign. If couples cannot reach an agreement on their own, mediation or the collaborative divorce process can be helpful to help them communicate in order to resolve their case expeditiously and cost-effectively.

Can a Do-It-Yourself Divorce Resolve a Case Faster?

It’s generally never a good idea to end your marriage without the legal advice of an attorney. Unless there are no children or assets involved in your divorce, a do-it-yourself divorce without counsel can be risky. In addition to inadvertently making mistakes that can be costly and time consuming to remedy, you might not be aware of what your legal rights are. This can sometimes result in foregoing rights that you would have been able to assert — and sometimes lead to an unfavorable outcome. Even if you think your divorce is a relatively simple matter, the court system can be complex and difficult to navigate. A party who begins their divorce as a pro se litigant may make various errors in the case, only to have to hire an attorney to fix them. By working with an attorney from the beginning of your case, you can save time and money by ensuring the divorce process, paperwork, and procedural matters are handled correctly.

Contact a Knowledgeable Oregon Divorce Attorney

If you’re considering divorce, it’s crucial not to rush the process. You should take the time to understand your rights and options — and work toward a settlement that is fair. It’s important to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side who can walk you through the process and protect your interests. Based in Salem, Litowich Law provides skillful counsel and dependable representation to clients for divorce matters throughout Oregon. We welcome you to contact us for a consultation to learn how we can help.
Categories: Divorce, Uncategorized