Oregon Divorce Process in 9 Steps (2024)

Illustration of the steps required to obtain a complete divorce from spouses

The divorce process in Oregon typically involves nine steps, which have specific characteristics and court procedures to follow. Filing for divorce and going through it can be challenging emotionally and from a legal point of view.

If a couple can come to an agreement and start an uncontested no-fault divorce in Oregon, the process can be greatly simplified and faster compared to a contested one. If you agree with your spouse on major divorce issues and meet the state residency requirements, you can initiate an uncontested marriage dissolution, following the step-by-step divorce process.

Step 1. Reach Agreement with Your Spouse on all Divorce Terms

Spouses enter into an agreement during their divorce
Reaching an agreement in divorce in Oregon can be difficult, but it helps to speed up your divorce process.

The first step for divorce is to negotiate with your spouse on all conditions of your future marriage termination. Here are some things that can help you come to an agreement as soon as possible:

  • Be respectful and openly discuss all divorce matters with your spouse. Understand each other’s needs, concerns, and priorities during the divorce process.
  • Write down all the critical matters that should be decided on before divorce.
  • Work together to compromise on the various divorce terms.

Step 2. Gather the Information You Need for Preparing the Divorce Documents.

In the divorce papers, spouses must provide many details about their case. To fill out the papers faster, make sure you have all the information that may be needed at hand. It can include, but is not limited to:

  • Personal information of spouses and children.
  • Data on income from all sources, assets, debts, etc.
  • Information on employment.
  • Details about the marriage – when and where it took place.
  • Social security numbers.
Infographic of information you might need for preparing Oregon divorce paperwork
Information you might need for preparing Oregon divorce paperwork

Step 3. Obtain the Necessary Divorce Forms 

The next stage of divorce is to get the required papers for your case. Divorce forms can be obtained from the Oregon Judicial Department website or the county court where you plan to file for divorce. First, visit the official website and look for a section on family law forms or divorce forms. You will find an Oregon petition for dissolution of marriage for cases with or without children involved and other related documents. If you cannot find some forms online, you can contact the court clerk’s office to see if they can provide them.

Step 4. Complete the Required Forms

Download all the necessary forms. Typically, the instructions on how to fill them out are also available, so read them carefully. Complete the forms with information about you, your spouse, and children, specifying full legal names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

Usually, the set of divorce forms consists of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Summons, Confidential Information Form, Acceptance of Service, and other documents.

If you have any problems with the paperwork but want to avoid paying for an expensive lawyer’s help, you can contact online services, who can complete all the necessary forms for your divorce. Thus, you will not need to spend hours or days searching for and filling out the required documents.

Step 5. File the Completed Forms with the County Courthouse Where You Reside

The next step in the divorce process is to submit the documents to the court clerk’s office in your or your spouse’s county of residence. Before doing so, ensure that you have filled out all the necessary divorce forms. Check with the court clerk in advance how many copies of each form you need. Take copies for yourself and your spouse while the originals will be kept in the court. During filing, you will need to cover the court fees, which are currently around $300.

It is also possible to file for a divorce in Oregon online through OJD eFile without going to court; however, check in advance if this option will work for your case.

Step 6. Serve the Filed Forms to Your Spouse

postman serving spouse with divorce papers
Serving spouses with divorce documents in Oregon require adherence to specific rules and procedures.

After you have filed divorce forms, you must serve the copies of documents to your spouse. In Oregon, you can do it on your own, but only if a respondent agrees to sign the Acceptance of Service.

If not, you will need to ask a third party to serve legal papers in person or by mail. This person may be:

  • Someone over the age of 18 and not a party to the divorce case;
  • Sheriff in the county where a respondent resides;
  • Private process server.

Please note that when hiring a sheriff or a process server, you must cover additional fees for their assistance.

Step 7. Wait for the 30-Day Response from the Spouse

After the other party is served, they have 30 days to respond to the petition. If your spouse does not provide any answer, it may mean they agree with all the terms specified in the petition. After you file a Motion for Order of Default, the judge may continue the legal process and finalize your case without the involvement of the second party.

If your spouse is not satisfied with the divorce conditions, they can dispute them, filing an answer; as a result, such divorce becomes contested and will go to trial if the parties cannot agree before hearings.

Step 8. Negotiations and Mediations in the Divorce Process

spouse signing documents for divorce with a lawyer
Negotiations in the divorce process in Oregon are typically necessary to reach agreements on issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support.

This step is essential when spouses would like to start an uncontested divorce but have some minor disagreements. During negotiation and mediation, spouses work together to reach agreements on various issues out of court rather than relying solely on the judge to decide on their case.

Negotiations involve both spouses and their attorneys, who discuss the divorce terms and try to find a way out of disputes. Mediation is a negotiation process with a neutral third party known as a mediator.

Step 9. Obtain the Divorce Decree

A divorce becomes final in Oregon when the judge signs a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. After that, you can contact the court clerk’s office and request a copy of the divorce decree, which is an official proof that your marriage is over.

Commonly Asked Questions

What to expect during the divorce process?

Be ready to prepare a set of legal documents for your case and pay the filing fees when submitting them to the court. You will need to follow precisely the divorce procedures as required by state laws. It is possible that the divorce process will take longer than expected due to the busy court workload.

How long does a divorce take in Oregon?

An uncontested divorce, where spouses agree on all divorce terms, may take around two to four months to finalize. However, if the divorce is contested, it usually involves lengthy court litigation and can take from six months to a year or even more. 

How much does it cost to get a divorce in Oregon?

The average cost of an uncontested divorce ranges from $500 to $1,000 if you do not hire a lawyer. This price includes filing fees, paying for serving your spouse, costs of online preparation of documents, etc. Contested divorces can result in significantly higher expenses, potentially exceeding $10,000 or more.

Do I have to go to court for an uncontested divorce?

Typically, spouses are not required to attend court hearings if the divorce is uncontested. The judge will review the documents submitted and sign a Final Judgement if the agreements made by a couple are reasonable.

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