The Divorce Process

Our Portland Oregon Divorce Attorney Guides You Through a Difficult Time

Photo of divorce petition
The decision to file for divorce is difficult and extremely personal. Portland Oregon divorce attorney Ronald Allen Johnston is experienced in all aspects of Oregon family law, including dissolution of marriage, child custody and other family law matters. He often consults with people who are unhappy with their marriages, but who may be unaware of the emotional and financial costs of divorce. Some people who consult with him may decide to keep fighting for their marriage by learning their rights and obligations to negotiate reconciliation with their spouse. Others will choose to end their marriage.

The charge for the first appointment is $160 for the first hour (new clients only) and $325 per hour after the first hour.

Oregon Allows for “No Fault” Divorce

Divorce laws in Oregon provide for “no fault” divorce, whereby either spouse can allege, “irreconcilable differences between the parties have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.” Our state divorce courts do not take into evidence specific acts of misconduct, except where child custody is an issue and such evidence is relevant to that issue. Additionally, the court shall not consider fault by either party in distributing the marital property or awarding spousal support.

Time Line and General Procedures for Divorce in Oregon

  • Filing the petition and automatic restraining orders. The party seeking the divorce files a petition in the county in which the person resides. Once the other spouse is served with paperwork, an automatic financial restraining order is in place, preventing either party from changing the couple’s financial status quo. If there are children, the court may issue a temporary protective order of restraint (TPOR), whereby neither party is allowed to change the children’s residence or routine.
  • Temporary orders entered. After a hearing or by agreement, the divorce court may issue temporary orders regarding child custody, child support and spousal support, which will last until the court enters the final divorce order.
  • Mediation. Depending on the county of residence, mediation may be mandatory or per the discretion of the judge. Parties can always voluntarily choose to mediate their issues. Some counties also require parents to attend parenting classes.
  • Discovery and settlement negotiations. The discovery process will commence, whereby each party will provide to the other financial documentation regarding all assets and liabilities. Attorneys will negotiate the issues in an attempt to settle the case.
  • Trial. The average time from filing to trial in Oregon is 7 to 9 months. The only way to avoid a trial is to have a full and complete agreement of all issues. At trial, each side may present evidence and the judge will issue a General Judgment of Dissolution. Each party may appeal the judgment, although family law appeals are rare.
  • Final Judgment and QDRO. The parties must execute the terms of the final judgment. This may include transferring property and entering a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), to divide pensions or other retirement accounts.

Experience Guides Us. Resolve Drives Us.

It is critical to have the necessary facts, knowledge and legal advice before making an informed decision to commence with a divorce. Ronald Allen Johnston has over 40 years of experience consulting with potential clients, laying out their legal options and guiding them through the divorce procedures. Contact our Portland divorce lawyer to learn more about your rights and obligations to help you decide whether divorce is the right path for you.

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