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Oregon Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement

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Oregon Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement

Updated August 29, 2023

An Oregon marital settlement agreement is a divorce tool executed by two (2) spouses who are willing to settle certain matters relating to the dissolution of their marriage. A settlement agreement might not be required by the court to obtain a divorce decree, but it can help in speeding up the divorce proceedings in some instances. Once this agreement is signed, it is legally binding; however, this doesn’t mean a divorce action is commenced, or a divorce decree is ordered. A divorce can only be finalized by the judge, which occurs when one or both of the spouses have filed for divorce and completed the necessary paperwork. Matters that are addressed in the document include spousal support (alimony), child support, child custody, property distribution, and the division of liability/debt. While not necessary, it is recommended that spouses seek legal counsel or a mediator when completing a marital settlement agreement.

Table of Contents

Divorce Laws

Statutes – Vol. 3, Chapter 107, Sections 005-452

Alimony (§ 107.105(1)(d)) – The court may order alimony in the form of transitional spousal support, compensatory spousal support, and/or spousal maintenance for an indefinite period. They will take into consideration any number of factors they deem relevant, including, but not limited to, the following determinants:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Age of the parties
  • The health of the parties, including physical, mental, and emotional
  • Standard of living established during the marriage
  • Relative income and earning capacity
  • Training and employment skills (of the party seeking maintenance)
  • Work experience (of the party seeking maintenance)
  • Financial needs and resources
  • Tax consequences of the support award
  • Custodial and child support responsibilities

Alimony Calculatorcalculators.law

Child Support (§ 25.275) – Child support is determined using the formula created by the Division of Child Support of the Department of Justice. The income of both parents will be used in calculating child support, as will other considerations as relayed in the guidelines of the Oregon Administrative Rules § 137-050.

Child Support CalculatorOregon Department of Justice Child Support

Division of Property (§ 107.105(1)(e)) – When it comes to dividing property in a divorce action, the courts consider all property to be marital property, the only exception being property acquired by gift, i.e., through bequest, inheritance, or any other gift. The court will divide the property fairly and equitably, as per the law of equitable distribution, as opposed to dividing the property evenly.

Grounds for Divorce (§ 107.025) – Oregon is a no-fault divorce state; therefore, neither party needs to prove the other committed any wrongdoing. Either party can simply claim the marriage has broken down due to irreconcilable differences.

Interim Support (§ 107.095(1)) – Once an action for divorce is underway, the court may order temporary support from one party to the other for the purposes of enabling them to prosecute or defend the action and to care for themselves and their minor children from the marriage, if applicable.

Residency (§ 107.075) – At least one (1) spouse must have lived in the state for six (6) months prior to either party filing a divorce action.

Separation – There is no statute that requires separation before a divorce action can be filed.

Divorce Forms

  • Where to FileCounty Circuit Court
  • Filing Fee – $301
  • How Long Does it Take? Two (2) to six (6) weeks

Uncontested Divorce with No Children:

Uncontested Divorce With Children:

How to File for Divorce in Oregon (8 steps)

  1. Complete Forms
  2. File Forms
  3. Serve Respondent
  4. Respondent’s Answer
  5. Default Judgment (If Applicable)
  6. Trial and Judgment (Contested Divorce)
  7. Agreement and Judgment (Uncontested)
  8. Name Change (If Applicable)

1. Complete Forms

person filling out divorce paperwork

In Oregon, a divorce action, also called a dissolution of marriage, starts with one spouse filing for divorce in the county in which either spouse has resided for at least six (6) months. For the purposes of the proceedings, the spouse filing the divorce is called the “petitioner” and the other spouse the “respondent.” The process will be slightly different depending on whether or not there are children involved. The first step for the petitioner is to complete the following forms:

If the divorce involves minor children (children under the age of eighteen (18)), they must also complete a Parenting Plan and a Child Support Worksheet. Furthermore, if there are adult children to the marriage ages eighteen (18), nineteen (19), or twenty (20), they are technically a party to the case, and they have the legal right to participate. If the adult child is in school, they may seek child support from either or both parents.

2. File Forms

The petitioner should make at least two (2) copies of all the completed forms so they can keep copies for their records, file the originals with the court, and serve the respondent. All original forms (except Summons and Notice of Statutory Restraining Order) must be filed with the court clerk of the circuit court in the county where one of the parties has lived for at least six (6) months. The clerk will demand that the petitioner pay a $301 filing fee. The clerk will provide a case number, which can be entered on the original forms and each copy.

3. Serve Respondent

After filing the petition and all applicable forms with the court, the petitioner must serve the respondent (and any adult children of the marriage) with copies of the following forms:

  • Petition
  • Summons
  • Notice of Filing of CIF
  • Notice of Statutory Restraining Order Preventing Dissipation of Assets
  • Statement of Assets and Liabilities
  • USD (if applicable)
  • Parenting Plan (if applicable)

To serve all documents on the respondent, the petitioner can use one (1) of the following options:

  • Acceptance of Service: The easiest way to serve divorce papers is by delivering them to the respondent personally and having them sign an Acceptance of Service. This concludes the service process but does not necessarily mean the respondent agrees with all issues mentioned in the petition. The Acceptance of Service must be filed with the court.
  • Formal Service: The petitioner can hire the sheriff’s office, a process server, or a competent non-party to the case over the age of eighteen (18) to deliver the documents to the respondent. The server must complete a Certificate of Service to file with the court clerk after serving the respondent by one (1) of the following methods:
    • Personal: The server personally delivers the documents to the respondent.
    • Substituted: The server personally delivers the documents to someone at the respondent’s residence over the age of fourteen (14). The server must also send copies of the documents to the respondent’s residence by first-class mail.
    • Office: The server leaves the documents with a person in charge of the respondent (employer, boss, manager, etc.) at their normal workplace. The server must also send copies of the documents to the respondent’s residence by first-class mail.
    • Mail: The server mails the documents to the respondent’s residence or workplace by first class mail and by certified mail (receipt requested), and the respondent signs for them.

All the abovementioned service options apply to any adult children of the marriage. However, adult children can choose not to participate in the case by signing a Waiver of Further Appearance and Consent to Entry of Judgment after being served by the petitioner.

4. Respondent’s Answer

There are three (3) different manners by which the parties may proceed after the petitioner serves the respondent: the respondent and petitioner agree to resolve the issues by themselves or with the help of a mediator, the respondent files a response in disagreement with the petition, or the respondent chooses not to file a response within thirty (30) days of receiving the petition. This last result, failing to respond, means the petitioner can request a default judgment (Step 5). If the respondent responds to and disagrees with the petition, the case will go to trial, and the judge will decide the outcome of the case (Step 6). The best method of concluding the divorce proceedings is if the parties can agree, by themselves or with the help of a neutral mediator, on all the issues involved in the divorce case (Step 7).

5. Default Judgment (If Applicable)

divorce judgment being signed

When the respondent does not file their response within the thirty-day period, the petitioner can complete and file the following documents with the court:

A default judgment does not require a hearing. The court clerk will hand over all necessary documents to the judge for review. If the judge accepts all issues mentioned in the petition, they will sign the General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

6. Trial and Judgment (Contested Divorce)

A trial is necessary for divorce cases where both petitioner and respondent disagree on many or all issues relating to the divorce action. The judge presiding over the case may require the parties to attend conferences to go over details of the case and proceedings, and they may order the parties to mediate before going to trial. Through mediation, the parties have the opportunity to resolve issues between them with help from a neutral third party. Otherwise, all issues of the divorce will be left up to the judge during the trial. Regardless of how the divorce proceeds, the judge must sign a General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage in order to finalize the divorce.

7. Agreement and Judgment (Uncontested)

When the petitioner and respondent can come to terms with all issues related to their divorce, the process for obtaining a judgment will typically be a lot quicker. The parties may still wish to consult a mediator to help them resolve certain conflicts and to reach a total agreement. The parties can fill out a Marital Settlement Agreement to keep track of all the resolved issues. The next step for the parties is to complete and file a Declaration in Support of Judgment and a General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. There needn’t be a hearing or conference of any kind with the judge in divorce actions where both parties have come to terms on their own. All forms filed with the court clerk will be handed over to the judge, who will go over the paperwork and sign the General Judgment once they are sure everything is in order.

8. Name Change (If Applicable)

name change document

If a request by either party was made to revert to their maiden name, the judge will (in almost all cases) approve this request.