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Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) is a way to legally end a marriage. In Oregon the only reason you need to qualify for a divorce is that you and your spouse cannot get along. The law calls this “irreconcilable differences.”


Parenting Classes
If you are a parent of a child under 17, and you are a party in a Washington County family law case, you are required to participate in a program of education called "Kids' Turn." You must register for the class by calling 503.846.0665 or at  The Family Law Assistance Program in room 112C of the courthouse also has forms available. Generally you will not be allowed to finalize your divorce until you have completed the class and a certificate of completion has been filed with the court.


Child and Spousal Support

Child Support is money regularly paid by a parent to help support a child. The court can order child support to be paid until a child is 18 and, in some instances, until a child turns 21. Child support can be ordered as part of a divorce case. Oregon has guidelines for calculation of support. The guidelines consider many factors, including but not limited to, income of the parents, cost of childcare, and number of children. You may request assistance from the Division of Child Support by calling (800) 850-0228, or visiting their website at or from the Family Law Assistance Program.

Spousal Support is money paid by one spouse to support the other. The money can be paid in installments or all at once. Spousal support can be ordered as part of a divorce. There are three different types of spousal support, and more than one type can be ordered in a case. Transitional support helps a spouse get an education or training to re-enter or advance in the workforce. Compensatory support reimburses a spouse for contributions to the education, career or earning capacity of the other spouse. Spousal maintenance maintains a similar standard of living to that of the marriage. The Oregon Child Support Program (800-850-0228) may help you collect spousal support if you already have an order and child support is also being collected.


Custody and Parenting Time (Visitation)

Court-ordered child custody determines who has the legal responsibility to care for and make decisions about a child. Custody can be decided in a divorce. There are different types of custody arrangements. Sole custody is when one parent has sole authority to make all decisions regarding the child's upbringing. A parent with sole custody is free to consult with the other parent regarding those decisions, but the final say regarding such decisions rests with the custodial parent. Joint custody is when both parents share the responsibility and have authority to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing. Joint custody does not necessarily mean that the child lives with each parent an equal amount of time.

Parenting time (visitation) is the time the non-custodial parent spends with a child. Parenting plans must set forth a minimum amount of parenting time for the parent who does not have custody. Parenting time can be restricted or denied by a judge if the parenting time would place the child in danger, or if the judge decides that restriction or denial is in the child's best interest. Mediation will be ordered by a judge if the parents can't agree on custody and parenting time. If parents cannot come to an agreement in mediation on custody and parenting time, a judge will hear both sides and decide what is best for the child.


Dissolution without Children
Dissolution with Children
Dissolution without Children Response
Dissolution with Children Response
Co-Petitioner without Children