Family Law, also known as Domestic Relations, includes a number of different types of cases including adoption, child custody and parenting time child support and spousal support, dissolution of marriage (divorce), filiation (paternity), legal separation and restraining orders.
Family Law cases involve making important decisions and often have complex legal issues that are difficult to resolve without an attorney. Because your rights may be substantially affected, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney prior to beginning any legal action.
These are the ways to initiate or respond to a domestic relations case:
- Your attorney may file electronically using File and Serve
- You may use Guide and File interactive interview with online File and Serve
- You may use Guide and File interactive interview and print the documents for review and filing
- You may print and complete forms from the Oregon Judicial Department forms page and bring them to Room 101 for review and filing
- You may purchase forms in Room 101 for completion, review and filing
Beginning May 1, 2017, review of Family Law forms will be available ONLY by appointment.*
Review times will be scheduled in 1-hour blocks as follows:
Monday and Wednesday 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
To schedule an appointment, call 541-766-6813
or email Benton.DomRel@ojd.state.or.us
*Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Restraining Orders and Emergency Custody Orders (Immediate Danger) may still be reviewed at any time during our normal hours Mon-Fri from 8:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, excluding Holidays. The cutoff time for getting FAPA Restraining Order forms completed in order to be considered by a judge that same day is 10:00 am, any completed after that time will not be considered until the following day.
Oregon Judicial Department Family Law forms and information can be found here.
If you are unable to pay the filing fee you may request waiver of the filing fees by completing a written application. Documentation of your income, expenses, and any public assistance will be required. Upon review of your application and documentation your fee may be waived or it may be deferred, to be paid in full before the final judgment is entered.
Adoptions are confidential. Recent
changes to Oregon law allow some people access to certain court adoption records
without a court order. Others must get a court adoption cases order to access
The court does not provide forms for use in the adoption process.
Attending the parenting education class is required when children are involved and the case is at issue proceeding towards mediation in the following case types:
- Annulment or dissolution of marriage
- Legal separation
- Petition to establish custody or parenting time (including paternity)
- Post-judgment litigation involving custody or parenting time
If parents are in agreement or a party defaults attendance is not required.
You are required to attend the following parenting education class unless you have the requirement waived by the court. You are required to register for the class no later than 15 days after the date of filing. The fee of $45 is payable directly to the provider when you register. You are required to submit proof of completion to the court before your judgment is signed. Court clerks will provide a brochure and class schedule upon request.
Old Mill Center For Children And Families (website)
1650 S. W. 45th Place
Corvallis, OR 97333
Mediation is a process whereby a mediator (a neutral third party trained in mediation techniques) meets with the disputing parties to help them arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution. The mediator acts as a facilitator to help the parties reach an agreement. The parties make the decisions. The mediator may act as the scribe to document the agreement. The agreement may be reviewed by an attorney engaged by either party. The agreement will be filed with the court and considered a binding contract after 14 days.
With minor exceptions (such as a threat of personal harm), things discussed at the mediation session will not be disclosed by the mediator.
Mediation is mandatory in cases where minor children are involved and custody or parenting time is at issue. Upon filing of a response to the initiating petition the court will send a notice of scheduled appearance for Mediation Orientation which will be set at noon on the either the first or third Friday of the month. One of three trained mediators will be assigned by the court once both parties have completed a mediation packet provided at orientation. Up to eight hours of mediation will be paid for by the State of Oregon. The mediator will submit a report detailing the results to the court at the end of mediation. The agreement becomes a binding contract 24 days after it is filed with the court. If an agreement has been reached, self-represented parties or attorneys representing parties are required to file a proposed judgment with the court. If no agreement is reached the case will be set for trial.
The mediators are:
- Elizabeth Aranoff
- Kristen B. Jocums
This parenting plan is the standard used by the Benton County Circuit Court. If this plan is not satisfactory for your situation, you must submit another plan for the court to approve.
If you are in need of a restraining order please review the following links and information regarding the requirements and forms:
Family Abuse Prevention Act
Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act
Sexual Abuse Protective Order
All of these forms are available in Room 101.
Completed restraining order forms must be received by 10:00 a.m. in order to be considered by a judge at 11:30 a.m. the same business day. If forms are filed after 10:00 a.m. the matter will be heard the next business day at 11:30 a.m. The petitioner will be given information for CARDV – Center against Rape and Domestic Violence for safety resources.
It is requested that you check in to Room 101 by 11:15 a.m. on the day your restraining order hearing has been scheduled.
While court staff can provide general information about court procedures, ORS 9.160
prohibits court staff from giving legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney.