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Family Law

gavel on book with words Family Law

Civil Case Unit
Phone: 503-655-8447 Option 5

Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays:

Public Counter:  

9 am - 4 pm

Phone:  8 am - 4 pm


807 Main Street, Room 104
Oregon City, Oregon 97045

Drop Box (See Filing Section Below) – Room 104, 8 am – 5 pm

​A number of family law motion procedures have recently changed. Please see below for detailed information about these new processes. If you are unsure of whether or not something needs to be scheduled for hearing, please contact the Calendaring Unit, or the Family Court Specialist if you are not represented by an attorney. See the complete Family Law Motion Processing Guide.

Orders to Show Cause

In Clackamas County, many domestic relations Orders to Show Cause are set for hearing and require a personal appearance by the parties. Modifications under ORS 107.135, however, requires a written response prior to a hearing being set. For orders that require a personal appearance, the court will not grant a default order/judgment based on the opposing party’s failure to file a written response with the court within 30 days of service. Additional details about “How to Get an Order to Show Cause for Personal Appearance (Non-Modifications) Signed in Clackamas County Circuit Court” are available in the Family Law Motion Processing Guide.

Modifications of Judgment (ORS 107.135)

Effective December 2015, pursuant to SLR 8.051​, Orders to Show Cause re Modification of Judgment require the opposing party to file a written response in answer to the Motion within 30 days of service. A hearing date will be set by the court upon receipt of the opposing party’s response and fee (or approved deferral/waiver). Click here to review SLRs.

Pursuant to UTCR 8.050(1), the initiating documents must contain summons language in the form set out in ORCP 7.  This notice may be a separate document or included in the Order to Show Cause or Motion. Additionally, if support is to be an issue, a Uniform Support Declaration​ must also be filed with the Motion and completed as provided under subsection (4) of UTCR 8.010. Form more information, please review the UTCRs.

Lastly, SLR 8.051(2)​ requires the Order to Show Cause include the local Notice about a Written Response to a Petition or Motion to Modify Filed in Clackamas County Circuit Court. This notice is available on the Court’s website, under the Modification packet heading. 

​If you will be asking the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to serve your documents, they have asked that we share the following with you:

In order to serve your process to the right person, and in the event that enforcement action is needed at any point in your case, please note that on advice from counsel, the address you provide must be precise. To ensure you use the most accurate information, use the Clackamas Map website to determine the correct address.

​Arbitration is a procedure, much like a trial but less formal. Instead of a decision being made by a judge or jury, an arbitrator hears the evidence and makes a decision. Like a judge, an arbitrator makes rulings on motion, decides the order in which witnesses appear and the testimony they give, and may impose penalties on a party who disobeys the arbitrator's orders.

There are two kinds of cases that the court will order to go into arbitration. The first kind of case is a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit is a case where one party, the plaintiff, is suing another person or corporation, the defendant for money. Examples include a personal injury case from an automobile accident, a disagreement about a contract or some other type of case that doesn't involve criminal charges. In civil cases, the lawsuit goes into arbitration depending on the amount money the plaintiff is asking for. Cases less than $50,000 must go into arbitration. The second kind of case is a domestic relations or family law case, where the parties are arguing about something other than custody or support. An example is a case where the husband and wife cannot agree on how to divide their property and their debts. To find out more about arbitration, please visit our Arbitration page.

​Information from Court Staff

For more information about what court staff can and cannot assist you with, visit our Legal Help page.

For more information, visit our Court Forms page.

Filing Fees

Fees for family law cases are due at the time of filing your papers. If you cannot pay the fee at the time of filing, you may apply for a fee deferral/waiver. If the fee deferral/waiver is granted, collections of those fees are the same as any other monetary obligation. For additional information, please go to the Collections Page.

Where to file

Electronic Filing

Anyone may register to use the electronic filing system and become an authorized filer. Pursuant to UTCR 21.140, an active member of the Oregon State Bar must file documents using the electronic filing system, instead of conventional filing, unless:

Conventionally Filed Documents

Self-represented litigants may choose to electronically file their documents, or alternatively, may file them conventionally. Conventional filing is a process where a filer files the paper document with the court, whether that is at the filing counter, through the mail, or dropped off at the courts “Drop Box”. Please do not send original documents directly to the judge's office. Please file the original document in the Civil Case Unit office (Room 104 of the Courthouse). Options for conventionally filing are:

  • Mail – at Clackamas County Court, 807 Main Street, Room 104, Oregon City, OR 97045
  • Civil Filing Window – Room 104 of the Courthouse 
  • Drop Box - The "Drop Box", which is located on the "Employee Only" door to Room 104, may be used to submit pleadings, other documents for filing, and payments anytime during regular courthouse hours. Any filings and payments placed in the "Drop Box" no later than 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays, will be date stamped and deemed received and filed on that day.

Ex Parte

There is one time a day when you may take motions and proposed orders to a courtroom to see if a judge will sign them. This is called Ex-parte. In Clackamas County Circuit Court, Ex-parte is at 1:00 pm Monday through Friday, except court holidays. Ex-parte lasts for 15 minutes; therefore, it is very important that you are in the court early. Refer to SLR 5.061 ​for additional information.

​The Family Court Self-Help Program is a part of a statewide effort to improve access to justice for persons representing themselves in family law cases. Family Court Specialists operate under the provisions of Oregon Revised Statute 3.428, with the authorization to provide specific services. The Family Law Self Help Program should only be contacted if you are representing yourself and have procedural questions or need clarification on family law forms. Information about assistance in reviewing completed forms and how to schedule an appointment with the Family Court Specialist is available on the Family Law Self Help page.

​Listed below are links to educational materials that may be of assistance to you:

Two different types of trials are available in Oregon for resolving domestic relations cases. Domestic relations cases include divorce, separation, unmarried parent custody, and modification cases about child custody, parenting time, and child support. The two types of trials are called an Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT) and a Traditional Trial. If your case is contested and set to go to trial, you can choose the type of trial that you think is best for your case.

Additional information is available on our Informal Domestic Relations Trials page​.  In addition, please read the Clackamas County Domestic Relations Trial Brochure for more information. To request an Informal Domestic Relations Trial, all parties must select this option on the Informal Domestic Relations Trial Process Selection form​ and send it to the court.