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Family Court

Gavel with Family Court binderClatsop County Family Court has served families effectively since July 1, 2000. The court assigns cases on a one judge / one family basis. This allows judges to review family issues in a comprehensive manner, consolidate hearings when appropriate, issue non-conflicting orders, and craft solutions that best fit family needs.

​The purpose of the Family Resource Center (FRC) is to help the increasing number of self-represented litigants with family law cases such as divorce, custody, parenting time, restraining orders, protective orders for the elderly and disabled, civil stalking orders, and sexual abuse protective orders. The program is part of a state-wide effort to improve the accessibility of the court system to the public. A family court facilitator can inform self-represented litigants of court procedures and available court forms, review documents, and provide information about legal services and other resources available in the community.

Please be aware that FRC staff may also assist the opposing party. Any meetings or conversations you have with FRC staff are not confidential. A family court specialist is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice or help with legal strategy. You are encouraged to consult with an attorney for legal advice concerning your case.

Family law forms are available online (please see Other Resources below) or you can purchase the forms at the court customer service windows.

More information about filing in Clatsop County Circuit Court

For further information to contact the Family Resource Center.
Other Resources: 

​Family Law cases include divorce, separation, child custody, and modification cases involving child custody, parenting time, and child support. There is generally a fee for filing these types of cases.​

​Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to settle custody and parenting time issues out of court instead of going to trial and asking a judge to make these decisions. The mediator is a neutral person who helps guide settlement discussions, provides information, and writes down agreements. There is no fee for court-ordered mediation.​

Mediation is mandatory in all contested custody and parenting time cases unless waived by a judge. Family abuse restraining order cases are exempt by law. Parties should notify the mediator if domestic violence is an issue in the case.
Before mediation sessions can begin, parties must watch the Mediation Orientation Video.


For additional information please see our Mediation Services document.

​Arbitration is mandatory in domestic relations cases in which the only contested issue is the division or other disposition of property. Parties must compensate the arbitrator and pay reasonable expenses of arbitration. Parties may agree to use mediation instead of arbitration.​​​

See our Arbitration document for more information

In any domestic relations case, a non-custodial parent shall have the right to parenting time with the minor children of the parties according to the Basic Parenting Plan. If the parties agree, an Expanded Parenting Plan or something similar can be used instead.

The court requires parents to complete a parent education class in all family law cases involving child custody or parenting time.

You must file a certification of completion with the court.

We have three approved online options. If there are multiple classes available, take the 4-hour class.

Approved Online Parent Education Classes:

​Child support is money regularly paid by a parent to help support a child. The court can order child support to be paid. Oregon has guidelines for calculating support. Your attorney or the Family Resource Center can provide help with child support calculations.

​Clatsop County Circuit Court offers two different kinds of trials in family law cases, an Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT) and a traditional trial. The IDRT is a simpler procedure for people without lawyers, although lawyers also may use it. The Court offers IDRT because traditional trials require parties to follow the rules of evidence and the court rules, which can be more difficult for people without lawyers. In IDRTs, the judge asks the questions and the parties can give the judge written statements from witnesses. The judge will decide how much weight to give to the evidence.

In a traditional trial, the parties call witnesses and ask them questions. Questions must comply with the rules of evidence. Written statements are not usually allowed.
The Court adopted a supplementary local rule (SLR) to allow IDRT. For more information regarding the two types of trials, please read the Domestic Relations Trial Brochure.
An IDRT will be used only if both people involved in the case agree to it and file the election form.​

Domestic Relations Trial Brochure (Clatsop County)​

IDRT Election & Waiver

IDRT Docket Call Sheet