At the hearing, the judge will not be taking evidence or testimony or making decisions about the issues in the case but rather, checking in with both parties to make sure that everything is on track and then set the next court date. These hearings usually last about two hours. The judge will announce the order of the cases at the beginning of the docket.
IMPORTANT! If custody and/or parenting time are involved in your case and you haven’t yet taken the Focus on Children class or participated in mandatory mediation, it is likely the judge will order you to comply with these requirements and set another Status Check hearing. This can prolong or delay your case.
If either party in a case is requesting child or spousal support, both parties are required to file a document called a
Uniform Support Declaration. If you haven’t already filed this document with the Court, you will be ordered to do so as well as to provide a copy to the other party and the
Division of Child Support, if they have appeared in your case.
The other party may be entitled to review documents in your control about various things such as property, debts, vehicles, and child-related information. If the other party requests documents from you to help prepare for trial, the request of the documents and exchange of information is called “Discovery.” Parties are permitted to make discovery requests, and, in most instances, you are required to deliver copies of the requested items to the other party
ORS 107.089. If the other party requests items, and you do not provide them copies of the things requested, it could have a negative effect on your case. When you receive a request, you must give the documents directly to the other party, you are not required to file those documents with the Court. If you have questions about the discovery process you should consult with a lawyer.
Self-help video explaining
Discovery (providing information to or gathering information from the other party):
Watch on YouTube
Resolving your case
If you have complied with the above requirements and settled all issues, the judge will schedule you an appointment to meet with the Family Court Assistance Office to help you prepare a stipulated Judgment that outlines your agreement.
If there are unresolved issues, the judge will set your case for either a trial or a settlement conference.
If you and the other party are close to resolving your case or have few remaining issues to settle, it may be appropriate to set your case for a settlement conference with a judge. A settlement conference is a time set for a judge to talk to both parties individually to see if the judge can guide parties to a settlement. Prior to the conference, each party can prepare and submit a confidential settlement letter. In the letter, you can outline the issues that are important to you and propose how you would like the case to be resolved. The letter is confidential and does not need to be sent to the other side. Make sure the case number is on the letter and that you print “CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT LETTER” at the top of the letter.
If a settlement conference is not appropriate, the judge will set your matter for trial. There are two trial types to choose from. Please be prepared to select the trial type:
Traditional or Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT).
Divorce and Custody Trial Brochure
View PDF on courts.oregon.gov