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Family and Children

NOTE: This web page provides general legal information in summary form. The information is not a complete explanation of the law in this area, and it is not intended to substitute for legal advice. The law in this area may change, and the changes may not be noted here. Contact a lawyer for legal advice.

Family Court Assistance Office

The Family Court Assistance Office helps self-represented litigants in divorce, legal separation, custody, or parenting time proceedings. Family Law Facilitators can help explain court procedures, review documents, and refer to other services and resources. Family Law Facilitators cannot give legal advice.

These cases involve important decisions and may have complex legal issues that are difficult to handle without a lawyer. Because your rights may be substantially affected, we strongly recommend you seek legal assistance from a lawyer who will protect your interests. 

The Family Court Assistance Office reception window is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. During this time you can purchase family law forms or request assistance from a facilitator. 

Family Law Facilitators are also available by telephone or email. You may schedule an appointment with a facilitator for review of your family law forms. If you would like a document review, you must first fill out your forms as completely as possible. Once you have completed your forms you may schedule an appointment by contacting the Family Court Reception Window in person, by phone at 541-682-4302, or email at LANFamilyCourt@ojd.state.or.us. You can book an appointment online.

Schedule a Facilitator

For additional information on Divorce or Custody & Support visit the statewide Family Law Program website.

 Contact Info

 541-682-4302

 LANFamilyCourt@ojd.state.or.us

Schedule a Facilitator
 Location

125 E. 8th Avenue Eugene, OR 97401 Second Floor Check in at Court Records Window

 Hours

FCAO Window Hours
Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Telephone Hours
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Email
Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Our goal is to respond to emails within 1 business day

Parenting Education Class

Parents with children under 18 that are a party in a Lane County dissolution (divorce), legal separation, or legal action to establish or modify custody and/or parenting time are required to attend a parent education class, Focus on Children, held by Lane County Family Mediation. You can find information about fees, payment options, and registration on the Lane County Family Mediation website.

Domestic Relations Status Check Hearings

All contested cases that have at least one self-represented party will be set for a Domestic Relations Status Check hearing after the response is filed. The status check hearings are held on Mondays at 1:30pm.

Please watch the video for a detailed orientation about the Domestic Relations Status Check hearings in Lane County.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

Read your hearing notice carefully for information about when and how to appear. These hearings are held remotely and the link is always: https://courts.oregon.gov/LaneStatusCheckHearings. You may appear either by video or by telephone.

A status check hearing is a mandatory appearance for both parties. If you do not appear, the other party may be awarded the relief requested of the court, meaning they get everything they asked for in the court papers.

Checklist to do before the hearing
Register for Focus on Children
Attend Mediation after completing Focus on Children
Decide if you will have a Traditional or Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT)

The hearing is a mandatory appearance, meaning both you and the other party must appear. There will be a number of other cases on the docket. In addition to the judge and all the parties, there will be a representative from Family Court Assistance, Family Mediation, and the Child Support Program.

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.

Discovery Documents

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.

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.

Trial

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

Important Resources

Relevant Forms