Divorce Process & Expectations
The divorce process can be tense, emotional, and even combative. You may be feeling confused, sad, overwhelmed, angry, or any number of other emotions. In order to effectively navigate the divorce process, you’ll need a divorce attorney, as well as an understanding of the divorce process and what you can expect during the dissolution of your marriage.
The Divorce Process in Oregon
In Oregon, divorce is legally referred to as a “dissolution of marriage.” If you’re considering a divorce or you or your spouse have started the paperwork necessary for a dissolution of marriage, keep reading to learn the steps involved in finalizing a divorce in Oregon.
How to Start the Divorce Process: Petitioning for Dissolution
The divorce process begins with one spouse/partner filing for a dissolution of marriage. This spouse is known as the Petitioner. The other spouse involved is known as the Respondent. Spouses can also file a joint dissolution petition. In this case, each spouse is known as a Co-petitioner.
If children are involved the Petitioner or Co-petitioners must file paperwork for any pending or existing child support orders or proceedings. A Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) affidavit about any custody, visitation, or parenting time proceedings must also be filed. The affidavit must also include documentation explaining where the children lived the past 5 years.
30 Days to Respond
The Respondent has 30 days to respond to the petition once they have been served. If no response is filed, the Petitioner may get everything he or she asked for in his or her petition. If the Respondent does file a response, the case may proceed to trial, mediation, or a settlement conference.
The End of the Marriage
A marriage officially ends when a judge signs a final dissolution of marriage. As part of this step, the judge may issue rulings regarding:
- Child custody, support, and visitation
- Division of property
- Spousal support, also commonly known as alimony
- Payment of court costs
Understanding What to Expect During the Divorce Process
Every marriage and every divorce is different and unique. At Holtey Law, we work with many clients who are going through the divorce process and we understand the often complicated feelings, relationships, and situations involved.
Keep reading and we’ll help you understand what to expect during your divorce and answer some of the most common questions we hear from our clients.
Do I need a reason for getting divorced? Do I need my partner’s permission?
In the state of Oregon, there is what is known as a “no-fault divorce.” This simply requires that you and your spouse don’t get along and can’t make your marriage work. The law refers to this as “irreconcilable differences that have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.”
You do not need permission from your spouse or partner to initiate a divorce.
The Divorce Process isn’t (Always) Fair
You should understand that the common, layman’s definition of fairness doesn’t apply in legal proceedings like divorce. Instead the judge and the court applies the laws as they are written to determine the outcome of the divorce process.
How Long will My Divorce Take?
Real life isn’t like television and court cases aren’t settled in an hour. The reality is much different. From start to finish you may be looking at 6-8 months to finalize your divorce if a trial is involved.
Should I Settle Out of Trial?
As your lawyer, it is our duty to provide you with our best legal advice for your situation. In some cases, settlement negotiations or mediation is in everyone’s best interest, especially when children are involved. Settlements generally take less time, cost less money, and are less contentious than trials.
What are Divorce Trials Like?
Divorce trials can be long, expensive, and emotionally demanding. The more complicating factors that exist, like shared property and child visitation, the more complex a trial becomes.
Achieving a positive outcome at trial requires preparation. That may mean hiring appraisers, accountants, or other experts. It also means working with our clients to make sure we have access to as many documents as much as possible. This includes financial records and other potential pieces of evidence.
A trial is never easy and rarely proceeds exactly as expected and by its nature is an adversarial and emotional experience. You need to be prepared for these emotional divorce ups and downs should your case proceed to trial.
Our Expectations for Clients
When working on a divorce case, we expect our clients to be honest with us at all times and to always ask questions when they’re confused or just want to know more about their options.
We also expect our clients to have a desired outcome in mind, as well as other acceptable outcomes. This can help both in preparing for trial or during mediation and settlement negotiations.
Committing to a result (once reached) helps resolve your case and helps you move forward with your life.
What You Can Expect from Your Divorce Lawyer
When we’re working on your case, you will always be our number one priority. We will always treat you with respect and work to make sure you understand exactly what we are doing on your behalf. We’ll always give you the best legal advice and representation available in the Portland area.
We will do what it takes to make sure you are satisfied with your legal representation from Holtey Law.