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Can I Get Divorced Quickly in Oregon Without Going to Court?

Updated: Dec 10, 2023


 

If you and your spouse both want a divorce and are both in agreement with the terms of the divorce, can you avoid the usual long drawn-out court process? How quickly can you get a divorce if everyone is in agreement? Do you need a lawyer if everyone is in agreement?


In limited circumstances, you can avoid a court hearing but you will still need to file your paperwork at the courthouse. This is called a “summary dissolution” and there are special requirements and considerations to think about before you proceed with one.


Requirements for Qualifying for a Summary Dissolution (ORS 107.485):


To petition the court for a summary dissolution, certain requirements must be met:


1. Either you, your spouse, or both of you, are Oregon residents and have been continuously for the past six months;

2. You have been married to each other for no more than ten (10) years;

3. You and your spouse do not have minor children born to or adopted by you and your spouse during or before the marriage;

4. You and your spouse do not have any children age 18 years or older attending school;

5. The wife is not pregnant;

6. Neither you nor your spouse owns any interest in real property (land or buildings) in Oregon or elsewhere;

7. The personal property owned by you and your spouse (separately or together) is worth less than $30,000;

8. The debts owed by you and your spouse (separately or together) since the date of your marriage total no more than $15,000;

9. You are not asking for spousal support;

10. You are not asking for any temporary orders (except a restraining order or order for exclusive use of a residence under the Family Abuse Prevention Act or Elder Abuse Prevention Act);

11. You are not aware of any pending (filed but not yet decided) divorce, annulment, or separation proceedings involving your marriage in any state; and

12. You and your spouse agree on how to divide your belongings and debts.


How to Start a Summary Dissolution (ORS 107.490):


A summary dissolution is started by one of the spouses filing a petition in the circuit court where one of the parties live along with the required filing fee. This spouse is called the petitioner because they petitioned the court first. The petitioner must legally serve the other spouse with a summons and a true copy of the petition. Although the statute authorizing summary dissolutions requires legal service in the manner provided in the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure, if your spouse is in agreement with a divorce, it could likely be the case that they would agree to waive service or sign a stipulated general judgment of dissolution of marriage. If you legally served the other spouse, they have 30 days after the date they were served with the summons and petition to file a response with the court along with the filing fee. This spouse is called the respondent because they would be responding to a divorce petition. If the respondent does not file a response within the 30-day deadline, the petitioning spouse may ask the court to find the respondent in default and enter a judgment of summary dissolution.


Should you Talk with an Attorney First?

Summary dissolutions can be complicated and have negative consequences if not done correctly. As you can see, a summary dissolution has many requirements and steps. Doing the process correctly is crucial to achieving your desired results without wasting time and money. It’s important you talk with an attorney to help guide you through the process and explain the advantages and disadvantages of a summary dissolution or when you are served summary dissolution paperwork. Contact us at Navigate Legal Services today by calling (503) 300-1990.


Discuss your case with an Oregon attorney today. Contact us at Navigate Legal Services today by calling (503) 300-1990.

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