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In Oregon, a divorce is also called “dissolution of marriage” by the courts. Dissolution of marriage is when a couple wants to legally end their marriage. A divorce judgment will be able to decide the date the marriage is terminated, who will receive custody, the details of child support and the health insurance for the children, how property will be divided and whether spousal support will be allotted. Oregon is a “no fault” divorce state. Therefore, any couple has the ability to get a divorce regardless of the reason. A couple has the ability to get a divorce for the mere fact that they do not want to live together anymore.

The only requirement for couples to get a divorce is that they have to be legal residents of Oregon, or they have to reside in Oregon for at least six months. Once either of these are fulfilled they are eligible to petition for divorce.

Whether the divorce is uncontested or contested it is not required by law to have a lawyer represent you in your divorce case. However, with any divorce case it is highly encouraged to consult with legal representation. With contested divorces it is almost certain that you will need to have the assistance form an attorney. With a simple and straightforward divorce you may be eligible for a short form summary dissolution (uncontested divorce). If you meet all of the requirements for a short form summary dissolution then you can get the paperwork at your nearby courthouse. Although you do not need a lawyer to complete these forms you probably should considering having an attorney look over your papers to make sure that you completed them thoroughly. A Salem divorce lawyer might be your best option.

Process of Getting a Divorce

If either you or your spouse is a legal resident of Oregon, or have resided in Oregon for at least six months then you are eligible to begin the divorce process. You must first file several documents. The documents include a petition for dissolution of marriage that you must turn into the circuit court clerk’s office at your local county courthouse. The petition informs the court your request for divorce. After you have turned in your petition you must have the documents officially delivered (known also as “served on”) to your spouse, so that your spouse knows that you are requesting a divorce. There are typically fees associated with both a divorce petition as well as “serving” your spouse.

If you are working with an attorney then they will be required to deliver the petition to your spouse. However, if you choose to try to “do-it-yourself” then there will be specific instructions on your forms that can help you through the process as to how to proceed with your petition.

If you are the person who has received the petition for divorce then you have 30 days to challenge the conditions requested within the petition. If you do not respond to the petition then the court will assume that you agree to all of the requests within the petition.

Types of Divorce

In Oregon there are three different types of divorce. The three types of divorce are uncontested, contested, and missing spouse. If it okay if any or all of this is confusing. You can all David Johnson, a Salem divorce lawyer, to help explain everything to you in a way you will understand.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce may also be referred to as an agreed divorce. In Oregon, an uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse have no arguments on how to divide property and debts, who will have custody of child(ren), details of child support, and the specifics of spousal support. In most all uncontested divorce cases in Oregon the couples agree to adhere to the Oregon child support guidelines.

It is prudent for you to speak with an attorney before coming to an agreement with your spouse. Even if you never go to trial, a divorce lawyer in Salem can make sure that you completely understand the details of your divorce and to allow you to receive what you deserve in your dissolution of marriage. Most divorce cases will never reach a trial, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need the help of a qualified professional. An experienced lawyer practicing divorce law in Salem can help you weigh all of your options and walk you through the overwhelming divorce process.


A contested divorce is often a little bit more complicated than an uncontested divorce and therefore usually is a little more expensive. In a contested case, you are basically suggesting to the court that you can’t make decisions and so you are asking the court to make them for you.

Having a contested divorce may be because you are dividing up a substantial estate, discussing significant amount of money, or other high value assets. Another example that a contested divorce may be suitable is when one spouse is in need of protection from an abusive spouse, or when somebody needs a court order to stop their spouse from wasting their marital assets. In these circumstances a professional divorce lawyer is highly recommended.

Missing Spouse

A missing spouse divorce is also known as divorce in publication. A missing spouse divorce is a little bit more complicated and involved than contested and uncontested divorce. A missing spouse divorce is when somebody would like to petition for divorce, but they cannot locate their spouse. If you try to find your spouse in a honest effort and are still unable to locate them then you need to reach out to a divorce attorney to help you proceed with a divorce.

Contact Us Today

When you are considering a divorce you are probably struggling quite a bit with the emotional toll of a dissolution of marriage. It takes a toll on you. David Johnson, a qualified Salem divorce lawyer, can help you through the difficult process. He will work hard for you and help you achieve the outcome that you would like. If you are debating whether or not a divorce lawyer is right for you then call David Johnson today for a consultation.

Client Reviews
David is wonderful. He took on our case with 2 weeks to spare. He's affordable and extremely smart. Has a wonderful assistant who had a ton of knowledge as well. They make a great team. I'll recommend Mr. Johnson 100%. Thank you so much, Mr. Johnson, we really appreciate your work. Cassie C.
Very professional. Went beyond and above for my case. Would highly recommend to anyone. David and his family are easy to talk to and make you feel comfortable. I will definitely be using David in the future should I need a lawyer. He did an outstanding job on my case. I could not ask for more highly recommend. Matthew M.
David Johnson is a master of law, he understands his client's needs and is willing to go above and beyond to get the job done. His knowledge of family and custody law are unparalleled and I would recommend him to anyone looking to get their case heard. While his demeanor is client meetings is objective and understanding his courtroom manner is certain to resolve even the most difficult case. Look no further when it comes to the kind of representation you need. Whisper V.