Oregon Family Law

Trusted Family Law Attorneys Portland Oregon 

Relationships can be intricate and challenging. Our Portland, Oregon, family law attorneys specialize in these sensitive and dynamic legal issues. We work hard to ensure you have the best legal representation and advice throughout the process. Our attorneys recognize that life goes on even when you’re dealing with these complex family issues. You can count on us to continually strategize and watch out for your best interests.

Oregon Family law is a broad and complex legal field. Our attorneys are here to help you understand if your issue is something we can help you with.


A divorce, or dissolution, is when a marriage is dissolved based on the desire of one or both parties to separate and end the marital relationship. To begin a divorce in Oregon, you must be legally married, at least one spouse must believe there are irreconcilable differences, and you or your spouse must live in the state of Oregon.

Legal Separation

Unlike a divorce, a legal separation does not terminate the marital relationship, but it does address various legal and financial aspects of the separation. For example, you still divide all of your assets and debts and establish a parenting plan, child support, spousal support, etc. If you are considering legal separation in Portland, Oregon, our skilled legal separation attorneys at Navigate Law Group are ready to guide you through this process.

Post-Judgment Modifications

You might already have a final judgment but need to modify or enforce it. A General Judgment of Dissolution or a General Judgment re Custody and Parenting are typical final judgments that need to be modified or enforced. There are different factors to be considered when modifying a final judgment. Our attorneys at Navigate Law Group can help you consider the different factors in determining if you are able to modify or enforce your final judgment, as well as potentially assist you through the process.

Domestic Partnerships or Cohabitation

When two parties are living together in a serious, marriage-like relationship but are not married, that is called a cohabitation (or domestic partnership). People sometimes refer to this as common-law marriage, though common-law marriage does not actually exist in Oregon. At Navigate Law Group, we can help determine if your relationship meets the definition of a cohabitation/domestic partnership and if so, how to divide assets and debts. If you have minor children, then issues such as custody, a parenting schedule, and child support can also be determined by the Court even if you aren’t married. Our attorneys are here to assist you with those issues. One important point is that a party cannot be awarded spousal support through a domestic partnership or cohabitation action.

Emergency Issues

Some relationship and family issues may require immediate court intervention. Some examples might be if your family is facing domestic violence, if your spouse is disposing of community assets, or If there is a situation where the child or children are in an unsafe situation while in the other parent’s care. This kind of action is also called ex parte intervention. At Navigate Law Group, we can help you review your situation and determine if there is an immediate need for court intervention.
I let go of my first lawyer (not Cathy) due a large mistake that cost me a lot of money and a lack of emotional connection. Cathy stepped in and was amazing! I had a great experience with her. I went through a very rough separation/divorce and she was there every step of the way, and made sure I was taken care of and made the right choices. She also made me feel she cared emotionally about what I was going through and it helped so much. She is worth every penny! I cannot say enough about her.

Danielle D.

Our Family Law Attorneys in Portland Oregon

Cathy helped me with custody issues that arose after a previously mediated divorce. She kept me honest, kept my child’s best interest in mind, and was clear about expectations. I ended up with more time with my child during the summer and kept my ex from feeling like she lost too much. She really made both sides feel like they won and most importantly we can go about co-parenting. Thank you, Cathy!


Common Oregon Family Law Questions

How many years do you have to be married to get spousal support (alimony) in Oregon?

There is no minimum amount of time you have to be married in order to get spousal support. Spousal support is determined by several elements in Oregon state, such as financial resources of both parties, job history, age, health, standard of living during marriage, length of marriage, need, and ability to pay. If the court determines that one party is in need of spousal support, then the longer you were married usually means a longer period of spousal support.

How do I start a divorce in Oregon?

Filing for divorce requires at least five main pleadings: 1) Petition for Dissolution, 2) Confidential Information Form, 3) Notice of Filing Confidential Information Form, 4) Record of Dissolution of Marriage, Annulment, or Registered Domestic Partnership, and 5) Summons. Once you are ready to file, you take an original set of these pleadings to the Clerk’s Office to file. You may need additional copies, and you will need to pay the filing fee. It might be helpful to call the Clerk’s Office ahead of time to confirm you have everything you need, though they may not be able to confirm everything. Once the initial pleadings are filed you have officially started your divorce, though there are other steps you need to take to be able to finalize your divorce, including serving the other party with the initiating documents.

Who can serve divorce papers in Oregon State?

Any person at least 18 years of age who is not a party to the case can serve legal papers. You can hire a professional, and in some cases, you may have the Sheriff’s Office serve. You can’t serve the papers yourself. However, if you have the other party sign an Acceptance of Service, you can give them the papers yourself.

How do I file for child support in Oregon?

Child support can be requested through a marital dissolution petition, a custody/parenting plan petition, or a paternity petition. You will need to provide your income information and any information you have about the other party’s income as well.  Child support can also be pursued administratively through the Support Enforcement Division of the District Attorney’s Office in the county where the child or one of the parties resides.

Can you waive child support in Oregon?

The parties can potentially agree to waive child support payment transfers, but can’t permanently waive the right to child support in the future. If the child is receiving state benefits or if a parent is enrolled on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), waiving child support might not be possible.

Can you date while moving forward with a divorce in Oregon?

Yes. You can date at any time, though this may impact negotiations with the other party during the divorce process. You cannot marry another individual while you are still married to your current spouse.

How long after divorce can you remarry in Oregon?

You can remarry in Oregon as soon as your divorce is final.

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