Home Family Oregon Family Law

Oregon Family Law

Oregon Family Law


Family law is an important branch of law that deals with aspects of family relationships and domestic affairs. It is aimed at protecting the rights of individuals within the context of the family unit, and addressing contentious issues that arise in these relationships.

In Oregon, family law is overseen by a series of statutes and regulations that are designed to promote fairness and protect the best interests of all parties involved. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of Oregon family law, including marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support.

Marriage Law in Oregon

Oregon law requires that couples who wish to get married must obtain a marriage license from a county clerk’s office. To be eligible for a marriage license, both parties must be at least 18 years old. If either party is younger than 18, parental consent is required, and in some cases, the approval of a judge may also be necessary.

In addition, couples must provide their full names, addresses, social security numbers, and proof of identity, such as a passport or driver’s license. The couple must also indicate their intention to marry, their previous marriage and divorce history, and other relevant information that may be required by the county clerk or the state.

Once the marriage license is obtained, the ceremony must be conducted by a qualified officiant, such as a minister, judge, or justice of the peace. The ceremony may also be conducted by a friend or relative who has been designated as a temporary officiant.

After the ceremony, the officiant must complete the marriage certificate, which must be signed by the couple and two witnesses. The completed certificate must be returned to the county clerk within 5 days of the wedding.

Divorce Law in Oregon

Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of ending a marriage legally. In Oregon, a couple may get divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, which means that the couple cannot resolve their differences or disagreements, and that their marriage has irretrievably broken down.

To file for a divorce, one of the parties must have been a resident of Oregon for at least six months before the filing. The dissolution of marriage is initiated by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage, which is a legal document that outlines the grounds for the divorce, the assets and debts of the parties, and the proposed arrangements for child custody, child support, and spousal support.

In Oregon, the court requires that both parties attend a mandatory parenting class if there are minor children involved. The class is designed to educate parents on the impact of divorce on children and to promote successful co-parenting after the divorce.

The process of divorce can be initiated by either party, or by mutual agreement. If both parties are in agreement on the terms of the divorce, they may file a joint petition for dissolution of marriage, which is a simpler and less expensive process.

Child Custody Law in Oregon

Child custody refers to the legal responsibility for the care and upbringing of a child. In Oregon, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child, which takes into account a range of factors such as the child’s emotional and physical needs, the relationship between the child and each parent, and each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs.

When making a decision on child custody, the court considers factors such as:

• The emotional ties between the child and each parent

• Each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs

• The child’s overall emotional, physical, and developmental needs

• The child’s relationship with siblings, grandparents, and other family members

• The willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent

The court may award sole custody to one parent or joint custody to both parents. In joint custody arrangements, both parents share legal responsibility for the child’s upbringing and decision-making, but the child may reside primarily with one parent.

Child Support Law in Oregon

Child support is a financial obligation that requires one parent to contribute to the financial needs of a child following a divorce or separation. In Oregon, child support is determined based on a set of guidelines that take into account factors such as each parent’s income, the number of children, and the custody arrangement.

The Oregon Child Support Program (OCSP) is responsible for ensuring that parents meet their child support obligations. The OCSP may take enforcement actions, such as wage garnishment and suspension of driver’s licenses or passports, to ensure that child support payments are made in accordance with the court order.

Spousal Support Law in Oregon

Spousal support, also known as spousal maintenance or alimony, is a financial obligation that requires one spouse to provide financial support to the other spouse following a divorce. In Oregon, spousal support may be awarded based on a range of factors, such as the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, and the financial resources of each spouse.

The court may order spousal support payments as a lump sum or in periodic payments, depending on the circumstances of the case. The length of spousal support payments may also vary, and in some cases, the payments may be temporary or subject to review by the court.


Oregon family law is a complex and evolving field that seeks to promote fairness and protect the rights of all parties involved in family relationships. The key aspects of Oregon family law include marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support, all of which are governed by a range of statutes, regulations, and guidelines.

Whether you are planning to get married, going through a divorce, or seeking child custody or support, it is important to seek the advice and guidance of a qualified family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights and interests.

Guide to Oregon Family Law

If you are involved in a divorce case or any case involving custody or legal guardianship of a minor, OR family law and family courts will determine the outcome of your case.  Understanding Oregon family law and the way the family courts operate can ensure that you have a grasp of all of your legal options.  This guide will provide a very basic overview of OR family law.  For more detailed information about any aspect of Oregon family law, you may want to look at other articles on this website or consult with an attorney.


If you are considering adopting a child, OR family law requires that you go through the family court system to have your adoption approved and finalized.  Oregon family law allows families to adopt children both domestically and internationally through adoption agencies, and also to adopt through the state’s foster care system.  The adoption process, according to OR family law, requires a home study and fingerprinting of all prospective adoptive parents.  Most families are allowed by Oregon family law to adopt, including those with single parents, families with or without children, and both gay and straight people.

Child Custody

All child custody battles are judged according to OR family law in the family court system.  In many cases, parents are able to agree to a parenting plan, in which case Oregon family law allows a judge to simply sign off on an existing family plan.  OR family law may require parents to attend mediation if they are unable to come to an agreement on their own.  This allows the parents to avoid lengthy court trials and resolve their differences in the more informal mediation environment.

According to Oregon family law, parents may seek physical custody of their children, which means having a child physically reside with you, or legal custody, which gives you responsibility for making decisions about your child’s education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.

Child Support

OR family law uses what is called the “income shares” model of child support.  Your child’s basic support needs will be calculated based on total parental income (both parents’ income added together).  Then, each parent will be expected to contribute an amount toward the child’s care that is equal to their percentage of total income times the total support obligation.  If you need to have your child support costs modified, Oregon family law may allow this if your circumstances have changed.  Child support enforcement is taken very seriously in OR family law.  If you refuse to pay your legal obligations, you may have your tax refund confiscated, your wages garnished, or could even be put in jail for contempt of court.


According to Oregon family law, if parents are unmarried at the time a child is born, the father will have to sue for paternity in order to get parental rights.  In many cases, either a father or mother will want a court to order a paternity test.  With current DNA testing, a medical determination about genetic parenthood can be made, but in some cases OR family law will still require a father to pay child support even for a child who is not genetically his.