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Family Law in Oregon

Serving Families Throughout Bend
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When it comes to issues regarding family law, these cases are almost always challenging and complex. Topics like divorce, child custody, visitation, and dividing property are typically highly confusing to those not well-versed in this area of the law. If you’re dealing with a family law issue, you may be wondering where you can turn for help.

Aspects of Family Law in OR

There are several legal matters that fall under the realm of family law. The most common are as follows:

Marriage and Domestic Partnerships

In order to get married in the state of Oregon, you and your spouse will need to apply for a license from the county clerk’s office. A marriage license is valid for 60 days after the date of its issue, which is when the marriage ceremony will occur.

Unregistered Domestic Partnership in Oregon

If you do not want to get married, but would like to spend the rest of your life with your partner, you may enter into a domestic partnership. Oregon acknowledges unregistered domestic partnerships of heterosexual or homosexual couples. In these cases, the partnership includes shared assets, income, or debts during the relationship.

It is also possible to obtain a registered domestic partnership in Oregon using an agreement between partners who are at least 18 years of age. A marriage ceremony is not required. All the couple must do is file a signed and notarized declaration of domestic partnership with the county clerk.


A divorce is designed to legally terminate a marriage or a Registered Domestic Partnership. Both divorce and legal separation judgments establish custody, parenting time, and child support. Issues related to divorce are highly elaborate and complex, so it is in your best interest to secure adequate representation if you seek a divorce.


A legal separation in Oregon occurs when a previously married couple terminates their binding legal relationship. Legal separations are allowed for a limited or unlimited period of time. If you are legally separated from your spouse, but not divorced, you may not enter into another marriage. It is possible for legal separation proceedings to be altered to divorce proceedings later on. Similarly, a legal separation may also be deserted so it is no longer valid.

Marriage Annulment in Oregon

An annulment of marriage essentially voids the marriage altogether. An annulment acts as if the marriage never even happened. In order to have your marriage annulled in Oregon, you must’ve been married in the state.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is monetary payments that are ordered by the court to pay your ex during and/or after the divorce. Spousal support payments are determined by what is “just and equitable under the circumstances.”

Child Custody

Child custody determines who is allowed to make legal decisions for a child. “Legal custody” differs from “physical custody,” in the sense that the parent with physical custody has the child living with them. “Legal custody” refers to the party who is able to make major legal decisions for the child. “Joint custody” is allowed under Oregon law, but both parties must consent before the court will order it.


Visitation is not the same thing as child custody. For instance, you may share joint custody of your child, but your parenting time may not be the same as the other party’s. In addition, you may have full custody of your child, but your ex may be granted visitation rights in order to maintain a relationship with the child.

Child Support

Child support payments require one parent to pay the other during and/or after a divorce. These payments are designed to provide for the child’s:

  • Care
  • Overall support
  • Welfare
  • Education


A filiation is a court proceeding that reveals the biological fatherhood of a man who wasn’t married to the mother of the child. Blood or DNA testing is commonly used to determine paternity.

Restraining Orders

Restraining Orders in Oregon are issued using the Family Abuse Prevention Act (“FAPA”). To be eligible, you must be a spouse or former spouse; an adult related by blood, marriage, or adoption; living with the person; a sexual partner within the last two years; or the other parent of a joint minor child.

We Can Help

When you face a family law issue, you probably won’t have much time to assemble your case before your first court hearing. Our experienced family law attorney at Baxter Law can assist you with the collection of evidence and the preparation of your case. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.

Call Baxter Law today at (541) 238-9210 to speak with a Bend attorney about your case.