In Oregon, a divorce decree — also called a judgment of dissolution of marriage — is the court order that both terminates your marriage and provides details of your separation from your spouse. While it is possible to obtain a divorce decree in Oregon without hiring an attorney, you may wish to consult with one about your specific situation.
Filing for Divorce
To obtain a divorce decree in Oregon, you must first properly file a petition for divorce in your local court, detailing what you are asking for in your divorce. Usually, you cannot file in Oregon unless you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least six months. You must also serve your spouse with a copy of your petition and pay a filing fee to the court.
Contents of a Decree
Your divorce decree will contain the court’s final decisions in your case. It will state your marriage is terminated and provide details of property division, child custody, child support, alimony, and any other matters relevant to your divorce, such as changing back to your maiden name, if desired.
Enforcing the Decree
As with any other court order, you must comply with the divorce decree. Oregon courts have authority to enforce the terms of a divorce decree by issuing additional orders. For example, if your ex-spouse violates the child custody arrangements in your decree, you may ask the court for an Order of Assistance, which permits law enforcement personnel to assist you in retrieving your children.
Modifying the Decree
Even after your divorce decree is issued, the court still has the power to modify certain aspects of the divorce, such as child custody, child support and alimony. You may petition the court for a modification without your ex-spouse’s consent, or you and your ex-spouse can agree to the modification.
Obtaining a Copy of a Decree
Unless the court sealed the records in a case, divorce decrees are considered public records. You can obtain copies by contacting the county where the decree was issued. You can also obtain certified copies of your divorce certificate by contacting the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.