Laurie L. Clark,
Attorney at Law

Experienced Family Law Attorney with over 25 years experience

Divorce 

Divorce is often not a simple legal matter that one or both spouses should attempt to handle on his or her own. The end of your marriage is far too significant to forego the legal representation you need and deserve.

Oregon is a no-fault state, and the only ground for divorce is irreconcilable differences between the spouses. Oregon recognizes registered domestic partnerships, but only for same-sex couples. Domestic partnership gives same-sex couples many of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, but not all. The process for dissolving a registered domestic partnership is very similar to that of a divorce.

 Equitable Distribution

Oregon is an equitable distribution state. Upon divorce, the court divides marital property equitably between the two spouses. This doesn’t necessarily mean the property will be divided in half—it depends on what the judge thinks is fair. However, there is a rebuttable presumption that both spouses have contributed equally to the acquisition of property during the marriage, even if one spouse did not work and bring in income, but instead was a homemaker. Unless one spouse presents evidence showing that the other didn’t contribute equally, the court will operate on the premise of equal contributions, and divide marital property accordingly.

Custody 

Parents may have joint custody of the child, or one parent may have sole custody of the child while the other parent has visitation rights. In a custody dispute, the court looks at the following factors: each of the parents’ desire to continue the existing relationship with the child, the emotional ties between the child and family members, abuse of one parent by the other, and even the child’s desires.


In order for an existing custody order to be modified, a parent must show a change of circumstances and that the modification would be in the best interests of the child. If either parent wishes to move with the child more than 60 miles from the other parent, the parent who wants to move must give the court and the other parent written notice. After the notice of intent to move, the other parent can ask the court for a change in the custody arrangement. The court would make a decision based on the best interests of the child.

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