Getting a divorce in Portland

Oregon law requires parenting plan


As discussed in “Divorce in Oregon,” divorce (“dissolution of marriage”) can be emotionally traumatic. When planning the end of a marriage, both parties would be wise to consider budgeting time and money for professional counseling. A compatible, trained divorce attorney can help with referrals.

Also, experts and legal authorities remind us that if the family equation includes domestic violence, that should be addressed immediately.

Multnomah County Domestic Violence resources

In Multnomah County, “The Multnomah County Domestic Violence Coordination Office provides the community with a resource for preventing and intervening in domestic violence. As a community resource, the coordinator provides information, consultation, and technical assistance to community groups who want to address this important issue.”

The group also provides an online manual as well as resources for victims, including:

Other local resources include the Portland Police Bureau’s Domestic Violence Reduction Unit.

Family Court Services

According to the county’s Web site, “Family Court Services supports the Domestic Relations Court by providing a variety of direct services to parents and children experiencing the transition of separation or divorce, or of conflict related to unresolved parental disputes over the care and custody of children.”

The Family Court Web page includes links to:

Circuit court locations are listed here.

Self-help guide

In “How to Prepare for Your Divorce, Legal Separation, Custody or Support Trial,” the authors explain how to use the county law library to find the main family law statutes and add that “[t]he family law statutes are also available on the internet at under Oregon Revised Statutes, see Chapters 107-109.”

Parenting Plans

For couples with children, the guide says, “you should prepare and file a proposed Parenting Plan outlining the time each parent should have with the children. If your county has a model (sample) parenting time plan, copies are available from your local court. Guides with information about creating parenting plans and sample plans are available on the Oregon Judicial Department’s Family Law website at (click on the ‘Parenting Plan Information’ link). There is also information and forms for a ‘Safety-Focused Parenting Plan’ if you are concerned about you or your children’s safety.

“If you want to the other parent to have a relationship with your children, but you have serious concerns about the children’s safety if they are alone with the other parent, you may ask the judge to order ‘supervised’ parenting time.”

Hiring an attorney highly recommended

The guide also says “Although the judge will hear cases not involving attorneys, you should try to get the assistance of an attorney.  The judge cannot give you legal advice. An attorney can help you with complicated issues such as spousal support (alimony),  custody, parenting time, and division of marital property, including retirement benefits. If the other party has an attorney, you may be at a disadvantage if you try to represent yourself.”

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