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Legal Separation in Oregon

A legal separation is like a divorce, except you are still married at the end of the case. In a legal separation court case, you can ask the court to decide: 

  1. Child or spousal support, 
  2. Custody and parenting time, and 
  3. How to split your property and debts with your spouse. 

But legal separation is not a divorce:  

  1. You are still married and cannot marry someone else, and  
  2. You must file taxes as a married person.  

Warning: A legal separation does not end your marriage. But an official legal separation can have serious lasting legal consequences, so you should talk to an attorney. If you have questions about legal separations, you can find legal help using the referral database

You can file for legal separation if you or your spouse live in Oregon.  

This is a personal decision. People may choose to get a legal separation instead of a divorce because they are opposed to divorce for religious, moral, cultural, or other reasons.   

The court will give the divorce if either spouse asks for it.   

You are legally separated when a judge signs a separation judgment. A judgment is a court document that ends a case. It includes the rules for your legal separation. For example, the rules may include a visitation schedule for your kids or tell one parent to pay the other parent child support.    

It depends. A legal separation can be permanent or for a set amount of time. You can tell the court how long you want the separation to last in your court papers.   

No. You are still married, even if you have a court judgment for legal separation. You cannot marry anyone else unless you get a divorce. 

You can get free court forms from Oregon's state court website. You can also get copies of these same forms at your local circuit court, but some counties charge a small copy fee for these forms.  

If either spouse wants a divorce, they have two years from the date of the separation judgment to ask the court to change the separation into a divorce. Ask your local court if they have forms for this. There are no statewide court forms available. If it has been more than two years, you should get legal help to understand your options. 

Yes, but it's complicated. You should get legal help. You can find legal help using the Referral Database.  

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