Portland Legal Marital Separation Lawyer
Experienced Legal Marital Separation Attorneys in Portland, Oregon
Oregon law provides a methodology for spouses to legally separate without divorcing. The process is much like divorce and encompasses the division of assets & debts, child-related issues, and issues of support. At the conclusion, the parties will be separated as a matter of law, but are still married. A legal separation will not allow either spouse to remarry.
Generally, our firm does not recommend legal separations except in very narrow circumstances. That said, there certainly are situations where a separation is appropriate. Contact our experienced Portland legal marital separation lawyers to discuss your particular circumstances and whether this is the correct route for you.
What To Expect In An Oregon Marital Separation Consultation
We meet with all potential clients in person for the first consultation. This allows us to meet potential clients and hear the background of each case, to determine if your case is a good fit for our office, and to provide information about a client’s rights and responsibilities under Oregon law. We offer this initial consultation for a flat fee.
When starting the process for finding a lawyer, potential clients often ask “who is the best family law lawyer in Oregon” or the “who is the best lawyer in Portland for marital separation?” The answer is the lawyer who gets the results you need. Like the rest of family law, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to selecting a family law attorney. The best attorney for you is the one who listens to your circumstances, provides solid legal advice, and facilitates and achieves your goals. Contact one of our Portland legal marital separation lawyers today to set up a consultation.
Legal Marital Separation In Oregon
In Oregon, many couples will separate from one another when a relationship is dissolving. With a physical separation, couples may gain insight into their individual needs outside the marital union. However, physical and legal separation are two different things and can have different consequences, depending on the couple. It is essential for couples to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of separation as they apply to their unique situation.
Why Do Couples Separate?
Couples decide to separate for a multitude of reasons. These can be:
- Legal — If a couple is not qualified in the state of Oregon to divorce and must wait out the residency qualification, they may choose to separate until they can meet residency requirements.
- Financial — If a couple is considering divorce but are not in a financial position to file, or have other financial issues that tie them together such as healthcare benefits.
- Personal — If one or both partners have personal or religious beliefs that keep them from filing for divorce.
Regardless of why they choose to separate, it is frequently the first step when couples are considering marital dissolution.
The Process For A Legal Marital Separation In Portland
Filing for a legal separation in Oregon is similar to filing for divorce. Just like divorce, filing for a legal separation is less contentious if the couple can agree to its terms for child custody, child and/or spousal support, and property division.
To obtain a legally enforceable separation in Oregon, a petition must be filed with the court and a judgment entered. The decision will divide property and debt, establish custody, and make determinations about support, both child and spousal. It still leaves the marriage intact, allowing the parties to live apart from each other under its terms. A legal separation may be converted into a divorce within two years of the date of separation, by simply filing a request with the court. After 2 years, parties seeking to move to divorce must initiate a new case.
What Are The Benefits And Drawbacks Of A Legal Marital Separation In Oregon?
While legally separated, you may still share your married benefits such as any tax benefits, retirement benefits, health insurance, and immigrant status. Even with a legally enforceable and detailed separation agreement, however, it is important to note that you are still married. The terms of a legal separation are not finalized like they are with a divorce which can create ongoing battles between a couple and sometimes create even more conflict.
Although the terms of legal separation will set out the spouses’ financial obligations, if one partner fails to abide by those terms, the other spouse may still be responsible for marital debts. Legal separations will set out responsibilities between the couple, and the spouse who does not abide by them can suffer some consequences. However, they do not terminate the obligations of the other spouse for marital debt since the couple is still legally married.
There are some additional disadvantages to a legal separation that couples should consider.
- When a couple is legally separated, neither partner will be able to remarry, although there is nothing prohibiting either spouse from dating.
- If the couple decides to go forward with a divorce, they must wait six months from the separation decree’s approval.
Getting The Advice Of An Experienced Oregon Legal Marital Separation Lawyer
Decisions to separate and divorce are as complex and unique as the couple. Weighing all your options is essential, both for yourself and your children. At Jill Brittle Family Law Group, our team of Portland legal marital separation lawyers will discuss your options and help you determine what your best course of action should be, tailored to your circumstances. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.