Gearing, Rackner & Engel, LLP
Transitions can be difficult, we can help.  

Divorcing in Portland—an Overview

Going through a divorce is one of the most emotionally-charged family issues anyone can face.  Every decision you make affects everyone you love—your children, other family members, and even your friends.  Understanding more about the Oregon laws and process can help reduce the stress and ensure you make informed choices when considering a Portland Divorce.

Grounds for divorce

Both Oregon and Washington are no-fault divorce states.  This means that most couples can divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences—the marriage is irreparably broken, and no actions by either party can be blamed. 

Types of divorce

The type of divorce you choose depends largely on the complexity of your financial situation and the ability of both spouses to agree on the terms of the divorce. Some common options include the following:

  • Uncontested divorce:  When both parties have agreed to the terms—division of assets, visitation and financial care of the children, and spousal support—the courtroom proceedings become similar to an administrative process.  This is one option for eliminating most of the emotional aspects of divorce proceedings.
  • Collaborative divorce:  This process engages a team of experts to work with the couple to resolve their issues.  The team is collected based on the needs of the couple, including financial experts, psychological professionals, a mediator, and, of course, specially trained collaborative attorneys.  All parties undergo a series of meetings to iron out all issues.  A collaborative divorce requires both parties to be committed to the negotiation process—if either spouse decides to proceed with a courtroom divorce, the collaborative attorneys must resign, leaving the spouses to find new divorce attorneys and start over.
  • Divorce mediation:  This is another process that is most likely to be successful when both parties are in basic agreement to the terms.  With the help of a mediator, both parties negotiate the terms of their divorce.  The mediator is often a specially-trained attorney who is impartial.
  • Contested divorce:  When the spouses are not in agreement, all issues are decided in court.  This process tends to be the most emotional and adversarial form of divorce, leaving the most important life decisions in the hands of a judge.

At Gearing, Rackner and Engle, LLP, we take the time to understand your personal situation.  We have extensive experience in all types of divorce.  Whenever possible, we encourage you to use low stress methods to decide your own issues and allow you and your family to start the best new life.

Contact our premier law firm for the support you need

Each Portland divorce attorney at Gearing, Rackner and Engle, LLP has the experience and compassion needed to help you through this difficult period of your life.  If you are considering divorce in Oregon or Washington, contact us online, or call us at 503.222.9116.


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