Legal Separation v. Divorce
In Oregon, a legal separation and a divorce both address similar issues such that include property and debt allocation, child custody, parenting time, and support. However, only a divorce offers the finality of no longer being married. With a legal separation, you and your spouse may have all contested issues disposed of but in the end, you are still legally married under Oregon law.
The following are common reasons individuals may opt for a legal separation versus a divorce:
- The parties are not 100% sure they want the finality of a divorce but want to be independent of the other party. Because the legal separation does not terminate a marriage, a legal separation can often be viewed as the “last chance” to work on the marriage.
- One party may have religious or moral objections that prevent them from obtaining a divorce. A legal separation allows them to live independently of one another without running afoul of any religious teachings or moral objections.
- Filing for a divorce requires a six-month residency requirement, where a legal separation does not. A legal separation may be a viable option for individuals who have recently moved to Oregon and have not be a resident of Oregon for six-months.