What is the difference between a divorce and legal separation?

A divorce and legal separation are generally the same. The procedures are almost identical and the applicable laws are similar. A party may prefer a legal separation if they believe reconciliation could occur, if they need to remain covered on the opposing party’s medical insurance plan and the plan administrator allows it, or if they want to continue the relationship but want to protect themselves from their spouse’s financial actions.

What is the difference between fault and no-fault divorce?

Historically, the only way to obtain a divorce was to prove that a spouse was at fault. Now, in Oregon and Washington, either spouse can get a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. The fault of one party may be discussed in the divorce proceedings if it affected the spouse’s ability to parent or resulted in marital waste.

What is alimony?

Alimony, now referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is an award of support to one spouse based on many factors, including but not limited to, duration of marriage, need, ability to pay, standard of living achieved during the marriage, age, and health of the parties.

What is a Parenting Plan?

A Parenting Plan is a court ordered visitation schedule. Typically, the court will name one party as the primary residential parent and the other parent will have a designated visitation schedule.

How will the court divide our assets and debts?

The court will divide the assets and debts in the way deemed the most just and equitable. In the vast majority of cases, this means equally. In some cases, the division can be unequal.

Do you have more questions about divorce and family law in Oregon and Washington? Please send them our way.

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