File Petition Yourself

Let's Untie the Knot | File Petition Yourself

Although Oregon law does not require parties to a divorce to retain an attorney to file the petition, it is advisable to contact an attorney at the beginning of your case to determine the complexity of your situation.  Many attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial consultation and the meeting may be very eye-opening for you.  That said, it is possible to file for a divorce without the aid of an attorney.  The first step you want to take is to visit a counselor in the Family Court office of your county courthouse.  The counselor will both answer any questions that you have about your divorce and provide you with the necessary paperwork, including the official paperwork announcing your divorce (the Dissolution of Marriage).  The paperwork comes with instructions on what type of information you will need to provide, including what kind of custody you have agreed to as well as the division of any assets.  You will then file your petition for the Dissolution of Marriage with the local county clerk.  After you file your petition, you can serve your spouse.  You can serve your spouse by having the divorce complaint and summons hand delivered to him by any person over 18 years of age who isn’t part of the divorce case, a private process server or a county sheriff.  In addition, your spouse can waive the service by filing an “Acceptance of Service.”  Finally, if your spouse is difficult to locate, you can serve him or her by publishing a notice in the local newspaper (“Divorce by Publication”).