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Oregon Court Records

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What are Oregon Divorce Records?

Oregon divorce records are documents from state authorities that show that the persons named on the records are no longer legally recognized as a married couple. These records contain specific details about the divorce such as the names of the divorced persons, the location and time of the divorce, and also all motions, pleadings, settlement terms, and other information on the divorce proceedings. According to the United States Census Bureau in 2018, Oregon ranked 5th for divorce rates, with 10.1 divorces per 1,000 women at least 15 years old.

A person requesting a divorce in Oregon is not required to prove that their partner did any wrong, as Oregon is a no-fault state. The person only has to prove that there are irreconcilable differences between both partners, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.

In Oregon, evidence of marital misconduct is only considered by a divorce court where minors may be involved. Also, the court does not consider any evidence of misconduct when splitting assets and liabilities between the divorcing parties.

There are two ways to end a marriage in Oregon, including Dissolution of Marriage and Annulment.

A dissolution of marriage is also known as divorce, and ends the marital contract or obligations between married people. The dissolution of marriage reduces these obligations between the divorcing parties to the settlement terms as ordered by the court. Before filing for divorce, at least one spouse must have lived in Oregon for a minimum of 6 months.

While the dissolution of marriage shows that the marriage did happen but has ended, an annulment assumes that the marriage never happened at all. The following are grounds for an annulment in Oregon:

  • Both parties are more closely related than second cousins
  • One party was married to someone else already
  • Consent was obtained fraudulently or under duress
  • One or both parties were under 18 years of age.

A couple may also obtain a legal separation especially if the parties have not met the residency requirement. This may last until the parties meet this requirement. An Oregon divorce is final when the court passes judgment and issues a divorce decree. The divorce decree is filed with the Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court in the county where the divorce took place.

 An Oregon divorce may take up to 6 weeks before completion. If both parties file a petition together, the divorce usually takes less than 2 weeks. However, if one party files and the other party contests the petition, the divorce may extend much longer.

Are Divorce Records Public in Oregon?

Oregon is a closed records state. In accordance with ORS 432.350 - Exemption From Public Disclosure, vital records such as divorce records are only accessible by a restricted group of eligible persons. However, some records such as a Divorce Index which contains statistical information may be available from some County Central Libraries. Limited information may also be available for inspection by the general public from the Oregon State Archives. The public is disallowed from making copies. Oregon divorce records are however available to the general public after 50 years from the divorce date.

What are the types of Divorce Records available in Oregon?

Divorce records in Oregon include the Divorce Index, Divorce Certificates, and Divorce Decrees.

A divorce index contains basic statistical information about divorces. It also contains other details such as the names of the divorced parties, the county where the divorce took place, date of dissolution, and the number of the divorce certificate. Some counties have County Central Libraries where the general public may view divorce indexes.

A divorce certificate is a document issued by the State Registrar. It also contains information about the divorce, including the names of the parties, the date of dissolution, and the county that granted the divorce. Divorce certificates are obtainable from the Oregon Center for Health Statistics.

A divorce decree is a court record that contains the final judgment in a court case. Divorce decrees also contain the terms of the divorce and each party’s obligations, including the distribution of liabilities and assets, child support, visitation, and custody, alimony payments, and other financial duties as ordered by the court. The divorce decree is only available from the Circuit Court in the county of divorce.

How Do I Get Divorce Records in Oregon?

The steps required to obtain a divorce record depends on the desired record. Divorce certificates are accessible online, by mail, and in person.

To obtain a divorce certificate by mail, download and complete a Divorce Record Order Form, stating the full names of the divorced parties, the date and county of divorce, relationship with the divorced parties, reason for request, and personal contact information such as phone number, address and email. Enclose the form with a valid ID and a check or money order payable to OHA/Vital Records. 

Each record costs $25 if the divorce date is known or if a five-year search is required. If more than 5 years need to be searched, an additional $1 per year applies. Mail the enclosed documents to:

Oregon Vital Records 

PO Box 14050

Portland, OR 97293

Allow processing time of 5—8 weeks.

To request a divorce certificate in person, visit the following address with a valid means of identification:

Oregon Vital Records

800 North East Oregon Street

Suite 205

Portland, OR 97232

In-person requests cost a total of $28, which includes a $25 copy fee and an applicant identity verification fee of $3. Additional copies ordered together with the first copy cost $25 each. Acceptable means of payment include major debit or credit cards, money orders, and electronic fund transfers for personal checks. Records are processed and made available within 2 hours.

All fees are non-refundable. Only eligible persons will be granted access.

Divorce decrees are only accessible from the Office Clerk of the Circuit Court in the county that granted the divorce. To contact an Oregon Circuit Court, use the Find a Court page from the Oregon State Courts.

While divorce and marriage records may be searched through government sources and organizations, the availability of these documents cannot be guaranteed. This is also true of their availability through third-party websites and companies, as these entities are not government-sponsored therefore, record availability may vary further. Also, note that marriage and divorce records are considered extremely private due to the information the records contain, and are often sealed. Hence, bear in mind that these factors determine the availability of any type of marriage or divorce record.

Who Can Obtain Divorce Records in Oregon?

Divorce records within 50 years of the divorce date are only accessible by eligible persons, including the following people:

  • Persons named on the record
  • Legal spouse of the person named on the record
  • Parents, siblings, grandparents, descendants of the person named on the record
  • Legal representative of the person named on the record

Are Oregon Divorce Records Available Online?

Even though the Oregon Health Authority allows eligible persons to request divorce records online, there is no central online repository where members of the public may search these records. However, since some divorce records are court records, some information might be available online as court records. 

The Oregon Judicial Branch provides an Online Record Search webpage where members of the public may access basic case information. The Smart Search allows the public to conduct searches using the record number or the names of the persons involved in the cases. The platform also allows other filtering options, including Location, Judgment, Case Type, and File Date. However, note that the information available on this platform is limited.

How Do I Seal My Divorce Records in Oregon?

Oregon divorce records are not available to the general public until after 50 years. However, parties may file a motion to seal these records. When a court receives a motion, it has to decide whether the reason for the request to seal outweighs the general public’s right to access the divorce record, or at least the part of the record available to the public.

The following are common reasons for sealing divorce documents:

  • Protecting sensitive personal information such as social security numbers and bank details
  • Protecting parties that may have suffered domestic violence
  • Protecting the identity of any minors involved in the divorce process
  • Protecting any business details that may be a part of the divorce process

Parties that request to seal records may be specific about the parts of the divorce records that require protection. The court may also decide to seal the record in its entirety if it deems the decision safer than only sealing parts of the record.

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