Dissolution of Marriage

What is a “dissolution of marriage”?

A dissolution of marriage is a divorce that legally ends a marriage.

How does the dissolution process begin?

  • The dissolution process begins when one spouse files a petition for dissolution.
  • The spouse who files the petition is called the “petitioner.” The other spouse is referred to as the “respondent.” If both spouses file a petition jointly, they are called “co-petitioners.”

What is the basic timeline of an uncontested dissolution?

-Before we file any papers with the court you will need to bring a check or money order made payable to “Access the Law” for the costs of court fees. The attorney working on your case will tell you how much it will cost you, but anticipate at least $260 in court filing fees.

  • After your initial appointment you will be asked to complete some informational forms.
  • As soon as we receive all filing fees and you return the completed forms to Access the Law / ASOSU Legal Services, the Petition will be prepared. The Petition will set out the facts of your situation (for example, whether or not you have children, real property, and so forth.) You will be asked to come in to review and sign the Petition. The Petition will be filed at the courthouse.
  • Our office then will send a copy of the Summons and Petition to your spouse along with a letter asking him or her to sign an Acceptance of Service formbefore a notary public. When your spouse signs this form it means that your spouse has received the papers. It does not mean that your spouse agrees with any of the terms set forth in the Petition.
  • Most of the time the attorney can present the final papers to the court without a formal hearing.
  • The judge will sign the final Judgment granting your divorce. Your divorce will be effective immediately.

Access the Law / ASOSU Legal Services handles dissolution of marriage cases in Benton County. It may be necessary to make an hour-long appointment with the attorney after the initial consult. Please note that we cannot help you if your spouse is also a student at Oregon State University or if this is a contested divorce.