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Under Oregon law, a judgment for a legal separation of marriage may be granted in lieu of a divorce. A legal separation is different than dissolution of marriage in that the parties remain legally married and cannot re-marry. A legal separation is a formal legal agreement between spouses, which allows for separation of their lives and finances but does not dissolve their marriage.
There are several reasons why you may choose a legal separation instead of marriage dissolution (divorce). Some reasons include:
It is important to note that the legal separation of marriage process is nearly identical to that of a dissolution of marriage. Plans for child custody, child and spousal support, and property division (assets and debts) must be in place. Also note, one party can object to a legal separation and insist that the petition be converted to a divorce. The major drawback of a legal separation is that the terms of a legal separation judgment are not “final” in the same way that many terms of a divorce judgment are. Your attorney will help you determine whether a legal separation is appropriate in your situation.
In Oregon, within a two year period following a legal separation, either party may file a motion to convert the legal separation to a divorce. This can be a straightforward process if neither party seeks to change terms of the original agreement.