Can my Husband Stop me From Getting a Divorce and Asking for Spousal Support?

Q: I have a long term marriage and now want a divorce. Can my husband stop me from getting a divorce without his permission?

A: During consultations, this question often comes up. The short answer is: no, your spouse cannot stop you from filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and continuing forward with the decision to terminate the marriage. In Oregon, each person has the right to seek a dissolution of marriage and to be represented by a lawyer during the process. The two basic principles that must be satisfied before an Oregon court can hear your dissolution of marriage is that (1) “irreconcilable differences between the parties have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage” and (2) one of the parties has lived in Oregon for at least six (6) months prior to filing the dissolution of marriage petition. Oregon is a “no-fault” divorce state and either party can file to have the marriage terminated if the two items identified above are met. If one party wants to get a divorce and the other does not, there is very little the other party can do to stop them in Oregon. In the initial document that starts a dissolution of marriage, the parties can ask for various items including full or joint custody, child support, or spousal support to name a few. This list, however, is anything but exhaustive.

Each party may agree to participate in the process once the other files the petition for dissolution of marriage. However, before the other party is required to appear in court they first must be properly served with the petition, summons and other legal documents provided by the court. If children or spousal support is involved, the matter will often require additional pleadings to put into place status quo orders and temporary matters orders pending the final order of the court in the case. It is often best to employ an Oregon family law attorney familiar with the rules of Oregon civil procedure to ensure service is proper. If the other party refuses to participate by filing a response within the period allowed by the court, you can then ask the court for a default order. However, if the other party chooses to participate they have the right to contest what is asked for in the petition for dissolution of marriage including terms of child custody, child support, spousal support, and how to divided assets or debts of the marriage.

If you have questions about an Oregon divorce, contact the family law attorneys of McKean Smith, LLC to schedule a consultation today. During the consultation the divorce attorneys will discuss the process from start to finish and help put together a detailed plan of action.


Ralph Gzik

Ralph Gzik

Ralph Edward Gzik is a well-respected family law, custody, and divorce attorney in the Portland, Oregon family law and trial lawyer community for his ability in-and-out of the courtroom.

If you have questions about a case, please contact McKean Smith, LLC at 503-567-7967 to setup a comprehensive consultation.