In Oregon, a divorce case can last anywhere from a few weeks to over a year depending on a lot of things.
The most important thing that will determine the length of your divorce is how much you and your spouse are disagreeing about. If you and your spouse know what you want to have done, meaning you agree on everything, then it is a simple matter of putting together the proper paperwork, and filing it with the court, this can often be achieved by an uncontested or peaceful divorce. In Oregon the court will take a few weeks to process your documents, then voila, you are divorced.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on anything, or at least disagree on some fundamental issues, then you may be able to negotiate some things and create a settlement or include mediation in your divorce to reach agreement on some of these things. If these things are not able to be negotiated under any terms, you will ultimately have to see a judge and have the judge make a ruling on those disputed things.
Typically, it takes about 3-7 months from start to finish for a divorce case to run its course. However, there are some cases where it can take well over a year before you ever see a judge.
The cases that take the longest are ones where custody and parenting time are hotly contested. The reason these can take so long is often times the parties hire a custody evaluator to perform a study and make recommendations to the judge. That process adds at least 3 months to your timeline, but depending on the complexity of your case, can take as long as 9 months for that stage alone.
Also, the county you are in can delay your case. For instance, it is not uncommon in Clackamas County for the court to postpone your case the day before trial, sometimes as long as three months out, due to no reason other than they don’t have any available judges.
Multnomah county has a system for allocating judge time that also can lead to delays on the eve of trial, however Multnomah County doesn’t usually delay parties more than a few weeks or a month at most.
Other factors that can cause delay in your case include: a parties’ unwillingness to provide documentation as required to the other spouse; the effectiveness of the respective attorneys in pursuing settlement; as well as compliance with all court rules for mediation and parent education requirements.