Oregon is one of many states that allows married couples the option to file for a legal separation as an alternative to divorce. A legal separation can decide all the same issues as a divorce with the only real difference being that the parties are still married when the decree is granted and therefore cannot remarry. Oregon allows temporary legal separations for at least one year as well as indefinite separations.
Confirm that you qualify to file a legal separation in the state of Oregon. Oregon allows legal separations when the parties have suffered irreconcilable differences that have caused a temporary or permanent breakdown of the marriage. The legal separation must either be by agreement of the parties or the court must find that the separation is warranted because continuing as married persons "preserves or protects the legal, financial, social or religious interests" of the parties.
Determine where to file the petition for legal separation. One of the parties must be domiciled in Oregon. You will then file in the county where either you or your spouse lives within the state of Oregon.
Prepare a petition for legal separation and summons. The contents of the petition must include the full names of the parties (you and your spouse), full names and birth dates of any minor children, date of the marriage and separation and a statement regarding residency requirements. It must ask the court for all the relief you are seeking. Relief includes custody of children, child support, division of assets and debts, rights to any marital property and anything else you want from the separation. The summons is served on your spouse to notify him that you have filed the petition.
Make several copies of the petition and summons. File the petition and summons with the court. Pay the required filing fee.
Serve your spouse with the summons and petition. Your spouse may voluntarily accept service or you may serve the papers via civil sheriff or another neutral adult.