Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I never married my child’s mother. What do I need to do to establish regular contact with my child?

A: You could file a petition to establish custody, parenting time and child support. You and the child’s mother would need to participate in mediation to address custody and to set a specific parenting time schedule. You also need to take a mandated parenting class. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the child’s mother regarding custody, parenting time, and child support, a judge will make rulings on these issues.

Q: How much can I expect to receive in child support?

A: Child support is based on the combined incomes of both parents, factoring in the number of overnights the child spends with each parent. The Oregon child support calculator can be accessed at

Q: Why should I have a specific parenting plan?

A: Parents are encouraged to be flexible with each other regarding minor changes to the parenting plan to accommodate schedules. However, disagreements may arise. A specific parenting plan helps resolve the matter.

Q: What are the steps in a divorce?

A: A divorce proceeding is initiated by the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage. The petition needs to be served on the other party. The responding party has 30 days in which to file their response with the court.

If the parties have children, both parents will need to take a mandated parenting class and are required to participate in mediation to address custody and to formulate a specific parenting plan.

Information concerning assets, debts, and the children will be exchanged during the pendency of the case.

If the parties are unable to reach agreements on all matters, a trial will be set and a judge will make rulings on any remaining unresolved issues.