About Divorce/Separation

Divorce Time Frame

Following is a sample of what one might expect in terms of the time frame of a divorce or legal separation in Oregon and Washington. An average range of each step is displayed, whereas the actual time frame will depend on the complexity of the issues to be resolved, the motivation of the parties, and the time parties need to carefully consider the options. Each step lists the types of tasks people may undertake, with or without the mediator.

First 3 to 12 weeks
  • Core Mediation
    • Meet with mediator and identify issues
    • Discuss and negotiate immediate issues (living situation, immediate finances, etc.)
    • Gather, organize and share financial information and documents
    • Discuss and negotiate parenting responsibility, parenting plan, and child finances
    • Discuss and negotiate settlement of property, assets, investments and debts
    • Gather information from other professionals/sources (real estate agents, tax accountants, etc.)
  • Parent Education Class (provided and required by each County)
Next 1 to 8 weeks
  • Finalizing Mediation Agreement
    • Agreement drafted by mediator
    • Review and consider the final agreement
    • Consult with other professionals on the impact of the agreement
    • Re-define and re-negotiate anything on the agreement
    • Sign the final mediated agreement
  • Develop plan to have legal papers prepared
Next 1 to 4 weeks
  • Prepare legal papers (Mediated Agreement is attached and referenced)
    • Clients have the options of preparing their own legal papers, or one client can bring to an attorney to attach and prepare legal forms, or clients can use a paralegal service
  • Legal papers signed (if prepared by an attorney, then reviewed by each clients attorney)
  • Pay court filing fee
  • File legal papers with the Court (along with a petition, a Motion to waive the 90-day waiting period, and divorce decree with Mediated Agreement)
Next few days
  • Court processes the papers and sends to the Judge to sign
  • Judge signs and sends to clerks
  • Clerks enter judgment into court record