A “certified” copy of a judgment contains a certificate or seal from the court which proves that the judgment is an accurate copy which came from the courthouse. Most of the time a non-certified copy of your judgment will be sufficient for whatever you may need it for. However, there are a number of reasons you may need a certified copy of your judgment. The court does not automatically send you a copy of your judgment so you, your mediator or your attorney will need to arrange to obtain a copy and pay the applicable fee.
Here are some of the most common reasons you would need a certified copy of you divorce judgment in Oregon:
- Name change
- If one person has PERS, even if the account is not being divided
- Registering your judgment in a different state
- Life insurance
Cost of Certified Copies. In Oregon a certified copy of your judgment costs $5 plus $.25 per page. For example, if you have a 20 page judgment, the fee will be $10 (.25 x 20 pages = $5; plus $5 for certification = $10).
Obtaining Certified Copies. Certified copies need to be obtained directly from the courthouse where the case exists. You can obtain the copies in person or order them via mail; some courthouses allow you to order them by email or online. If you go in person you can usually obtain the document immediately. It usually takes the court several days after the judge signs the judgment for your judgment to be available. If your judgment was signed recently you should call the courthouse to see if it is available before going there. If you order it via mail it could take 2 to 4 weeks or longer. You may need to provide a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope depending on the county your case is in (Multnomah county does not require this).
Here are the addresses for the three main courthouses in the Portland-metro area:
Washington County Courthouse
145 NE 2nd Ave.
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Clackamas County Courthouse
807 Main St.
Oregon City, OR 97045
Multnomah County Courthouse
1200 SW 1st Ave.
Portland, OR 97204
QDRO’s. Certain types of retirement accounts require something called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) in order to divide the account. Your attorney or mediator will help you identify whether you need a QDRO. If your case requires a QDRO, you will need a certified copy of it in order to divide the retirement account. The process for obtaining a certified copy of a QDRO is the same process as obtaining a certified copy of your divorce judgment.