What is a Satisfaction of Judgment?

When someone owes child support, spousal support or a property settlement as part of an Oregon family law case, they have a “judgment” against them.  You can clear the judgment by having the recipient of the support or settlement sign a ‘Satisfaction of Judgment’ which gets filed with the court.  A Satisfaction of Judgment is basically an official receipt which says that you owed a certain amount, but that it has been paid, either partially or in full.

Why does this matter?

In you have a judgment against you in Oregon, a lien automatically attaches to any real property you own in the county in which the judgment is filed.  The Satisfaction serves to remove the lien once it’s been filed.  If you have real property in multiple counties, the judgment can be recorded with the county recorder for the applicable county to attached a lien to the real property there.

If you buy or sell real estate in the future (or engage in other major credit transactions), the escrow company needs to confirm that you have paid any amounts owed pursuant to a judgment.  If you have in fact paid the amounts owed, the Satisfaction can serve as proof so that your home sale/purchase is not delayed.

Lastly, a judgment may have a negative impact on your credit score (although due to changes in credit reporting in 2017 the impact of this was lessened for many people).

Does the other person have to sign it?

Pursuant to ORS 18.225, a judgment creditor (recipient of the payments) must sign and file a Satisfaction of Judgment once all payments are made.  Further, a judgment debtor (the person who owes the money) can require the judgment creditor to sign a partial Satisfaction of Judgment for all amounts paid so far if the judgment debtor has real property which is subject to a judgment lien.

What can I do if the other person won’t sign it?

ORS 18.235 sets forth a procedure for obtaining a Satisfaction of Judgment if someone won’t comply.

What are the requirements of a Satisfaction of Judgment?

In Oregon, the Satisfaction must be filed in the same case (i.e., using the same case number), must indicate whether it is a partial or full satisfaction, must be signed by the judgment creditor or their attorney, and it must be notarized.

Where do these get filed? 

Generally speaking, the Satisfaction gets filed in the County in which the judgment was originally filed, and any other county in which the judgment was recorded.

However, in certain situations, Satisfactions get filed directly with the Oregon Department of Justice.  You should consult with an attorney to determine where your Satisfaction should be filed.

The bottom line: This is a relatively easy process which often gets overlooked because people don’t realize the implications of a judgment having been entered against them.  If you are a judgment debtor, you should absolutely have the judgment creditor sign a Satisfaction of Judgment once all amounts owed are paid.  You may also have the option of having him or her sign  Partial Satisfaction depending on the circumstances.

eSigning Now Permitted in Oregon

In response to the COVID-19 situation, the Oregon Chief Justice has authorized the use of eSignatures by clients in court filings. This had been under consideration, but was fast-tracked due to the pandemic. This now brings the Oregon court system in line with most other industries which rely on eSigning. You can read the applicable rule updates and requirements here.

This update now makes the online divorce mediation process completely online. Previously clients were required to physically sign documents in the lawyer’s or mediator’s office, or print and mail the documents back. Physical signatures are still permitted, they are just no longer required.

Divorce Mediation and COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to help ensure everyone’s health and safety during the divorce mediation process. Effective March 16, 2020, all individual meetings will be over the phone and all mediations will be conducted via Zoom teleconferencing. Zoom is easy to use and does not require clients to have a Zoom subscription.

The good news is that these updated procedures have very little impact on the divorce mediation process. Here’s what the online divorce mediation process looks like:

  1. Schedule an appointment using our online scheduling app or by calling the office.
  2. Once an appointment is scheduled, we will send a confirmation that includes a secure link to upload all the necessary paperwork and financial documentation.
  3. Mediations will be conducted via Zoom teleconferencing. If you prefer, mediations can be conducted by phone. Forrest will email mediation recap emails in between mediation sessions.
  4. Once an agreement is reached, Forrest will draft all of the documents and circulate them via email or secure link.
  5. Clients email feedback on the first draft to Forrest who will then update the documents.
  6. Once we have a final draft of the documents, Forrest will send the clients to the documents for eSigning. eSigning by clients is brand new in Oregon. Previously, clients were required to either come into the office to sign documents, or to print, sign and return original documents. This update to the rules now allows the online divorce mediation process to be completely online.

We will monitor guidance from the state and federal governments to determine when it is appropriate to resume in-person meetings. Clients will continue to have the option to meet online even when in-person meetings resume.

Please feel free to schedule a free-15 minute call if you have questions about online mediation or wish to discuss whether mediation is a good fit for you.

The Basics of Oregon Parenting Plans

Every Oregon divorce or custody case that includes minor children must include a parenting plan.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you are developing your parenting plan:

General vs. Specific.  Parenting plans can be as general or as specific as you want them to be.  There are benefits of each type of plan.  You can read more about this topic here.  Generally speaking, the more effective you are as co-parents, the more general your parenting plan can be.

Flexibility.  Parents have the option of adding as much flexibility as they want to their parenting arrangement as long as they both agree.  You can think of your parenting plan as a default schedule, meaning that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you both agree; but if you don’t agree then you will stick with what is written in the plan.  Be aware, however, that in order to permanently change the plan and make it enforceable, you need to write up a new parenting plan and submit it to the court for a judge to sign.  (The plan has to be submitted using something called a Supplemental Judgment.)

Your parenting plan can specify that you intend it to be flexible, but it doesn’t have to.  You can be as flexible as you want as co-parents as long as you both agree.

The Components of a Parenting Plan.  Parenting plans need to include a general schedule, holiday schedule and vacation schedule.

General Schedule.  The general schedule is the normal routine of who will have the children when.  Basically, this is the day in, day out description of who has which days.  There will be a future article on different general schedules that are commonly used.

Holidays.  You can include as many or as few holidays as you want to.  Sometimes parents do not include any holidays and instead include a provision that says that they will figure it out ‘as-needed.’  Although this works fine for some people, it is generally not recommended and can give rise to challenges in the future.  If your parenting plan says that you are going to figure it out, and you can’t, then what?  For this reason, people usually include at least some level of detail about holidays.  At a minimum, people usually address Thanksgiving and Christmas, because even if you don’t observe these holidays, you probably have family members who do and they will want to know which holidays to expect the children.

Vacations.  Parenting plans typically address winter, spring and summer vacations.  Sometimes different school districts will have a fall break or a full week at Thanksgiving which may also need to be addressed.  As with holidays, people sometimes include a “we’ll figure it out provision,” although the same caution as mentioned above applies.

Winter Break.  The two most common winter break provisions are:

  • Regular Schedule. You will use your regular schedule, subject to holiday parenting time for each parent.
  • Split in Half. One parent will have the first half of the break in odd years and the other parent will have the other half of the break.  In even years, the they will alternate who has the first half.  The halfway point can either be the actual midpoint based on the school calendar, or it can be an agreed-upon day that you use every year (e.g., you always split the break on Dec. 26th).  This tends to work best for parenting plans where one or both parents usually travel on the break.  It also works well in plans where one parent may have less parenting time in the regular schedule so this is an opportunity to have more parenting time.
  • Note: Regardless of which plan you pick, you need to figure out how holidays will factor in because holidays take precedent over vacations.

Spring Break.  The three most common spring break provisions are:

  • Regular Schedule. You will use your regular schedule without treating spring break any different.  Parents with very young children often choose this option until their children reach school age.
  • Every Other Year. One of you will have the full break in odd years and the other will have the full break in even years.  This tends to work best for plans where it is important to one or both parents to be able to travel with the children for the break.  Childcare is also a consideration when determining how to handle spring break.
  • Split in Half. One of you will have the first weekend of the break until an agreed upon time on Wednesday; the other parent will have from Wednesday through the weekend.  This works best for parenting plans where each parent has a full, alternating weekend.  It’s also a good option for parents who would each like to have some extended time with the children but maybe cannot take a whole week of vacation.

Summer.  By far, most people use their regular schedule during the summer and add additional parenting time.  Occasionally people will use a different schedule during the summer than they do for the school year.

  • Regular Schedule Plus Additional Time. Most parents use their regular schedule in the summer but add 1 or 2 weeks of additional parenting time for each of them so that they can have the children for an extended period of time.  Sometimes when a parent has less parenting time during the school year, they may have up to 3 or 4 extra weeks during the summer.
  • Different Schedule. People do not typically use a different summer schedule (although you certainly can).  Using a different schedule most often comes up in situations where one parent may have less parenting time during the school year and the summer is an opportunity for increased time.  Another situation where this arises is when parents have a parenting plan that has lots of exchanges and they want to simplify things in the summer.  So if you have a 2-2-3 plan, for example, you may try a week on/week off plan in the summer which is the same amount of time, just with less exchanges.

Other Provisions.  You can include as many, or as few, “other” provisions as you want to.  For example, you may want to include a provision about agreed-upon childcare providers.  Additionally, most parenting plans include some fairly generic provisions that usually apply in most situations.  For example, most parenting plans will include a provision that mediation will be used to resolve parenting disputes unless there is an emergency.


This article is intended to give you an overview of the basics of parenting plans as well as a description of how parents commonly handle various topics.  With that said, the best parenting plan is the one that makes sense for your family.  Feel free to use the ideas that make sense for your family and disregard the ones that don’t.  You can also take comfort in the fact that parenting plans are modifiable, which means that if you feel like your plan can could use some improvement, there is a way to do that.