Family Law covers a diverse variety of areas of legal services which we provide to our clients. Family Law is often synonymous with divorce, separation, child custody, child support and related issues. Trying to handle issues in a divorce, child custody, child support or other aspect of Family Law without the assistance of an attorney, is a daunting task. Our attorneys have decades of experience in these areas and provide clients with seasoned counsel and advocacy on these matters in Oregon. We do not handle Family Law cases in Washington.
One of the most difficult decisions in life is deciding that a marriage isn’t working and that it may be time to file for a divorce. When children are involved, the decision is even more difficult. Strong emotions such as fear, betrayal, loneliness and anger can cloud judgment.
In these circumstances, a knowledgeable and professional attorney is invaluable. Our attorneys treat clients with respect, dignity and compassion and offer sound counsel to protect their interests.
Avoiding Divorce Complications
Many mistakes are made by parties going through the divorce process without help from a divorce attorney. Separating the marital and/or premarital assets is stressful without the competent help of an experienced attorney. When children are involved in divorce proceedings, mistakes can be quickly compounded by unrepresented parties. Our divorce attorneys will thoroughly explain and advise the client regarding custody matters.
Additional Area of Representation
Our attorneys also advise and advocate for clients in the following areas:
- Protecting client’s rights to his/her children
- Advocating for client’s rights to a fair share of the marital assets
- Making sure child support is correct
- Creating an appropriate and workable parenting plan
- Advocacy in and out of court
- Providing client with the resources to be the crucial decision maker about client’s future
Divorce is not easy and can be painful. Having an advocate to represent your rights in and outside of court is crucial. Advocacy may mean reaching an appropriate out of court settlement. Our attorneys are experienced and will help the client look for settlement possibilities if possible. In many situations, an out of court settlement is possible and can limit the time, heartache and legal fees involved in the divorce process. Our experienced attorneys can provide the client with the tools and counsel necessary to allow the client to get a fair result. If the particular facts of the client’s case make reasonable settlement an impossibility, the client needs an experienced advocate to litigate on their behalf. Our attorneys have the courtroom experience to effectively assist our clients at that point. We strive to provide for our clients with strong advocacy.
No other issue is more heated, emotionally charged and important to the client in Family Law than child custody. Clients may find themselves fighting over their rights to obtain custody of their children when a relationship or a marriage has failed. The assistance of our proficient and experienced attorneys and staff is crucial to clients in these circumstances.
The days of the courts simply granting the mother custody of the children, simply because of her status as mother, are gone. Oregon follows the “best interests of the child” standard, by which the court makes custodial decisions, including the award of child custody. In applying this standard, the court hears evidence that takes into account multiple factors to determine where the child or children should reside as their primary residence. Our experienced lawyers effectively advocate on behalf of our clients in such cases and will explain the details of the child custody case with care, confidentiality and compassion.
Factors in Determining Custody, Including:
- Emotional ties between the child and other family members
- The interest of the parties in and attitude toward the child
- Desirability of continuing an existing relationship
- Abuse of one parent by the other
- The preference for the primary care giver of the child, if deemed fit by the court
- Willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child
By no means is this a complete list or necessarily the order of importance, but a brief list of some of the special considerations that may be taken into account.
Our attorneys can explain the details of exactly what the difference is between joint custody and sole custody – but here is the basic premises. In most cases, joint custody is based on the court’s belief that parents can work together for the best interests of the child. Joint custody means that both parents share major decision making regarding the children’s lives. If the parties can work together cooperatively, and agree, the court can award joint custody. The court cannot impose joint custody on the parties if one party does not consent.
Sole custody of a child is where the primary care giver (custodial parent) is authorized to make major decisions regarding the raising of the children. The court must make a decision regarding who should have custody if the parties do not agree to share custody.
Another significant consideration in custody or divorce cases, is the amount of parenting time each parent will have with the children. Setting up a proper parenting time schedule is a crucial facet of Family Law. Our attorneys have substantial experience and success helping clients navigate the establishment of an effective and equitable schedule.
If you are the non-custodial parent, it means that your children live for the majority of time with the other parent, called the custodial or residential parent. The non-custodial parent should understand that this is not the end of the world. Parenting time rights are something that courts and judges want to grant to the non-custodial parent because the courts understand the non-custodial parent’s role in the child’s development and nurture. It is the desire of the courts to have the non-custodial parent have significant presence in the child’s life if to do so would be in the “best interests of the child”. Our attorneys can help non-custodial parents secure their parenting time rights with their children.
The circumstances that originally existed when the court made custody and parenting time determines can change over time. Our experienced attorneys can advise whether the changes warrant modifying custody, parenting time or child support.