The idea of getting a divorce is often overwhelming and the process may seem daunting. Our goal is to listen to our client’s concerns, explain the process, and help them pivot to a new beginning.
As a parent, the idea of living for a moment without your child is difficult to think about. In most cases, a judge will approve a child custody plan agreed upon by both parents. It is helpful if you and the other parent can come to an agreement regarding a parenting plan. If you cannot come to an agreement, you are not alone and it is certainly common. We are here to help you.
You may be worried about whether you are entitled to alimony or whether spousal support will be part of your divorce agreement. You are worried about your financial stability. We help our clients to ensure the agreement between them and the other spouse protects their interests and ability to move on with their life. Read more below.
Division of Property
You worked hard to build the financial lifestyle that you have. It is understandable that you are concerned about asset division. You may be worried about losing business assets, your home, retirement savings, or more. Divorce is complicated but not impossible. Read more below about property division in Oregon.
Common questions about divorce
- Is Oregon a “no fault” state? – Oregon is a no-fault state which means that most divorces do not allege the wrongdoing of a spouse as a cause of the divorce. Instead, the divorcing couple can cite irreconcilable differences as the cause of the breakdown of the marriage.
- How much does it cost to get a divorce in Oregon? – Our office asks clients to pay a retainer which sits in a trust account. This retainer may be as much as $5,000.00. We discuss our billing procedures with our clients during the initial meeting. Generally, the more complex the divorce is, the more it will cost. And, the more issues you and the other spouse disagree about, the more work we will have and therefore the more it will cost.
- How long does it take to get a divorce in Oregon? – It may take many months to a year, on average. But, if the divorce is complicated it can take even more time than that. The length of time it takes depends on the circumstances and is hard to guess or generalize for all situations.
- Is the state of Oregon a community property state? – Oregon is not a community property state. In Oregon, marital property is presumed to be owned equally and will be divided equally. Any asset owned prior to marriage will be considered a premarital asset and is not subject to distribution.
- How long does it take to file for a divorce? – It generally takes days to weeks to prepare, edit, sign, and serve divorce documents. But, the time it takes will vary on a case by case basis.
If you have more questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Child Custody and Parenting Time
of custodial parents are fathers
During the custody proceeding, the judge will decide custody rights with your child’s best interests in mind. They will listen to both you and your former spouse as they consider your child’s health, safety, and comfort. After the judge awards custody, the decision cannot be modified unless there’s a significant change in family circumstance. The judge may award sole custody or joint custody. If you are awarded sole custody the other parent may be awarded parenting time (visitation rights) but will not have legal authority over the child. If both of you are awarded joint custody you will share in the child’s physical and legal custody. You will both make decisions about the education, medical care, and upbringing of the child. In the United States, 17.5% of fathers were awarded sole custody of their children (2013 data). Yet, there has been an increase in awards of joint custody1, 2. And, many custody agreements are made outside of court, decided between parents3. We help our clients negotiate for a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their children.
average amount of child support per year
In 2013, the average amount of child support awarded to parents throughout the United States was $5,770.00. This figure will vary case by case, year by year. In that same year only 48.7%, or roughly half of all custodial parents receive child support from the other parent. Child support in Oregon is determined by the Oregon Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines take into consideration the gross income of each parent, the parenting plan, child care costs, medical insurance costs, and other factors. Payment of child support continues until the child reaches the age of majority, is emancipated, or, the paying parent passes away.
Spousal support, often referred to as alimony, is awarded to a spouse who needs the additional income. It is not awarded in every divorce case, the amount of support is not based on a formula as with child support, and the spousal support can be one of three varieties: transitional, compensatory, or maintenance. Maintenance support is often the type of support most think of when alimony comes to mind, and it may be awarded for medium to long-term marriages where there was a discrepancy between the income earned by the spouses. Transitional support is temporary and may help the other spouse with training or education. Compensatory support is also temporary and may compensate the other spouse for the significant contribution to the career, education, or training they provided.
In Oregon, assets and earnings accumulated during the marriage are divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. The court may consider factors such as each spouse’s contribution to the accumulation of the property, the market and emotional value of the assets, taxes and other economic consequences of the distribution, each parties’ needs, and any other factor relevant to fairness and equity. In addition, alimony payments, child support, and all other property will be considered as part of the equitable distribution of property.
Families come to our firm because we care about how they feel. We want to help them pivot to a new beginning.
I help clients by listening to their concerns, finding non-legal ways to improve their situation, and then helping them achieve the best result for the good of their family.
How divorce affects your estate plan
Child support and custody statistics compiled from https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/P60-255.pdf (May 2017)
Our attorneys are members of the Oregon State Bar Family Law Section and the Oregon State Bar Estate Planning and Administration Section.