Based in Portland, Oregon, my practice primarily involves cases filed in the circuit courts in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties, with some work in Columbia County, which are in the State of Oregon. Some of the cities in this area include: Beaverton, Forest Grove, Gresham, Hillsboro, Milwaukee, Oregon City, Portland, St Helens, and Tigard.
My practice includes divorce cases or cases involving the dissolution of a marriage. I do not limit my practice to representing either husbands or wives. I have also been appointed by the Multnomah County Circuit Court to represent a child or the children in highly contested cases.
The issues in these cases can involve the custody and parenting time (visitation) of minor children, child support, spousal support, the division of the parties’ property, and the allocation of the responsibility for the payment of debt.
In some (fortunately rare) cases it is necessary to seek an emergency temporary custody or parenting time order (which may provide for supervised parenting time) to protect a child from harm.
Child support is calculated in accordance with the Oregon child support guidelines which can be rebutted in certain cases to provide for more or less child support as may be appropriate.Spousal support cases first involve a determination as to whether spousal support is appropriate. There are three types of spousal support. Maintenance spousal support may be awarded where there is a substantial difference in income between the spouses. Transitional spousal support may be awarded if a dependent party could become less dependent with additional education or training. Compensatory spousal support may be awarded where a party has, for example, paid to put the other party through school.
The division of the parties’ property may involve issues concerning premarital assets (an asset acquired by a party prior to the marriage, gifts, inherited property, current or future distributions to a party who is a trust beneficiary from a living trust, such as a living trust, pensions, retirement plans, IRA’s, 401k’s, real property, including commercial property as well as residential property, corporate stock and interests in family businesses, sole proprietorships, LLC’s or closely held corporations.
In some cases the parties or parents were never married. In that case, there may be the dissolution of a domestic partnership. Unmarried parents face custody, parenting time and child support issues. It is easier to resolve these issues before a real problem arises. If you wait for trouble before formally resolving these issues, trouble is what you are likely to get.
After a general judgment in any of these cases is signed by a judge, circumstances involving support or the care of a minor child may change. Issues may arise as to whether the general judgment should be modified with regard to provisions concerning: custody or parenting time, child support, spousal support, income tax child dependency exemptions, life insurance or health insurance for the children and child support for children who are adults, under the age of 21 and are attending school.
Some modification cases come about because one of the parents wishes to move to another state. If this should occur, Oregon law has notification rules that apply so that, at a minimum, the parties can review their parenting time arrangements.
Most of these cases settle without going to a trial or a hearing. This comes about through negotiation, sometimes with the assistance of mediation. When settlement is not possible, a party must be prepared to litigate at trial or at a hearing those issues that could not be resolved.
If something happens to a minor child’s parents, a guardianship or conservatorship may be created with a court appointed guardian or conservator to care for the child.
Grandparents or a stepparent may qualify to be awarded custody of minor grandchild or stepchild or parenting time with that child. While the circumstances under which this may occur are more restricted than in the past, it is still possible over the objection of a parent if certain criteria can be met.
A client considering marriage may wish to create a prenuptial agreement to clarify, among other things, how the couple wish to deal with the property (or
debt) that each party is bringing to the marriage. Prenuptial agreements are favored under Oregon law.
I have experience in all of these issues and circumstances.