Portland Divorce Attorneys
Divorce Is Hard, But Our Oregon Family Lawyers Make It Easier
When you are facing a complex dispute involving your family’s future, it can be incredibly overwhelming. At Pacific Cascade Family Law, our Portland divorce attorneys make it their mission to help ease your burden during life’s most difficult times – and ensure you get the most beneficial outcome for your unique circumstances. Our divorce firm in Portland upholds a tradition of excellence and personalized service, even as we utilize an innovative, modern approach to secure the results our clients need. If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Portland, reach out to our family law firm to handle your divorce case.
Our Portland divorce attorneys handle all types of divorce and family law matters, including:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Contested & Uncontested Divorce
- Dissolution of Domestic Partnership
- Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders
- Enforcement of Orders
- Fathers' & Mothers’ Rights
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Property Division
- Step-Parent & Independent Adoptions
Divorce is a complicated process, and one that is often compounded by emotional turmoil, conflicting desires, and numerous high-stakes decisions involving your family, your finances, and your future. Whatever this process looks like for you, you can go a long way toward protecting your interests by retaining the services of a Portland divorce lawyer you can trust.
At Pacific Cascade Family Law, our Portland divorce lawyers believe in forming relationships with our clients centered on respect, trust, and care. We focus on helping you navigate the difficulties of divorce with success and confidence. Our Portland divorce lawyers have established a strong reputation in our community, so you can trust in our team for excellent results and committed advocacy every step of the way.
Our divorce attorneys in Portland are passionate about helping clients and their families move forward with their lives. Ready to get started on your case? Contact us now to discuss your case with a family lawyer near you!
Doing Divorce Right the First Time
The best way to save time, money and the headache of a legal hassle is by making every effort to clearly lay out and pursue your primary objectives upfront. It is extremely complicated and legally messy to attempt to make changes after a divorce has been finalized, child custody is established and court orders are in place. If you are filing for divorce, turn to the Portland divorce lawyer at Pacific Cascade Family Law. Our Portland divorce law firm draws on our experience as our team works to protect your interests and meet your legal goals.
Filing for divorce can significantly change your life. At Pacific Cascade Family Law, we take the time to identify your goals. As we guide you through the divorce process, our divorce lawyers will work toward protecting the things that are most important to you.
Oregon Divorce Process
No matter what the circumstances are, deciding to end your marriage is one of the most difficult decisions of your life. The divorce process is stressful and complicated, so you want an experienced divorce attorney to represent you. Here’s a step-by-step look and how the divorce process works in Oregon.
Retain a Portland Divorce Lawyer
The first step in any divorce is having an initial consultation with and retaining a Portland divorce attorney. In your initial consultation, you should discuss facts, law, and issues specific to your divorce to ensure you’re working with the right divorce lawyer for you.
Once you’ve met with a lawyer you trust and retain their services, your attorney can begin working to gather relevant information and make the major decisions on how the case should proceed. You and your attorney will determine the overall goal for the outcome of your divorce, what relief should be sought, and whether or not to offer settlement proposals. These goals may change over the course of the proceedings as more information becomes available.
Filing a Dissolution of Marriage
In Oregon courts, a divorce case is initiated by one spouse, known as the petitioner. The petitioner will file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which is the document that contains the factual and legal basis for the divorce, with the court. Once the dissolution of marriage is filed, the other spouse must be served with a summons personally and will have 30 days to file a counter-petition or a response.
Temporary Court Orders
Waiting for a judge to finalize a divorce is not practical in some cases, so it may be necessary to seek temporary relief at the beginning of the divorce. These temporary orders can include child support, spousal support, temporary custody of children, and temporary residence in the marital home, among others. If a temporary order is requested, the court will typically rule on the request quickly. If granted, the order generally remains in effect until the divorce is granted or the court orders differently.
Reaching a Settlement
In Oregon, if both parties can agree on items like property and debt division, custody, spousal support, and child support, you can negotiate a settlement. This agreement is known as a Marital Settlement Agreement or a Stipulated General Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. If you cannot agree, the next step is to enter into mediation.
The mediation is handled by an impartial third party who specializes in helping couples reach amicable settlements. Mediators cannot force either party to accept terms, which means you will have greater control over the outcome of mediation, rather than a trial. If the two parties cannot reach a settlement through mediation, the case will move on to trial.
It is important to note that mediation may not be an option in some divorce cases. You should consult with your divorce attorney on whether mediation is right for your case.
Go to Trial
The final step of the Oregon divorce process is a divorce trial. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement through mediation or if mediation is not an option, they will bring their case before a judge. The judge will hear each party’s case and make all decisions regarding child custody, spousal support, property division, and more.
The trial concludes once the judge offers their final judgment on the case. Once the final judgment is signed by both parties and the judge, the dissolution agreement is final.
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
Not every divorce demands full legal representation – although at the least we always recommend DIY support from an attorney. If any or all of the following points apply to you, you may not need traditional representation from a Portland divorce lawyer:
- You’re on Good Terms – If you and your spouse don’t hate each other, but know that you can’t stay married, you can often come to a fair agreement regarding the raising of children and dividing of assets.
- You Agree on Essential Points – Even if you really don’t get along, you may still agree about how property and other essential assets should be divided.
- Your Marriage was Brief – It is increasingly popular today for married couples to regret their decision after just a few months or years. In these situations, it is often possible to separate without an attorney.
While getting a divorce without an attorney is possible in some cases, that isn't always the case. If any of the following points applies to your divorce case, then you will want to hire a Portland divorce attorney as soon as possible.
- Abuse – If your spouse is physically, emotionally or sexually abusing you or your children, you absolutely need an attorney to provide the necessary protection in your case.
- Dishonest Spouse/Narcissist – If you believe your spouse has hidden assets or is otherwise being dishonest, or if they have a narcissistic personality, then you need an attorney to help bring the truth to light.
- Spouse Has an Attorney – If your spouse already has a divorce attorney, then it is a good idea to hire.
Contact Pacific Cascade Family Law today to consult a family divorce attorney in Portland!
How You Can Start Planning Ahead for Divorce
Preparing for divorce can be overwhelming at times. It is generally a highly stressful and emotional process – but it also has long-term repercussions for your future, so it is important that the details are properly managed.
Here are a few ways you can start preparing for divorce:
Gather financial records and open a post office box.
Gather all of your financial records and put them in a safe place. A safe place is someplace that your spouse doesn't have access to, such as a friend's house, your parents' house, or a safe deposit box. A PO box will also give you a secure place to receive mail that your spouse doesn't see. You will want a way to receive confidential mail from your lawyer. It will also provide you with a place to receive credit cards and bank statements.
Have your financial ducks in a row.
If your spouse controls the family funds, this can put you at a huge disadvantage during a divorce. If you don't have access to funds for lawyers or living expenses, your divorce settlement may not be what you deserve. You should look into opening a new checking and savings account at a new bank. You should withdraw money from your joint funds. Your divorce lawyer may advise you to withdraw half the funds.
You probably need a credit card in your name as well, in order to start establishing your own credit. If you're not working or your income is significantly less than your spouse's, apply for credit cards before filing for divorce. This is also a good time to get copies of credit reports and make sure they're correct. You should also monitor your reports to make sure your spouse isn't doing anything outrageous with your joint accounts.
Document the property you brought into the divorce.
Property you had before the marriage usually remains yours after the divorce. Sometimes property disappears during a divorce, so it's a good idea to document your property by taking pictures.
Why Hire a Family Lawyer?
Because family law deals with some of the most sensitive and important legal matters, the decisions made in family court have the potential to change your entire life. That is why it’s always a good idea to hire an attorney skilled in this area of the law. A Portland family law attorney can:
- Bring objectivity to highly contentious divorce issues
- Help you get through legal paperwork and red tape
- Work to bring about favorable settlements
- Help you pursue alternative dispute resolutions, like mediation or collaborative law.
There are many pitfalls you will need to avoid in hearings, trials, and beyond – the Portland family lawyers from Pacific Cascade Family Law can help you avoid them.
Call the Team at Pacific Cascade Family Law Today!
As soon as you walk through our doors, you will notice the difference that an award-winning law firm can make for your case. Tenacious, thoughtful, and compassionate, our team members share decades of experience and are committed to each one of our clients. Our Portland divorce lawyers will help you protect your rights and prepare for a better future with your family. Give our divorce law firm a call today!
Lewis Irwin Landerholm
Will M. Jones
Scarlett Van Syoc
Lisette Santiago Mejia
“Supportive and professional team”- Maria Lucia Gomez-Greenberg
“Helpful and professional team”- Former Client
“Honest and Professional”- Former Client