DIVORCE IN OREGON [ Home page ]
DIVORCE & CUSTODY----WHAT TO EXPECT
Courts have basically two considerations: to protect children, and to arrive at equitable settlements based upon the contributions of each party.
Don't assume that your outcome will be the same as a friend with a similar situation. The state provides some guidelines, but your result depends to a great extent on the skill of your lawyer, and upon which judge hears your case.
If you come to an informed settlement, that is the best course of action. However, sometimes a spouse is unaware of savings, investments, debts or other issues that can cause them to make poor settlements. This is where the help of a good lawyer can make all the difference.
Here is a brief outline of the steps involved in a typical case:
- You hire an attorney and make a deposit to a trust account in your name to pay filing fees and costs associated with your case. You will likely be billed monthly. Payment options will be agreed upon in advance.
- One party files a Petition for Dissolution; the other party replies.
- Both parties must provide information relating to all assets, liabilities and income.
- When all the information is gathered, each attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement based on the wishes of their clients.
- The court may order one party to provide support for the other.
- Where minor children are involved, the court may decide where the children will live temporarily, who will provide support and in what amount.
- If custody will be an issue, documents may be filed with the Court requiring the services of a custody evaluator, drug testing or therapy sessions. Parents are required to attend a Focus on Children seminar.
- If a settlement cannot be reached the lawyers will begin to prepare for trial to bring the case to conclusion between 3 - 6 months.
- Depositions may be taken of one or both parties. The lawyers will ask specific questions and responses under oath will be recorded. The information given will be used if the case goes to trial. Be