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Salem Family Law Blog

What happens if your ex fails to pay child support in Oregon?

When you have a child support order in place in Oregon, you probably expect that your child’s other parent will do his or her duty and pay the child support on time and as ordered. Regrettably, however, this is not always the way things work, and in some situations, you may need the state to intervene if you are not getting the amount your child support order dictates. Just what might the state be able to do to help you get your hands on the child support owed to you?

According to the Oregon Department of Justice, the state may step in and collect child support in a number of different ways when someone with an existing child support order fails to uphold its terms. One such method might involve withholding any state or federal tax refunds intended for the nonpaying parent until you receive the total amount owed to you.

What matters can you address in a co-parenting plan?

When you split from your Oregon spouse, you will undoubtedly need to untangle your lives from one another’s, and if you share children you both plan to parent moving forward, you will need to figure out how to effectively co-parent. Co-parenting almost always involves a significant adjustment, but the more you and your child’s other parent can agree to when it comes to raising your shared child, the better off that child will likely be.

According to Psychology Today, a co-parenting plan is a written document that prioritizes your child’s needs, and it can outline any number of different guidelines you and your ex agree to abide by while you parent your child moving forward. Co-parenting plans can contain information about any number of areas of your child’s life, and as you can probably imagine, the contents of such a plan may need updating as your child grows older.

Should you use divorce mediation?

Married couples who are splitting up in Oregon and want the divorce process to be cost-effective and less stressful may want to consider mediation. This process can be very beneficial to not only the soon-to-be-ex spouses, but also for any children involved. However, it is also important to know that it is not always the right choice for every couple or situation.

According to Money Crashers, a mediator helps the couple work through the decision-making process in regard to asset and debt division, child custody and spousal support. This process can be advantageous because it reduces the emotional toll, improves communication, cuts down on costs and typically is a shorter process than court proceedings. It is a good choice for those who can get along amicably and want to do what is best for them and their children. 

Facilitating your child's recovery after domestic violence

Domestic violence can have lasting and damaging effects for you and anyone who has witnessed the abuse. If your former spouse in Oregon was perpetrating your abuse and your children were present at the time of the mistreatment, they may react for years to come because of the trauma they endured. At Daniel J. Lounsbury Attorney at Law, we have been able to provide support to many victims of domestic violence. 

Perhaps the most important step you can take is to remove yourself and your children from the abusive situation you are in. Often, this is much easier said than done and may require secretive movements and support from people closest to you. When you are confident that your welfare and that of your children, is indeed secure, it is time to begin the process of healing and helping your children to recover and move forward with their lives. 

Jealousy and custody disputes

The emotional impact of the divorce process can be intense, and people may struggle with various negative feelings while they are bringing their marriage to an end (these emotions can also linger after the divorce process is complete). Aside from depression, or even anger, some people may have a difficult time with jealousy. For example, a parent may be jealous due to the amount of time that their child’s other parent will be able to spend with the child, or they may be upset because of some other facet of the custody process. These emotions can become especially strong when a difficult dispute occurs.

It is very important to manage your emotions properly during a dispute over child custody. The actions you take at this time could play a major role in your future relationship with your child, and they may impact your child’s life in different ways. Negative feelings like jealousy, when left unchecked, can have a detrimental impact on a parent’s ability to secure a favorable outcome. Of course, a certain amount of jealousy may be unavoidable and relatively harmless. However, those who become extremely jealous may allow their emotions to cloud their judgment, which can be problematic during such a crucial time.

Dealing with family law issues during pregnancy

Divorce can be hard for many reasons for couples who are facing a number of challenges, from financial problems to negative emotions such as stress or depression. For some people, such as those who are pregnant, the end of a marriage and the numerous family law issues that may arise can be especially difficult to deal with. For example, someone who is expecting a child may be unsure of how custody will be awarded or whether they will be able to receive child support. Moreover, they may worry about how marital property will be divided and how to deal with legal matters during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, it is important to focus on your health and the well-being of your unborn child. However, you should not overlook various family law concerns that you may have, either. The steps you take during the divorce process and even after your divorce has been finalized may have a significant impact on your future and your child’s future also. Our law office fully recognizes how challenging family law issues can be, especially for someone who is simultaneously dealing with pregnancy. Staying focused and having a clear understanding of your legal options is paramount.

What are the different types of alimony in Oregon?

If, during your marriage, your spouse was the primary income-earner in your home in Marion, then you may go into your divorce proceedings automatically expecting to be awarded alimony. Yet spousal support is not intended to simply punish your spouse for working while you stayed home; rather, it is simply meant to provide you with a means of assistance in attaining the same standard of living you enjoyed while married. If the court believes you can earn enough to support that one your own, it may not award you alimony at all. 

Even if you do happen to be granted alimony, be aware that it is likely only to be temporary. According to the Oregon Judicial Branch, the state recognizes three types of alimony: 

  • Transitional 
  • Compensatory
  • Spousal maintenance

Why is your 401k considered marital property?

You may go into your divorce proceedings feeling fairly comfortable that you understand exactly what properties you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse shared. Yet like many others in Marion who are in your same position, you may be shocked to learn that your workplace retirement accounts (such as your 401k) are also considered to be marital property. If the funds in such an account are there solely due to your own individual efforts, whey then would your ex-spouse be entitled to them? 

Consider the source of those funds. Any income that you earn while married is considered shared. Given that contributions to your 401k are taken from your earnings, it is reasonable to expect that those contributions would also be deemed to be marital property. Even in cases where your employer offers matching funds to your 401k, these are considered to be benefits of employment, which your spouse would also normally share in. 

How do you make divorce easier?

Divorce in Oregon can come with challenges. However, there are ways to make it easier. Forbes lists several tips to make divorce less painful, and therefore, less difficult.  

One suggestion is to adopt a business mindset when it comes to divorce. At the most basic level, you are seeking to terminate a contract. It is imperative that you understand your rights under the law and have an idea of what may happen in court. Your divorce will be easier if you process emotions outside of the business part of divorce.

Significant financial assets may complicate the divorce process

If you are an Oregon resident considering divorce, it is important to understand how your financial situation may affect the process and the settlement. If you and your spouse have financial assets of substantial worth, a fair divorce settlement may require an in-depth examination and valuation of all of your possessions. At Willamette Valley Legal, we have experience assisting high-net-worth clients through their divorce proceedings.

Discovery may be one of the most crucial phases of your divorce. When there are significant financial considerations at stake, it is essential to locate all existing assets and determine their financial values accurately. There are many types of assets that may be part of the divorce settlement: stocks, investments, retirement savings and even businesses that you may own or invest in. If you have physical property, such as boats, luxury vehicles, jewelry and real estate, those assets should also be part of the settlement. Sometimes you may need to work with experts, such as forensic accountants, to ensure that every asset receives a fair and correct valuation.

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