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Salem Family Law Blog

Considerations before moving out of the family home

In the interest of fairness, most states abide by either community property or equitable distribution laws. These laws guide courts on how to divvy up property during a divorce. According to FindLaw, Oregon has no such marital property laws on the books. While this allows for more flexibility during the property division process, it also provides for more uncertainty, especially concerning the family home. For this reason, there are certain considerations that a couple should discuss regarding what is to become of the home post-divorce.

To simplify the property division process, Oregon allows couples to devise their own agreements and, if legally valid, will generally accept them. If a couple has joint interest in a home, both parties should sit down and discuss what to do with the home and draw up a written agreement for each's respective attorneys to look over.

Divorce: short-term trauma, long-term healing

Divorces occur because a relationship between two people is too unhealthy to sustain itself. However, according to the American Psychological Association, it is possible for couples in Oregon and elsewhere to divorce in a healthy way, with a minimum of conflict or drama. A smooth separation will be better not only for your peace of mind but that of your ex-spouse and children as well. We at the law office of Daniel J. Lounsbury, Attorney at Law, have experience in helping individuals undergoing a divorce to focus on the big picture and keep everyone's best interest at heart.

Parents who divorce may feel guilty about how the separation will affect their children. Some couples may even try to remain in an unhealthy relationship because they think a divorce will damage their kids. However, studies show that children who grow up in a high-conflict environment have more problems in the long run than children whose parents have irreconcilable differences and make a conscientious decision to split up. There are additional steps that you can take as parents to make the children's transition as easy and painless as possible:

  • Give advance notice before changing their living arrangements
  • Maintain children's contact with each parent
  • Keep conflict with your spouse to a minimum when the children are around
  • Listen to your children's concerns and keep lines of communication open

Expensive weddings tied to divorce in recent study

The anticipation of wedding bells is something that many dating couples in Oregon dream of. Often, planning a wedding involves finding the perfect dress, arranging lodging for out-of-town guests and pairing the perfect wines, food, decor and themes. For many people, planning a wedding is both exciting and costly. 

In an interesting discovery, a recent study has linked a higher likeness of divorce happening with couples who spend exponentially more on their wedding festivities. The study surveyed the marriages of approximately 3,000 people all across the United States. Aspects of wedding planning that were considered included the cost of an engagement ring and the cost of the actual wedding ceremony. In both areas, the results showed that couples who adhered to a more affordable budget had a much higher chance of staying together for a longer period of time. 

How does a judge decide what's in my child's best interests?

In Oregon courts, a judge will take several factors into consideration when determining whether you or the other parent should gain custody of your child. As Oregon's 2017 Revised Statutes explain, a judge will not give preference just because of your status as father or mother. Judges focus on which parent can give children the most successful future.

A judge will not rely on a specific factor to make his or her decision; rather, judges use a combination of factors to make an informed choice. These include the following:

  • Emotional bonds your child has formed with family members
  • Whether you or your child has an interest in continuing an existing relationship
  • How you act toward your child
  • Whether your child has undergone abuse from you or the other parent
  • If the primary caregiver is deemed fit by the court

When you don't want to take your case to court

Ending a relationship is stressful enough without a long, drawn-out battle in an Oregon family court. You may be eager to get through the legal aspect of the divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible so that you can begin to heal emotionally. We at the law office of Daniel J. Lounsbury Attorney at Law frequently assist clients to reach the most favorable outcome for everyone without litigation.

Forbes magazine points out that, often, avoiding a lawsuit is the best option because in court, the judge gets to make the final decision regarding what property division settlement is fair. If you and your spouse can work it out between you, there is no need to involve someone who doesn't really understand your case.

How can you effectively prepare to file for divorce?

After carefully weighing all of your options, you have decided that solving your marital problems with your companion is highly unlikely. As such, you have settled on the decision to file for divorce in Oregon. Now, it is time to file all of the applicable paperwork to get the process started. Before you begin, understanding what you can do to facilitate the process can potentially save you a lot of time and money throughout your divorce. 

According to LiveAbout, a majority of your preparation will be related to your finances and taking preventative steps to protect what you still own. Doing things the right way can build your case and give you a fighting chance at being the recipient of a good portion of assets and financial benefits. As you are preparing to file for divorce, here are some things you should consider doing:

  • Hold off on making any significant moves. Doing so could jeorpardize your chances of being able to have some claim on the shared property. 
  • Revamp your budget to account for the significant changes in your finances. Determine what is necessity and what can wait until you are financially independent again. 
  • Gather and organize important financial documents. Work with a professional to determine which assets belong solely to you and which are shared. 
  • Be courteous and patient. Recognize that your ex is also facing challenges of his or her own. The more positive and friendly you are, the better your chances of receiving a beneficial outcome. 

Divorce and intimate partner violence

When it comes to divorce, there are many different issues that need to be taken into consideration by those who have decided to bring their marriage to an end, such as the custody of their children and the division of marital property. Unfortunately, some people find themselves in especially difficult situations when they split up with their marital partner, such as those who are subjected to intimate partner violence or threats of physical harm. If you are experiencing these challenges personally, it is pivotal to protect yourself and your children from any threats.

Intimate partner violence can impact a divorce case in many ways. First of all, some people may decide to file for a divorce solely because of domestic violence, while others may have an additional amount of stress as a result of their concerns about being subjected to further intimate partner violence or the well-being of their children. Moreover, it may be important to bring these issues up in court, especially if certain matters such as the determination of child custody are being reviewed.

Negative emotions that arise due to child support

When a couple separates, all sorts of difficulties may come into their lives, but this is especially true for those who have children. As if issues such as child custody and explaining the separation to kids are not challenging enough, other matters, such as child support, can further complicate a couple’s decision to split up. There are many hurdles that may need to be overcome with respect to child support, whether a parent is unable to pay what they owe or provide for their child because they are not receiving what they are owed. Moreover, child support issues can bring up very strong emotions.

On the one hand, a parent that cannot pay child support for whatever reason (losing their job, suffering from a costly medical condition, etc.) may experience high levels of stress. Stress can be so severe that it interferes with their work, which may create additional financial strain. Other emotions, such as feeling depressed and hopeless, may also arise and can also generate problems. On the other hand, a parent who is not receiving the child support they are owed may also struggle with severe stress because they worry about providing their child with food, school supplies, and other essentials. Furthermore, they may be angry with their child’s other parent for failing to pay child support.

What should you do when you cannot rely on child support?

Your divorce is finally over and you are beginning to pick up the pieces and move forward. Your children live with you and you have assumed all of the responsibilities of the custodial parent. The only issue is that your ex is not in the position financially to be able to pay child support. Fortunately, when you plan responsibly and acknowledge the problem before it is too late, you can continue to provide for your children without letting your ex feel like he or she is permanently relieved of all financial obligations in Oregon.

According to U.S. News, you will benefit from continuing to keep your ex involved, even if he or she is currently unable to make payments. If your ex is simply unable to afford payments right now, using your children as leverage to force him or her to pay is often more counterproductive. You may find that your ex becomes increasingly bitter and even more adamant to refuse to make payments even if a point is reached where finances allow contribution. However, if you let your ex continue to see and build a relationship with your children, he or she may be much more willing and even eager to contribute funds when that position is reached from a financial standpoint. 

Protecting your family business during your divorce

When you decide to go through with your decision to divorce your spouse, you immediately begin to analyze the impact this choice could have on your family business and its success. Allowing your emotions to take over or making irrational decisions in an effort to stay in control, can have detrimental effects on your company's future. At Daniel J. Lounsbury Attorney at Law, we have helped many individuals in Oregon to navigate the difficult legal process of divorcing their spouse without compromising their business or its success. 

The Chicago Business shared a survival guide that you may wish to implement as you face the uncertainty of your organization's future pending the outcome of your divorce. Here are some of the things you can do: 

  • Rely on your personal advisors: With a talented team of advisors at the helm of all business operations, you can avoid making irrational decisions simply because you are mentally distracted. Rely on your advisors to keep the company running smoothly and working towards organizational goals while you tend to personal matters. 
  • Understand the value of compromise: Your business will need to be evaluated in order for the courts to make decisions regarding you and your ex's future in the organization. If a valuation cannot be agreed upon, do your best to compromise to reach a solution with your former spouse. Breaking the business into two equal parts will put your company's future at risk of failing. 
  • Prepare for the future: Recognize that your divorce will have a lasting impact on your company but do your best to look to the future with optimism. Focus on your mission and what you can do to maintain existing organizational practices despite the changes that have taken place. 
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