Part 1: The Decision to Divorce
Divorce Law in Oregon
Divorce law is different in every state in the U.S., and court rules also differ among the counties within a state. This Oregon divorce guide can help you to better understand the laws that apply to your divorce in Oregon and some of your legal options, but this guide IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. You should only accept legal advice from an attorney licensed in Oregon who understands the circumstances of your divorce case. For the most up-to-date information on divorce law in Oregon and how they apply to your divorce case, you should schedule a consultation with a qualified Oregon family law or divorce attorney.
If you are considering divorce in Oregon in the Portland metro area, an experienced family law attorney at McKinley Irvin Portland can help you no matter how complicated your case may be or how difficult your situation may seem. With over 20 years in family law practice, McKinley Irvin’s experienced, compassionate and dedicated Portland divorce lawyers know how to protect your interests and help you through your divorce. We can explain your rights and options within Oregon law so you can make the best choices for you and your family.
Finding a Divorce Lawyer in Oregon
REPRESENTING YOURSELF: GETTING DIVORCED WITHOUT A LAWYER IN OREGON
Your children, home, other real estate, business interests and remaining assets are all at stake in your divorce in Oregon. Therefore, proceeding without an attorney involves significant risk. The primary reason is that once final court orders are entered in your divorce case in Oregon, those orders are often very difficult — if not impossible — to change. These orders can impact your home, your finances, your relationship with your children and other areas of your life for a very long time. Only a competent Oregon family law attorney is qualified to inform you of all your rights, interests, risks and opportunities associated with your divorce case. You aren’t required to hire an attorney to get divorced in Oregon, but in almost every case, it is the smartest thing to do.
WHY YOU NEED LEGAL ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION
In a marriage, you have both legal rights and legal obligations to your spouse. The same is true in a divorce. When getting divorced, you have rights that protect your relationship with your children and your access to money and assets. You also have obligations to the health, education and well-being of your children, to the welfare of your spouse, and to your creditors. There are ever-changing laws in Oregon that address each of these rights and obligations, and it is a lawyer’s job to understand the current law. Unless you have no assets, no debts and no children, you should obtain the advice of an experienced Oregon divorce attorney to fully understand how to protect your interests now and in the long-term.
CHOOSING AN OREGON DIVORCE ATTORNEY: HOW TO FIND AN EXCELLENT LAWYER WHO IS RIGHT FOR YOUR CASE
As you look for an attorney to represent you in your Oregon divorce case, you should review each attorney’s credentials and speak with the attorney directly, either in a phone consultation or a face-to-face meeting. Choosing your divorce attorney is a critical decision; you should be deliberate and thoughtful selecting the attorney who will represent you.
Evaluate each attorney based on the following considerations to see if he/she is qualified for your case:
- Is the attorney a family law attorney in Oregon? Check their license with the Oregon State Bar.
- How many years of experience does the attorney have in family law in the state of Oregon?
- Does the family law attorney have specific experience with Oregon divorce cases similar to yours? For instance, if you have children, is the attorney knowledgeable about custody and child support law in Oregon? If you own a business in Oregon or another state, does the attorney have experience with business law and the valuation of business interests?
- What resources can the attorney access? Does the attorney’s law office in Oregon include family law lawyers, paralegals and support staff? Does the attorney use modern technology? Does the attorney have established relationships with experts in related fields such as mediation, taxes, financial planning, parenting investigation, bankruptcy and real estate in Oregon?
- Has the Oregon State Bar Association ever disciplined the attorney? You can perform a search on any attorney licensed in Oregon and view their disciplinary history on the Oregon State Bar’s website, osbar.org.
- Does the attorney have a clear and understandable communication style? When explaining a law or legal issue to you, does the attorney make sure you understand before moving on?
- Does the family law attorney look, speak and act in a professional, intelligent and courteous manner?
- Does the attorney express a strategy to resolve your family law case and meet your goals?
- Does the attorney explain the advantages and disadvantages of the various options available to you?
- Is the attorney ready and able to go to court hearings or a trial on your behalf when necessary? Does the attorney have litigation, mediation and trial experience in Oregon?
- Can the attorney give you a schedule for the likely resolution of your divorce case?
- Do you work well with the attorney? Do you feel comfortable and confident in the attorney’s abilities?
- Does the attorney clearly explain fees and the likely costs associated with your divorce?
In divorce cases, which are often emotional and stressful, you should seek out a family law attorney who is professional and who demonstrates a sincere empathy for you and your family.
As a premier family law practice in Portland, Oregon, McKinley Irvin Portland works hard to provide the very best counsel through effective and compassionate representation, when our clients need it most. Since 1991, every family law attorney at McKinley Irvin has been protecting the rights and responsibilities of family relationships with respect, professionalism, and compassion.