Family Law

Family law encompasses a large number of areas and issues. PDX Law Group can help you with:

Divorce – A divorce judgment will decide major life issues such as division of assets and debts, child custody, spousal support, child support, and parenting time. Going through a divorce is a challenging time for any family; trying to figure out the law and procedure yourself means more stress you don’t need. The lawyers at PDX Law Group help with legal issues, so you can spend your time on what is most important to you.

Legal separation – Oregon allows a married couple to legally separate but remain married. A legal separation action can decide many of the same things as a divorce: division of assets, child custody, etc. A legal separation can be converted into a divorce action by either side. PDX Law Group understands that there are a lot of reasons why a couple may wish to separate, but are not sure they want the finality of a divorce.

Child custody – Oregon courts make legal custody decisions based on what they believe is the best interest of the child. Oregon courts don’t want children to have to watch their parents argue with or talk bad about each other after the divorce. That is why judges prefer to have divorcing parents agree on as much as possible – it shows that the parents can put aside their negative feeling about their soon-to-be-ex for the good of the children. Parents can agree to joint legal custody – sharing the responsibility for making decisions about the child’s care, schooling, medical treatment, and primary residence. If legal custody is contested, a judge must choose one parent to be sole legal custodian.

Parenting time plans. Legal custody is about making decisions for a child. Physical custody is different; it means how much time the child spends with each parent. Oregon courts prefer that children of divorce have a healthy relationship with both parents. That means frequent ongoing contact with both parents. As with legal custody, Oregon courts prefer that parents agree as much as possible on physical custody, visits and parent time. However, even the most cooperative parents may have disagreements over time. That’s why a written parenting plan is needed to establish each parent’s weekly time, and lays out how weekends, holidays, vacations, etc. will work. While parenting plans need not be rigidly followed if both parents agree to a change, they are helpful to establish the ‘baseline’ arrangements.

Modifications to existing judgments. At the conclusion of a divorce, a judgment is entered setting out child custody, parenting plan, and support to be paid. Sometimes circumstances change for one or both parents. If the changes are substantial and unanticipated at the time of the final divorce judgment, a parent can ask the court to change (or modify) an existing judgment. If you have questions about your divorce judgment, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Child Support. The amount of child support in each case is determined using the Oregon Division of Child Support Guidelines Calculator. The formula produces a number that is presumed to be correct. However, any formula is only as good as its input; PDX Law Group makes sure that the data going into the calculation accurately reflects the reality of our client’s financial situation. We also understand that the number produced by the calculator can be rebutted under certain circumstances.

Third party/grandparent rights: visitation, custody, guardianship. Oregon and United States law presumes that parents act in the best interest of their children. Even if they cut a grandparent, or other significant person, out of their kids’ lives for no good reason. Oregon law allows a person who has recently acted as a parent to a child, or a person who has an ongoing personal relationship with the child, to ask the court to order visits. A person with a child-parent relationship can seek custody or a guardianship. These types of cases are legally complex and difficult to win; please contact our office if you are interested in exploring your legal options in this area.