Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Portland Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

How do you request a child support modification?

There is more to getting a child support modification than telling the court that you can no longer afford to make full and timely payments.

You need to take a variety of steps to make this happen, including the following:

  • Take fast action: Once you realize you need a child support modification, you should learn more about the process, as waiting any amount of time can make your situation worse.
  • Talk to the other parent: It's possible that the other parent may agree to a child support modification, which will make it much easier for you to obtain court approval.
  • Stay current: Don't assume that it's okay to stop making payments since you're in the process of seeking a modification. You should stay current, to the best of your ability, even if it means putting stress on other areas of your finances.
  • Document your financial changes: In short, you need to prove that your situation has changed to the point that you are no longer able to make your payments in full. Examples include proof of unemployment or a serious injury keeping you out of work.

Watch out for hidden bitcoin assets

When people used to hide assets during a divorce, they had to physically hide the money. This led to the stereotype about a "mattress full of cash." A spouse could stash money aside, fail to disclose it during the divorce and then keep an ex from his or her fair share in court.

People still hide assets. The Internet Age has just changed how they do it.

I was named as an executor. What does that mean?

Whether a loved one came to you and asked if you would serve as executor of his or her estate, or you found out after his or her passing that your loved one named you executor in the last will and testament, you may wonder just what that means. You may know that it has something to do with probate, but that's about it.

If you take on the role of an executor, you will be responsible for numerous duties relating to closing out the estate of your loved one. Before you agree to serve in this capacity and undertake these duties, it may help you to know what you are facing.

What is probate and when is it necessary?

There is a lot to think about when creating or administering an estate, with probate at the top of the list.

In short, probate is nothing more than a legal process that entails the distribution of assets left behind by a deceased individual. Assets can include but are not limited to personal property, cash and real estate.

4 assets you may need to split in a divorce

Once you decide to divorce, it won't be too long before you begin to wonder what will happen to your many assets.

While it's important to think about matters of property division, there's something you need to know: Your soon-to-be ex-spouse is probably doing the same thing.

Tips for choosing a guardian for your child

Choosing a guardian for your child is one of the biggest estate planning decisions you will make. This is the person who will step in to raise your child should you (and your spouse) no longer be around to do so.

While you have many choices, you need to narrow your options and make a final decision in a timely manner. In other words, don't put this off with the idea that you can make a decision later on.

What parents should know about custody evaluators

Parents in divorces or contested custody proceedings may have to participate in a custody evaluation. The purpose of an evaluation is to provide the finder of fact with recommendations as to how to award custody and/or parenting time based on the “best interests of the child” standard.

To complete the evaluation, the custody evaluator will gather information about each parent, people who have significant relationships with the child, and even visit their respective homes. The process is not a quick one and can raise tensions during the process, because some parents do not agree that their parenting should be “evaluated.”

Proactivity in planning your estate

If you are a proactive kind of person, you probably get a lot of kidding for expecting the worst to happen. However, to you, it just makes good sense to anticipate the worst and make a contingency plan. This may mean having an alternative plan when your daughter wants an outdoor wedding, overpacking when you go on vacation and creating an emergency savings account just in case.

You may also know the importance of having sufficient life insurance and a thorough estate plan because the end of life is something no one can avoid. Whether you have already made that plan or you intend to do it soon, you will want to make sure to avoid common mistakes that can nullify the good planning you are trying to do.

Make sure your kids know your divorce is not their fault

While it's natural to assume that your children know you love them and are there to support them when they face unexpected changes in life, you may be surprised to learn how many children mistakenly think they are to blame when their parents divorce. A key factor in helping your kids adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle lies in letting them know it's not their fault and that you are there to help them as they come to terms with the situation.

No two children react to divorce exactly the same. One child may grow distant from you while another doesn't ever want to leave your side. You know your children better than anyone, so you are the best person to determine what they need to help them cope with your divorce in as healthy a manner as possible. You may decide to seek outside support if one or more of your children has a special need that you believe an Oregon counselor, faith leader or support group can address.

Weighing the idea of a prenuptial agreement

The early stages of planning a wedding can be exciting and overwhelming. There are so many choices and directions you could take to make the day special and memorable. However, marriage is about more than one special moment, and there are certainly other questions to resolve in the months of planning before your wedding day.

One issue you may be debating is whether you and your intended should draft and sign a prenuptial agreement. You have certainly heard stories of those who lost fortunes because they failed to have such a contract in place, but the prospect of preparing for the end before you even get started may be daunting. When faced with a difficult decision, examining the pros and cons is often a helpful exercise.

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Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law
1607 N.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, OR 97232

Toll Free: 888-779-8837
Phone: 503-505-7941
Fax: 503-249-8500
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