Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Portland Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

Don't let your Oregon divorce ruin your holidays

If you're currently preparing to navigate the Oregon civil justice system to obtain a divorce, you might be more than a bit concerned about your children's ability to cope with the situation. Even more so, you might be feeling anxious about the holiday season since you know the life changes you're going through will likely have a significant impact on your kids, and on the way you celebrate holidays and special occasions from now on.

Try to remember that getting divorced doesn't make you a bad parent nor does it necessarily mean you can't enjoy the holidays. A key factor to avoiding divorce-related problems during the holiday season is to be thorough in writing the terms of your co-parenting agreement. It's also a good idea to think ahead, and to know what to do if a specific legal problem arises.

Small assets must be split in property division

Many people think about the major assets when they think about the property division process in a divorce. It might not really be shocking to think about other things that have to be divided, but these smaller items can pose a real challenge. It is imperative that you think carefully about these aspects of the split.

Each room of the home has items that need to be split up. These are things like the living room furniture, the bedroom set, lamps, dining room table and chairs, and similar items. Deciding who gets to keep all of these items is necessary so that the divorce can proceed.

An amicable divorce can reduce your stress

When you go through a divorce and have children with your ex, you won't have the option of never speaking to your ex again. Because of this, you should try to remain as amicable as possible. This might be challenging, but it is fully possible.

Being able to be friends with your ex isn't going to happen right away. Your emotions are likely going to be raw right after the divorce, so you have to give yourself time to heal after the filing. During this time, your focus should remain on trying to be mentally ready for having to work with your ex about the children.

Support orders must address extraordinary medical expenses

Child support is ordered when parents split up. This is meant to cover some of the basic expenses of raising a child, but it isn't intended to cover everything. What some people don't realize is that there are some expenses that are considered extraordinary. One expense that can fall under this category is a medical cost that isn't covered by insurance.

These extraordinary medical expenses are usually addressed by the child support order. Reviewing this enables you to find out what formula is used to determine which parent is responsible for which costs. This might be a percentage of costs or it could be that one parent is liable for all expenses after the other has paid a certain amount during a specific time period.

Review your estate plan when your marriage ends

People who are going through a divorce are often so focused on getting things with the split finalized that they forget to plan for the future. You know that you will have to go through property division and child custody matters, so they quickly become the priority.

You also need to think about what needs to happen with your estate plan. You likely have it set up for what it should have been during the marriage. This is going to have to change now because if it doesn't, there is a good chance that everything will go to your ex. Unless you want this to happen to help your children, you need to review things and make appropriate changes.

Thinking ahead can help you avoid divorce-related trouble

When you go through divorce, you know that there is a lot on the line. Your choice to end your marriage will impact your financial future, your long-term interests and your post-divorce lifestyle. It's in your interests to intentionally pursue fair terms to your property division order.

This can be stressful and complicated, especially if there is contention between you and your spouse. Many couples are able to avoid this process altogether by thinking ahead before they even walk down the aisle. Drafting a prenuptial agreement before you marry can ensure that you don't have to deal with a contentious legal battle over your marital property. Having this type of contract is not assuming that your marriage will fail. It is simply having a plan in place in case of a contingency.

Know where you stand financially during a divorce

One of the most significant changes you go through when you divorce is figuring out finances. You might be going from a household with two incomes to a home with one. Sitting down to create a budget can help you immensely during this time. Not only does this show you where you stand, it also gives you the chance to make changes that benefit your single life.

Your budget needs to be accurate if it is going to help you. It might be necessary to track expenses for a while, so you know exactly where your money is going. Ideally, you will do this before you go into a mediation session to divide marital property.

Childless divorces can be particularly challenging

There isn't such thing as an easy divorce, but people who don't have children might have it a tad easier than those who do. The childless individuals won't have to worry about custody arrangements. While the legal aspects of the split might be less involved, there are other things that these couples have to worry about.

Parents who divorce often turn their attention to the children. When there aren't kids to focus on, your attention will likely turn inward. You might begin to wonder what you can do to avoid making the same relationship errors in the future. This can take a toll on your mental health because you might start to focus on everything you feel you did wrong.

Underlying sources of anger should be addressed when divorcing

There are many things that can happen when adults divorce. One of the things that can make a challenging situation even more difficult is when there are underlying sources of anger and contention. This might be the case if a spouse was having an affair or if monetary issues or abuse led to the split.

In order to take the divorce's tone down a bit, you have to be willing to address the sources of anger. This doesn't mean that you have to work with your ex on this. Instead, you need to find ways to cope with the situation yourself. You might need to see a therapist to help you find coping methods. Remember that you have to put your own mental health first.

Student loans can be an area of contention in some divorces

When you think about the property division process in divorce, you might associate it with splitting up the assets. This is a big part of it, but you also have to address what is going to happen to the debts. For some, student loans are one of the biggest things that they will have to divide.

There isn't a single answer that's always correct regarding student loans. Many variables can impact what happens to student loans during the division of property.

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Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law
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Portland, OR 97232

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