Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Portland Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

Carefully plan what to include in your will

One of the most important things you can do to protect your family members is to have an estate plan in place when you pass away. The cornerstone of this is the will. When you write yours, you don't have to do anything extravagant. It can be fairly simple as long as it has the legally required elements and doesn't contain anything that may have it tossed out.

The will that you write outlines who is going to get which assets when you pass away. You can set this up be specifying each asset individually or you may opt to set things up by percentages so that each individual or entity, such as a favorite charity, will get a specific portion of your estate.

High asset divorces are likely going to be complex

Not all divorces are created equally. Typically, the only thing that you will find universal is that at least one party feels that the marriage should be ended in a legal manner. Some divorces are much more complex than others. High-asset splits fall under this category. We know that you might be ready to get everything over and done with quickly, but there are some issues that you need to handle first.

The property division process is often one of the most contentious of the entire divorce. When you are dealing with high-value assets, neither party might be willing to concede to handing specific ones over to the other party. We are here to review the case and see if we can find a potential solution that will enable you and your ex to come to an agreement about this aspect of the case.

How should child support payments be used?

When one person pays child support to another, the money is meant to be used in the appropriate manner to raise the child or children.

It doesn't matter if you're making or receiving child support payments, it's important to know how the money is to be used.

Why a prenuptial agreement could be beneficial for you

A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding agreement that outlines how an Oregon couple will divide marital property in case a marriage ends in divorce. It can also address financial responsibilities over the course of the marriage and more, yet many couples forgo this form of legal protection. While it may not seem like a romantic prospect, having a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial for you.

Most couples can benefit from the protections provided by a strong prenuptial agreement. If you think this could be a beneficial step for you, you will find it useful to understand what you can and cannot include in your contract. This can help you draft an agreement that will withstand scrutiny in the event of a dispute.

Don't let emotions guide your property division settlement

When you're dividing your assets, one of the things you might worry about is that you'll lose something that has sentimental value to you. You're not alone. In fact, many arguments during divorce occur because of people fighting over less-valuable items that have a particular memory attached.

The problem with psychological attachments are that they're not always reasonable. Some people might go as far as to give up everything in exchange for just one asset they covet, but that's not a good idea financially in most situations.

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.

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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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