Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Portland Family Law And Estate Planning Blog

Find ways to make your divorce a positive experience

The end of your marriage can bring a range of intense emotions like stress and anxiety. This is perfectly normal, but it is also important to do all that you can to reduce their negative impact on your life and health.

Learning what to expect in the divorce process can reduce the uncertainty that you're feeling. We can help you prepare for the coming hearings and depositions so that you don't feel out of your element entirely. We will review your options in advance whenever possible so that there are few surprises when you get to court. This gives you time to consider everything and make decisions for your future without feeling rushed.

Uninsured medical expenses are usually included in support orders

When you think of child support, you might only think of the regularly occurring payments that go to your ex to pay for your child's needs. While these are a major chunk of what you will pay, there might be others too. For example, many child support orders require that both parents cover uninsured medical costs for the children.

Uninsured medical costs include co-pays and other expenses that come out-of-pocket for the medical care your children need. In order for you to have to help pay for these expenses, they have to be necessary and reasonable. This means your ex can't decide that your child needs a procedure that isn't really necessary and then demand that you pay for it.

Know what you can afford when dividing property

Dividing up the marital property is one of the main things that has to be done when you are going through a divorce.

For some, this is a simple process. In other cases, it is more complex. It is imperative that you consider all the options that are available for getting this done. We understand that you might have some questions about what's possible. We are here to help you find solutions to this situation.

Estate executors can benefit from attorney assistance

Your loved one likely chose you as executor of his or her estate because of the level of trust between the two of you. After all, it is a serious duty to carry out the final wishes of someone and to oversee the process that closes any open ends that person left behind. However, you may have realized immediately that along with the great honor of being estate executor comes a tremendous amount of responsibility and risk.

Unless you have previous experience handling the final affairs of someone who has recently died, you may not know where to begin. You may have to determine which are the priorities and how to avoid mistakes that could leave you liable. It is not as simple as reading the will and passing out the assets, and many executors find it is in their best interests to seek professional guidance for the task.

Preparation is the key during mediation

One of the more common ways to resolve a divorce is through the use of the mediator. This person is an impartial third party who works to keep you on track, so you can move through all the points necessary to finalize your divorce. This can include everything from property division to child custody matters.

It is imperative that you prepare for the mediation session before you go into the mediator's office. This includes gathering the documents that you might need during the day, making decisions about what you feel are the important issues so you can focus on those during the meeting and ensuring that you have an idea of what you're willing to settle for during the process.

Think about your options for filing for divorce

With the holiday season right around the corner, it might be troubling to contemplate the need to file for divorce. For some people, there isn't any time to waste on getting things started. For others, it might be possible to hold off until after the holidays. Both options have some pros and cons. You have to decide which is necessary in your case.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, your safety obviously needs to come first. Getting out, seeking a restraining order and filing for divorce are likely your priorities. You don't have to think about much else to decide that now is the time to act.

Divorce settlements must be approved by the court

Many divorces are resolved out of court, which can be done through mediation, alternative dispute resolution and similar methods. Some individuals don't realize that the court will still have to approve the settlement before it is finalized. One reason for this is that the court needs to determine whether the agreement was negotiated in a fair manner.

As you and your ex are going through the property division phase, you need to be sure that you are protecting your rights. When you are dividing assets, thinking logically is imperative. This is because your financial future is likely going to be directly impacted by what you decide in this part of the divorce.

Guardianships are important components in some estate plans

A guardianship is a very important tool for parents who are worried about what is going to happen to their children if both parents pass away. This is a frightening prospect for many parents, but it is one that shouldn't be ignored. Here are a few points to remember about guardianships:

When you name a guardian for your children, you must consider each child individually. Some parents might find it necessary to name one guardian for a child but have a different one for another child. Think about whether the guardian will be able to handle the situation of taking on multiple children. If you don't have someone who can care for all your children, it might necessary to split the caregiving responsibilities.

Does that piece of property go through probate?

When figuring out how to distribute your property after your death, one of the first things you may need to look at is whether a certain piece of property will go through probate as it is currently titled. You may also need to consider whether you want a particular piece of property to go through probate as a way to distribute it to the person you wish to receive it.

The more property you keep out of probate, the more your taxable estate reduces. In addition, if the property you leave to your loved ones does not have to go through probate, then they will have quicker access to it. Below is a look at how your property is titled, along with what that means for the probate process.

Child support payments benefit your children, not your ex

One contentious area of child custody cases is the assignment of child support. The paying parent might not mind supporting their child but might resent having to give the payments to their ex. Still, these court-ordered payments must be made as ordered by the court. Failing to provide the financial support to your children can lead to you being incarcerated.

We know that you might not think that you should have to pay your ex. After all, the children probably spend time with you too. Unfortunately, there is a specific formula for the financial support of children that must be followed. You might realize that you don't need to be cranky with your ex because you have to pay.

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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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