Do you need a prenuptial agreement if you are about to be married? The answer is: it depends. If you are just starting out and there are no assets to be divided you may not need one. However, when people come into a marriage with assets it is important to understand the legal implications. A prenuptial agreement can define a Husband and Wife’s responsibility in three areas: divorce, death of a party and financial or other domestic arrangements during the marriage. The agreement can be simple or it can be very complex. Often I see the issue of spousal support addressed. An example would beRead More →

With the new year soon upon us, I wish you much happiness and joy.  Dealing with the other parent is not always easy.  Stay focused on your children and work hard at these resolutions.  It will help you and best of all, it will help the kids! I will promise to keep my child’s best interests in mind while going through this divorce or healing from this past divorce. I understand that even though I am traumatized, my child is traumatized, too.  My child needs me to be mentally and physically healthy.  My child is not my counselor. I will promote my child’s relationship withRead More →

Our annual family law conference held recently at the Sun River Resort was a huge success. Judge Ashby gave a talk on the informal hearings that people in Deschutes County can use. There was an announcement that the option of informal hearings will go state wide in the future. This is an opportunity for people who just have a few issues to be heard in Court. The Judge is the only one who questions and only Mother and Father can appear at the hearing. Each party can submit whatever exhibits they want the Judge to see. No rules of evidence apply and normally the JudgeRead More →

It is hard to believe that fall is upon us but here it is and with it brings the annual family law conference where divorce attorneys, mediators and Judges gather to learn about the latest cases and procedures. For the past several years, the conference has been held in Lincoln City, Oregon but this year the conference has moved to the Sun River Resort here in Central Oregon. I am really looking forward to the conference as two of our Deschutes County Judges will be speaking. Judge Ashby will be discussing the Informal Domestic Relations Trial and how it works in our county. In addition,Read More →

As a family law attorney of 27 years, I have come to realize that it is important for clients to have an attorney who has experience.  When you are selecting an attorney, it is important to find out how much experience that person has.  It is important to explore how much experience they have with the type of case you are interested in retaining them to represent your interests in.  Simply because an attorney has 20 years of experience doesn’t mean they are qualified to represent you in all matters or areas of law!  All 24 years of my experience has included representing individuals inRead More →

The end of summer signals a significant transition for you, your children and your ex.  Parenting plans, that typically include longer parenting time stays at the non-residential parent’s home draw to a close and the school year schedule returns.  What does this mean to your family and what have I observed over the years in my practice?  During the return to school and normal parenting plan schedules, I often hear complaints about the other parent expressed.  These range from inconsistent rules of the house to nutrition choices and homework.  Ultimately, as a Central Oregon Family Law Lawyer, I have parents who want to discuss theRead More →

I recently attended a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) course on the topic of parenting plans for young children.  We had a family law Judge come over from Portland as well as some mental health specialists speak at the class.  They presented great information, some was new and different while they went into great details in other areas we’ve discussed previously.  Some of these areas included what defines a young child, domestic violence’s impact in a home, how unique each family in divorce actually is and how to advise the parents of young children going through separation or divorce. The course began by specifying that youngRead More →

Probably one of the hardest things about divorce is that people move on and develop new relationships. Often, I hear from clients that they can’t stand the new girlfriend or boyfriend. They do not want to have their children around the new love interest. They worry about confusing their children or about being replaced. Prior to divorce, Central Oregon families are typically active both indoors and out, together as a family unit and new love interests often first appear here following the divorce. Whatever your circumstance, in divorce, family law in the State of Oregon, typically allows the parents to determine who their children spendRead More →

Summer Vacation means summer parenting time schedules for divorced parents.  Parent communication is important, but sometimes miscommunication occurs about summer plans and the holiday schedule between parents. My advice is that it is never too early to start planning for the summer.  Parents should both agree on which activities and camps the children will be participating in and schedule them on the calendar.  Hopefully, the parents will agree to split these costs and can each parent can pay the provider directly. What about taking vacation with the kids?  The nonresidential parent in the Deschutes County Standard Parenting Plan gets to let the residential parent knowRead More →

I am passionate about practicing what I call, “Non Hostile Family Law”. I offer an alternate way to go through the divorce process. I dislike the traditional model of family law (dueling attorneys) because of all the emotional conflict and financial expense involved. I believe that most clients have a sense of their property and can understand division. We have great resources here in Deschutes County with a mediator who will meet with Moms and Dads regarding how overnights might work for their children. Families choose to have overnights in all sorts of different ways: week on, week off, just Friday and Saturday nights, extendedRead More →