How Do I File for Emergency Custody in Oregon?

Many of our clients are in desperate need of an immediate change of custody or an immediate suspension of parenting time. This is especially true in case involving serious drug addiction, mental illness and child abuse.

It can be extremely frustrating to learn that it can take weeks or months to get into court on a custody or parenting time issue even though the problem with the child is happening now. This feeling is compounded when the client believes the child is in danger in the other parent’s care.

We can help you obtain an emergency custody order. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

Under Oregon law, it is possible to obtain a temporary emergency custody order under the “Immediate Danger” statutes. Oregon has two emergency custody statutes. The difference is the timing of the request, the first statute applies to situations occurring before a final judgment is entered in the case, and the second statute is used after a final judgment has been entered in the divorce and custody case.

ORS 107.097(3) provides that:

(a) A court may enter ex parte a temporary order providing for the custody of, or parenting with the child if:

(A) The party requesting an order is present in court and presents an affidavit alleging the child is in immediate danger; and

(B) The court finds, based on the facts presented in the party’s testimony and affidavit and in the testimony of the other party, if the other party is present, that the child is in immediate danger.

(b) The party requesting an order under this subsection shall provide the court with telephone numbers where the party can be reached at any time during the day and a contact address.

Emergency custody orders are useful in cases involving severe drug and alcohol problems, in cases of sexual abuse, in cases where the custodial parent is incarcerated or where the other party is suffering from severe emotional or mental issues resulting in hospitalization or a complete breakdown. Courts will generally protect children in each of these situations.

Once a general judgment of divorce or final custody determination has been made, a motion for temporary emergency custody must be made under ORS 107.139, the post-judgment emergency custody statute.

ORS 107.139 provides in pertinent part:

Following entry of Judgment, a court may enter an ex parte temporary order providing for the custody of or parenting

(1)(a) Following entry of a judgment, a court may enter ex parte temporary order providing for the custody of, or parenting time with, a child if:

(A) A parent of the child is present in court and presents an affidavit alleging that the child is in immediate danger;

(B) The parent has made a good faith effort to confer with the other party regarding the purpose and time of this court appearance; and

(C) The court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the facts presented in the parent’s testimony and affidavit and in the testimony of the other party, if the other party is present, that the child is in immediate danger.

(b) The party requesting an order under this subsection shall provide the court with telephone numbers where the party can be reached at any time during the day and a contact address.

Thus, a post-judgment custody order requires a much higher standard of proof and good-faith notice to the other party. The clear and convincing evidence requirement is the highest civil standard of proof.

HOW DO I PROVE THAT MY CHILD IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER?

What is immediate danger? Immediate danger means that there is a clear and present risk that a child will be physically injured or neglected in such a way as to endanger the child. The risk here generally involves physical danger and “immediate” means now.

There is considerable variation among the courts and judges as to what constitutes immediate danger. There is virtually no case law on this issue and each determination of immediate danger is generally made on a case-by-case basis. The determination of immediate danger is fact driven and requires the expertise of a skilled divorce and family law attorney.

Generally clients who attempt to obtain emergency custody orders on their own are unsuccessful. The reason for this failure is their inability to understand the rules of evidence and the standard of proof required to prevail in these cases.

In addition to the foregoing, an understanding of the judges and courts in the area is essential to success in this area. There are substantial differences in opinion between judges in the same county as to what constitutes an immediate danger. The manner in which the motion is presented to the court and the evidence and supporting documentation provided to the court are critical to a successful emergency custody motion.

If you believe your child is in “immediate danger” in the other party’s care or custody, you should immediately consult an experienced family law attorney about obtaining emergency relief. It is essential that such a motion be presented properly from the onset so as not to taint the court as to your case, and ruining your chances of obtaining custody of your child.

The evidentiary requirements and the standard of proof for protective orders are technical and require the advice of a skilled custody and parenting time attorney. The cases are fact driven. The improper use of protective orders can have adverse consequences on the final orders entered in the case and can result in the award of substantial attorney fees when used improperly.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVISE ON EMERGENCY CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME ORDERS

We know you have more questions and we have the answers. If you would like to learn more about divorce, child custody or any family law matter, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 for legal advice, or Contact Us for a free consultation.

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Posted in Custody, Divorce, Emergency Custody, Family law, Immediate Danger Orders, Protective Orders, Temporary Orders, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Do I Enforce My Parenting Time in Oregon?

Many of our client are in desperate need for help to enforce their parenting time.
The first step in any parenting time case is to determine if there is a valid court order or judgment which provides for parenting time. If there is a valid court order, the next step is to determine whether the parenting time as specified in the judgment or court order is being denied.

There are generally two methods to enforce a valid parenting time order: (1) a motion to enforce parenting time; or (2) a contempt proceeding. Some of the differences between the two procedures are outlined below.

We can help you enforce your parenting time. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free parenting time enforcement consultation.

YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AN EXPEDITED HEARING TO ENFORCE YOUR PARENTING TIME

A properly filed motion to enforce parenting time generally requires the court to schedule a hearing within 45 days. This is referred to as expedited parenting time. In many jurisdictions, this may be the fastest way to obtain parenting time.

In contempt proceedings, the hearing is usually held by the judge who issued the order or judgment. The case is scheduled on that judge’s calendar docket along with all the other judge’s cases. Given the judge’s calendar, it usually takes longer to appear before the judge in a contempt proceeding than it would in an enforcement of parenting time proceeding.

Again, this will depend on the jurisdiction in which your case arises. In many jurisdictions, such as Multnomah County, a judge will reserve jurisdiction on the case after one hour. In other jurisdictions such as Clackamas County, the judges rotate regardless.

WHAT RELIEF IS AVAILABLE IN CONTEMPT AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS

In an enforcement of parenting time proceeding, the court has the authority:

• To create a more detailed parenting time schedule; to impose additional terms and conditions on the existing parenting time order;

• To order additional parenting time to compensate for a wrongful denial of parenting time;

• To order the violating party to post a bond or securities;

• To order the offending party to attend counseling or educational classes that focus on the impact the violation of parenting time has on the children; and

• To award attorneys fees and costs incurred in enforcing the parenting time.

ORS 107.435 provides for additional remedies the court may order in an enforcement of parenting time proceeding. You can review the Oregon statutes on our website.

The contempt statutes are set forth in ORS 39.145, et. seq. Additional rules which govern contempt proceedings are set forth in the Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules. The remedies available in the contempt proceeding include:

• Any order the court feels necessary to ensure compliance with a prior court order;

• Remedial sanctions to compensate for the contempt;

• Attorney fees and costs incurred in purging the contempt; and

• In extreme cases, confinement in jail.

CONTEMPT REQUIRES A HIGHER BURDEN OF PROOF

The burden of proof in a contempt proceeding is “by clear and convincing” evidence and requires a willful disobedience of a prior court order or judgment.

The burden of proof in an enforcement proceeding is a “preponderance” of the evidence . Quite often it is beneficial to commence both an enforcement and contempt proceeding to obtain all of the remedies to which you are entitled.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON HOW TO ENFORCE YOUR PARENTING TIME

The rules and procedures in filing enforcement of parenting time and contempt proceedings are complicated and require a skilled and experienced parenting time enforcement attorney. Contact Paul F. Sherman for expert advice on how to enforce you parenting time.

We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like to know more about parenting time enforcement or remedial contempt, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free parenting time enforcement consultation.

Posted in Contempt, Enforcement of Judgments, Family law, Parenting Plans, Parenting Time, parenting time enforcement, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How is Child Custody Determined in Oregon?

Child custody is probably the most contentious issue in family law. Our offices receive more calls regarding child custody than any other family law matter. Calls are fueled by the divisive and emotional nature of child custody cases. Many clients struggle to understand child custody law and determining the outcome of a child custody case can be extremely difficult.

We can help you with your child custody case. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free child custody consultation.

Oregon courts focus on the “best interests and welfare of the child” in determining which parent will be awarded legal custody. It is commonly asked what the phrase “in the best interests” means. In some cases, a custody determination can be obvious. Where one parent is unable to care for the child and provide a safe and loving home, the best interests of the child is easy for the court to determine. In other cases, the other parent may be seriously impaired as a result of drugs or alcohol, or incarcerated Again, this is an easy determination for the court. But in cases where both parents are loving, well adjusted, and able to provide a safe, stable home, the best interests of the child can be extremely difficult to determine.

WHAT IS THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN

Oregon courts use a statutory framework to answer this question. Consideration is given to the age and gender of the child, the educational needs and resources available to each parent, the stability of each parent’s home, and the income and financial resources of each parent. The court may also consider the child’s preferences in regard to where their primary residence will be located. These are some of the most common factors considered by the courts, but the list is not exhaustive. The Court will use any factor it deems relevant to decide what best serves the child’s interests.

In most cases, the overriding consideration will generally be which parent is the primary care provider for the child. This test focuses on who provides the day-to-day needs of the child. Oregon Courts also look to which is the most nurturing parent in close custody cases.

It is common for people to mistakenly believe that the children get to choose which parent they want to live with at a certain age (generally age 12 or above). This is simply not true. Even older teenage children are rarely allowed direct input by the court. There are methods for having the voices of the children heard, such as the appointment of counsel for children or through a custody and parenting time evaluation to investigate the children’s desires and interests. While children generally do not get to choose, it is clear that the court will heavily weigh an older, mature child’s decision as to which parent they would prefer to live with.

WHAT  FACTORS ARE CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING CHILD CUSTODY

ORS 107.137 sets forth the statutory guidelines for how Oregon courts should determine the best interests and welfare of the child. ORS 107.137 provides in pertinent part:

To determine the custody of a minor child, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests and welfare of the child. In determining the best interests and welfare of the child, the court shall consider the following relevant factors:

(1) The emotional ties between the child and the other family members;

(2) The interests of the parties in and attitude toward the child;

(3) The desirability of continuing an existing relationship;

(4) The abuse of one parent by the other;

(5) The preference of the primary caregiver of the child if the caregiver is deemed fit by the court;

(6) The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close continuing relationship between the other parent and the child.

The statute further provides other relevant factors in deciding what is in a child’s best interests. No single factor is controlling in this analysis. Courts will generally consider the totality of the circumstances in addressing these provisions.

Child custody cases are often emotionally challenging and contentious. It is important for parents involved in the custody dispute to keep a level head and to focus on the best interests and welfare of their children. Proper focus on providing a loving home and quality parenting time to a child will usually result in a successful outcome for the parties. Maintaining composure helps parents make sound decisions and allows for a custody agreement that is in the best interests of the child and meets the needs of the parties involved. Having a skilled child custody attorney will clearly make the process easier. Working with an experienced child custody attorney provides you the legal guidance you need to navigate your case with confidence and to protect the interests of your family.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVISE ON YOUR CHILD CUSTODY CASE

We know you have more questions, and we have the answers. If you would like to learn more about child custody, divorce, or any family law matter, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

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WHY SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNY FOR MY DIVORCE OR CUSTODY CASE?

Under current economic conditions, many divorcing couples consider a do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce to save money. Unfortunately, a DIY divorce can actually cost you more money than retaining an attorney.

We can help with your divorce or custody case. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free telephone consultation

ATTEMPTING A DIY DIVORCE OR CUSTODY CASE CAN HAVE SERIOUS UNINTENDED COSTS

The dissolution and custody process is complex and requires extensive skill and knowledge to be handled properly. People attempting a DIY divorce often make horrible mistakes that can cost a small fortune to correct. You simply cannot know the consequences of your actions in a divorce or custody case without the necessary skills and training.

The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of complicated forms and technical requirements in every dissolution. The forms are confusing and can be technical. A divorce or custody case is not something simple like buying a new pair of shoes. Errors and miscalculations can have serious unintended financial consequences. Most people are unaware that property divisions are not modifiable after entry of judgment.

Economic circumstances can change in a heartbeat in today’s economy. Do it yourselfers often pay too much to an ex for spousal or child support due to emotional issues or guilt about the break-up. Later, they are unable to make the payments they have agreed to and can be forced into bankruptcy ruining their personal financial lives and credit.

Lack of training often results in not getting your fair share of property in the marital estate. There are even more serious consequences, like receiving less quality time with your children than you would have gotten with a skilled family law attorney. Many people are surprised to discover the financial agreements they agreed to are legally binding, even when they discover further down the road that they are neither fair nor equitable. It is important to have a skilled family law attorney to consider everything at issue in your divorce and custody case including spousal and child support, custody and parenting time. DIY mistakes require the parties to go back to court and spend much more time and money. They can cost a fortune to correct.

The fact of the matter is that divorce is complicated and often complicated emotions. You should never attempt a DIY divorce when you have a child under age 18; you have been involved in a long-term marriage or there is already conflict about how the marital estate is divided; if child or domestic abuse is involved or there are serious problems with mental illness, with drugs or alcohol addiction; when you are in a same-sex marriage; when you own a business together; when you own real property; where the parties are facing bankruptcy; where one of the parties is in the military; or where the marital estate contains significant assets to be divided.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE IN YOUR DIVORCE OR CUSTODY CASE.

We know you have questions, and we have answers. If you would like to know more about the dissolution process, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce consultation.

 

 

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How Can I Get Emergency Custody In Oregon?

Many of our clients are in need of an immediate change of custody or an immediate suspension of parenting time. Under Oregon law, it is possible to obtain a temporary emergency custody order under the “Immediate Danger” statutes.

We can help you obtain an emergency custody order, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

YOUR CHILD MUST BE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER TO OBTAIN EMERGENCY CUSTODY

Oregon has two emergency custody statutes. The difference is the timing of the request, the first statute applies to situations occurring before a final judgment is entered in the case, and the second statute is used after a final judgment has been entered in the case. Your child must be in immediate danger to obtain emergency custody.

ORS 107.097(3) provides that:

(a) A court may enter ex parte a temporary order providing for the custody of, or parenting with the child if:

(A) The party requesting an order is present in court and presents an affidavit alleging the child is in immediate danger; and

(B) The court finds, based on the facts presented in the party’s
testimony and affidavit and in the testimony of the other party, if
the other party is present, that the child is in immediate danger.

(b) The party requesting an order under this subsection shall provide the court with telephone numbers where the party can be reached at any time during the day and a contact address.

Once a general judgment of divorce or final custody determination has been made, a motion for temporary emergency custody must be made under ORS 107.139, the post-judgment emergency custody statute.

ORS 107.139 provides in pertinent part:

Following entry of Judgment, a court may enter an ex parte temporary order providing for the custody of or parenting

(1)(a) Following entry of a judgment, a court may enter ex parte temporary order providing for the custody of, or parenting time with, a child if:

(A) A parent of the child is present in court and presents an affidavit alleging that the child is in immediate danger;

(B) The parent has made a good faith effort to confer with the other party regarding the purpose and time of this court appearance; and

(C) The court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the facts presented in the parent’s testimony and affidavit and in the testimony of the other party, if the other party is present, that the child is in immediate danger.

(b) The party requesting an order under this subsection shall provide the court with telephone numbers where the party can be reached at any time during the day and a contact address.

A post-judgment custody order requires a much higher standard of proof and good-faith attempt to provide notice to the other party. The clear and convincing evidence requirement is the highest civil standard of proof.

WHAT IS IMMEDIATE DANGER?

Immediate danger means that there is a clear and present risk that a child will be physically injured or neglected in such a way as to endanger the child. The risk here generally involves physical danger and “immediate” generally means now.

Emergency custody orders are useful in cases involving severe drug and alcohol problems, in cases of sexual abuse, in cases where the custodial parent is incarcerated, or where the other party is suffering from severe emotional or mental issues resulting in hospitalization or a complete breakdown. Courts will generally protect children in each of these situations.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVISE ON EMERGENCY CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME ORDERS

We know you have more questions and we have the answers. If you would like to learn more about divorce, child custody or any family law matter, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

 

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Emergency Custody, Family law, Immediate Danger Orders, Parenting Time, Protective Orders, Temporary Orders, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

HOW DOES THE NEW TAX LAW IMPACT THE PAYMENT OF ALIMONY OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT IN MY DIVORCE?

It seems reasonably clear that President Trump’s new tax law will make divorce an even more miserable experience. The majority of the nation’s top matrimonial attorneys believe divorce negations will become more acrimonious following a change in the tax treatment of alimony.

We can help you solve your spousal support issues, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free spousal support consultation.

SPOUSAL SUPPORT PAYMENTS ARE NO LONGER DEDUCTIBLE FROM YOUR TAXES.

Alimony, which is commonly known as spousal support or maintenance, is to be paid by the higher earning spouse for a period of time after the divorce. Pursuant to former Internal Revenue Service rules, money paid a former spouse can be subtracted from the payer’s taxable income, lowering his or her taxes. Taxes also had to be paid on any alimony, but the recipients typically had much lower income and thus paid lower tax rates.

The alimony deduction made a substantial economic difference for divorcing couples and simply allowed people to pay more.

It is anticipated that battles will ensue since alimony payers will no longer have a tax deduction for their spousal support payments. The previous rules made it much easier for divorce negotiations by giving the party paying spousal support a dollar-for-dollar deduction from their income taxes.

The final legislation applies to divorces finalized in 2019 and beyond. This will provide time for divorcing couples and their attorneys to adjust to the new regulations. It will also mean that more and more couples will be forced into extended litigation regarding the nature and duration of spousal support in their cases.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON PAYMENT OF SPOUSAL SUPPORT IN YOUR DIVORCE CASE.

We know you have questions, and we have answers. If you would like more information about spousal support, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free telephone consultation.

 

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How Do I Enforce An Out-Of State Child Custody And Parenting Time Judgment?

Many of our clients are faced with the prospect of enforcing an out-of-state custody determination following a relocation to the state of Oregon. The registration of out-of state judgments or orders is a common occurrence in today’s mobile society.

We can help you enforce your out-of-state child custody and parenting time judgment, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

A FOREIGN JUDGMENT MUST BE REGISTERED TO BE ENFORCED OR MODIFIED.

An out-of-state judgment is know in legal terms as a foreign judgment. Pursuant to ORS 109.787, a child custody determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in the State of Oregon with or without a simultaneous request for enforcement.

An Oregon court may enforce a judgment from another state if one parent is not following the provisions of the judgment or order and the party is located in the state of Oregon. The enforcement of a foreign judgment begins with the registration of the out-of-state judgment in an Oregon Circuit Court. In emergency circumstances, it is possible to file the enforcement or modification papers immediately. Here, the registration process should be commenced at the same time as the request for enforcement or modification

To register an out-of-state judgment, it is necessary to obtain a certified copy of the out-of-state judgment or order to be filed with the court. Thereafter, any person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody, parenting time or visitation in the judgment must be served with (1) a notice informing them of the right to contest the registration; (2) a true copy of the judgment or order that is being registered; and (3) an affidavit or declaration which complies with the registration requirements. The filing fee under ORS 21.145 must also be paid to the court.

The rules and requirements for enforcing an out-of-state custody or parenting time determinations are complex and require a skilled out-of-state child custody and parenting time enforcement attorney. It is essential to have a full understanding of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to be successful in this area of law. Get the help you need to protect your family.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON ENFORCING OR MODIFYING YOUR OUT-OF-STATE CHILD CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME JUDGMENT.

We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like to know more about the registration and enforcement of out-of-state child custody and parenting time judgments, contact the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

 

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Emergency Custody, Family law, Immediate Danger Orders, Modifications, Parenting Time, Uncategorized, Visitation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHAT ARE THE SECRETS TO A SUCCESSFUL DIVORCE?

It is common knowledge that divorce is a stressful experience for our clients. While it is natural to feel anxiety about the dissolution of marriage, you need to consider the practical implications of a divorce. The road to a successful divorce can be a long one.

We can help with your divorce. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce consultation.

We are providing you with the secrets to a successful divorce developed by experts to help you with your journey and to keep you from losing too much money as a result of your separation.

DON’T ALLOW EMOTIONS TO CONTROL YOUR FINANCIAL DECISIONS.

Many of our clients want to take out their hurt feelings on their spouse. They are angry and bitter and just want to get revenge. However, it is important that you don’t allow your emotions to interfere with the business at hand. Being spiteful could harm your own finances in the long run. Asking your attorney to draft a letter over a $50 coffee table book is pure nonsense. Repeated emails and telephone calls over miniscule items will substantially increase your attorneys fees.

EVERYTHING IS FAIR GAME IN A DIVORCE.

Never make the mistake of thinking that assets in your name can’t be claimed by your spouse in a divorce. As a general rule, everything acquired during a marriage is divisible including frequent flyer air miles or royalties from a book you wrote. The same holds true for your debts and liabilities. Divorcing couples should consider all factors when doing their financial planning.

MAKE LARGE PURCHASES BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE.

The courts generally issue automatic financial restraining orders prohibiting people from making large purchases or liquidating assets after a divorce is filed and served on the opposing party. Anyone considering divorce should buy large items before filing.

KNOW YOUR SPOUSE’S SPENDING, KEEP TRACK OF SPENDING IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

If you are considering filing for a divorce or legal separation, you need to take a hard look at your spouse’s financial condition. You should certainly keep tabs on whether your spouse is taking out new lines of credit or is spending extravagantly. You should know the amount of money being spent in your household.

GATHER KEY EVIDENCE BEFORE FILING FOR DIVORCE.

If you are considering filing for divorce, you should take the time to collect all the necessary evidence regarding your assets and liabilities. Take pictures of significant assets, make copies of account statements and write down important numbers. Preparation is essential if you want to come out ahead in a divorce.

HAVE PROPERTY APPRAISED BEFORE YOU SEPARATE.

Remember that when it comes to dissolution of marriage, all marital property is fair game. You can’t hope to get your fair share if you don’t know the value of assets. It makes no sense to guess on the value of assets. Remember, there are experts available who can appraise just about anything.

DON’T HIDE ASSETS.

Attempting to deceive your spouse about finances or hiding or concealing assets can ruin your divorce case. If what you are hiding is discovered, you will lose all credibility in court. You could also face penalties, including attorneys fees and monetary sanctions.

WATCH FOR HIDDEN TAX IMPLICATIONS.

Beware of hidden tax implications complicated by the passage of the new tax law. Come 2018, alimony will no longer be deductible from your taxes. On the other hand, those receiving spousal support must report it as taxable income. Make sure to discuss any significant tax issues. Again, experts are available to advise you regarding hidden tax obligations.

OBTAIN JOB TRAINING.

You should consider taking the time to dust off your resume and enhance your skill set before seeking a divorce. The courts can impute income and expect you to be employed at an appropriate earning capacity. If your kids are now in school and you are not retirement age or disabled, it is foolish to depend too much on an anticipated spousal support award.

USE MEDIATION TO HELP SETTLE YOUR DIVORCE.

It is no secret that divorce litigation can be expensive. Some studies have shown the average cost of legal fees in a divorce is $15,000. Using a skilled mediator can help you reduce these expenses.

ALWAYS KNOW YOUR BIGGEST ASSET.

For most couples, the family home is the single greatest asset in the marital estate. Other more successful couples have substantial retirement or pension accounts. Always know the value of your biggest asset before attempting to divide your estate.

USE EXPERTS WHEN RECOMMENDED BY YOUR ATTORNEY.

Many clients are hesitant to pay for experts when they are going through divorce. However, sometimes having an appropriate expert will greatly improve the outcome of your case. Custody evaluators and forensic accountants can be important tools to obtaining the best possible result in your divorce or custody case.

DIVIDING PROPERTY CAN BE COMPLEX.

The division of assets and properties is an art form all its own. Dividing assets is a three-step process: (1) identify the asset; (2) value the asset; and (3) divide the asset. Determining the value of an asset can be tricky. This is especially true when dividing stock options, retirement accounts and family businesses. Get the help you need.

WHEN IN DOUBT SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PROFESSIONAL.

It is well established in the financial world that would-be divorceesˈ should seek professional help at all costs. You will always do better with a skilled attorney and will save money in the long run.

MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE DIVORCE.

A surprising number of people fail to timely complete the divorce settlement. Clients should make sure that their bases are covered and check up on their spouses. Make sure the house is refinanced, the mortgage is paid and the property is not in foreclosure. Stay current on court timelines. Failure to do so may destroy your credit for years and also may result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to take timely action on the sale of the family home or the division of retirement accounts.

COMPROMISE CAN HELP YOU OBTAIN A BETTER RESULT.

Never refrain from compromise out of spite or anger at your former spouse. Compromising on issues can save you a lot of headaches on legal fees when you are going through a divorce. Pick and choose your battles.

BELTS ARE ALWAYS TIGHTENED BY DIVORCE.

It is no secret that divorce will have substantial impact on the finances for the family household. Maintaining two households is always more costly. Make sure you can afford to maintain the assets you receive. It makes no sense to insist on keeping a home in which you can’t afford to live. Consider what assets you value most and be prepared to let some go.

ALWAYS DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR COURT.

Dressing appropriately for court is essential. Clients should remember to keep their dress professional and avoid dressing in a manner that is either sloppy and unkempt or flashy and overly pompous. Dressing appropriately shows the court that you are serious about your case and the expected outcome.

CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON YOUR DIVORCE.

We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like more information on the dissolution process, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce or child custody consultation.

 

Posted in Custody, Dissolution of Partnership, Divorce, Family law, High Asset Divorces, Mediation, Uncategorized, Uncontested Divorce | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

HOW SHOULD I TESTIFY IN MY DIVORCE OR CUSTODY CASE?

Many of our clients have never testified in a court of law and have considerable anxiety about the entire court process.  The following are useful tips to help make you a star witness in your divorce or custody case.


We can help you testify effectively in your divorce and custody case.  Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.


TELL THE TRUTH, NO LIES AND NO EXAGGERATION


To be an effective witness, you should offer the shortest and most truthful answer possible.  Always remember that lies or exaggerations are regularly exposed in court.  The trial court judge will intuitively follow the legal maxim “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,”  which means false in one thing, false in everything – when the Judge believes a witness has lied and then decides what has actually happened in any given case. 


JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION

Judges are annoyed by self-serving, non-responsive answers to a question.  Failure to answer the question destroys a witness’s credibility and often backfires completely.  An experienced lawyer will move to strike the unresponsive answer and re-ask the same question with the Judge’s full attention now on the issue.  You should be prepared for and anticipate detrimental questions about your case and try to answer with an appropriate response focused on the true facts and evidence of your case. 

LOOK THE JUDGE IN THE EYE WHEN YOU TESTIFY

To be an effective witness, it is important to communicate directly with the person deciding your case.  Look the judge in the eye when you testify. Try to connect with the judge.  Witnesses often respond to lawyers and forget who really matters in the courtroom – the judge.  You should explain your case carefully to the judge.  Credibility is best established by direct eye contact with the Judge.

CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS WHEN YOU TESTIFY

Most family law cases are full of emotional issues.  Unchecked emotion or sobbing hysterically through a hearing almost always damages your case.  Appropriate concern is preferable to overt anger and open hostility. Remember, uncontrolled anger or tears suggest witness instability and lack of control.  A rational, controlled presentation always prevails.

BE POSITIVE WHEN TESTIFYING


Focus on the appropriate facts of your case and remember that judges dislike unnecessary personal attacks in court.  Mudslinging and cheap shots rarely accomplish the goal of discrediting another party. Try to present unblemished factual statements on negative issues.  Let the judge make his or her own negative inferences.  It is important to always remember that a trial judge sees everything and everyone in the courtroom. This includes facial and non-verbal responses to questions.

DIFFUSE THE OPPOSING PARTY’S ARGUMENTS

Every witness has his or her own weaknesses.  You should try to relay truthful responses to explain or acknowledge potentially damaging testimony.  Focus on what you have done to correct a problem.  When negative facts are already in evidence, you should confront the testimony head-on to deny or minimize its impact.  For example, witnesses who have prior substance abuse problems should show genuine remorse and also discuss the steps taken to become sober and to avoid relapse.

LISTEN TO THE QUESTION AND THINK ABOUT YOUR RESPONSE BEFORE YOU ANSWER


It is very important to listen to the question as asked and to take the time to respond thoughtfully and factually to what is asked of you.  Impulsive responses always result in disaster.

GO WITH YOUR HORSES AND PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

To be an effective witness, you should focus relentlessly on your case.  Go with your horses and use your best facts and evidence to support your case.  Frequently remind yourself why you are in court and the outcome you wish to achieve.  Avoid focusing on unnecessary details, minutiae and collateral unnecessary testimony.

BE THE SOURCE OF REASON

You should present the judge with cohesive solutions and be the court’s voice of reason.  Judges appreciate a responsive answer and objectively reasonable options without problems and attitudes.  Help the Judge decide your case in your favor.

PAUL F. SHERMAN IS AN EXPERIENCED AND EFFECTIVE DIVORCE AND CUSTODY LAWYER

We know you have questions, and we have answers.  If you would like to know more about testifying effectively in your divorce or family law matter, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free consultation.

 

 

 

Posted in Custody, Dissolution of Partnership, Divorce, Family law, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why you should hire an attorney to handle your divorce of custody case

It is quite common for couples to choose not to work with an attorney and to try to handle their divorce and custody case themselves. These couples hope to save money and feel that an attorney isn’t necessary. However, in most cases, a do-it-yourself divorce isn’t the best plan for you and your family, for reasons you may not understand at the time.

We can help you resolve your divorce and custody case. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce and custody consultation.

IT TAKES TIME TO PROPERLY HANDLE A DIVORCE AND CUSTODY CASE.

Many of our clients are unaware of the time and effort necessary to properly handle a divorce and custody case. Although couples try to handle a divorce on their own, they simply do not have the time it takes to research the applicable divorce laws, gather all the necessary documentation, to prepare the necessary court filings and to follow through with the required court appearances. In order to obtain the best possible result on your divorce and custody case, you will need to devote a lot of time and effort to the dissolution process. You will need the advice and skill of an experienced divorce and custody attorney to properly evaluate your case objectively and help you make the difficult decisions required by a divorce and custody case.

YOU SHOULD NEVER ATTEMPT TO HANDLE A CONTESTED DIVORCE YOURSELF.

Abe Lincoln is often quoted for an old adage in law which provides that “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” This is especially true for any divorce and custody case. It is extremely difficult to remove yourself from the inevitable emotional turmoil caused by divorce and custody cases. Divorce and custody cases commonly generate frustration and anger between the parties. This results in the inability to think clearly. If you are angry or frustrated with your spouse and cannot agree on the terms of your divorce or custody case, you should absolutely not attempt to handle your case without an attorney. Many parties fall into the trap of agreeing to something just to get the case over with, just to release the anxiety caused by the divorce and custody case, or just to make the proceedings stop. Inevitably this results in a poor choice for you and your family. Moreover, the emotional components of divorce often result in neglect and the failure to address important issues without the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney. A skilled divorce attorney can insulate you from contact with the other party and provide you rational, objective advice in how to handle your case.

More importantly, most parties do not have the education and experience necessary to properly evaluate their case and to draft the documents necessary to effectively resolve their case. Most do-it-yourself divorce judgments are fatally defective and simply unenforceable. This requires the parties to spend substantial amounts of money to correct mistakes which should never have been made in the first place and sometimes results in an inability to recover your fair share of the marital estate.

A SKILLED DIVORCE ATTORNEY IS AWARE OF LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES YOU MAY NOT EVEN CONSIDER.

Couples attempting to resolve divorce issues on their own certainly do not have the knowledge and experience necessary to understand the long-term implications of a divorce. Most couples are unaware of important tax implications involved in the divorce. Most couples do not have sufficient knowledge or skill to draft judgments which are enforceable in court and allow the court to address issues which will inevitably arise regarding disagreements on the sale of the family home, the division of retirement assets, the complicated division of stock options; and other important considerations. Moreover, most couples do not have the experience necessary to draft enforceable parenting plans or enforceable child support agreements. Many of our clients have considerable guilt surrounding the circumstances of their divorce and custody case and make decisions which are not rationally based or in the best interests of their family. Due to the complexity of a divorce, it can be extremely difficult to cover all of your bases without the guidance of a skilled divorce attorney who understands the law and has the experience necessary to protect you and your family.

PAUL F. SHERMAN IS A SKILLED AND EFFECTIVE DIVORCE AND CUSTODY ATTORNEY.

If you are considering divorce in Oregon, Washington or California, we invite you to contact the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman to obtain expert advice on your divorce or custody case.

We know you have questions, we have answers. If you would like to have more information on how to handle your divorce or custody case, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free divorce and custody consultation.

Posted in Custody, Divorce, Family law, High Asset Divorces, Uncategorized | Leave a comment