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Divorce, Annulment and Legal Separation

Divorce is increasingly complex and often comes in a difficult time in your life.  We can simplify matters that can be resolved and vigorously represent your interests regarding matters in conflict.  Oregon is a “no fault” divorce state, so most divorces deal with the issues of children, support, and property division.  Annulment is available when certain criteria are met relating to entering into the marriage.  Legal separation is where you do not want to end the marriage, but need other legal relief.  Divorce law is now equally applicable to registered domestic partnerships.

If both you and the other party agree on the terms of a divorce, we can assist you with the paperwork to finalize a “stipulated” dissolution.

After the case is filed and before it is final, we can obtain orders from the court to stabilize matters, such as temporary support, residence, and payment of bills.

If the case cannot be settled, Mr. Alway has many years of experience in the courtroom and trials, dealing with all aspects of divorce.  He will represent you in the manner that is most cost effective, respecting your goals and interests.
Child Support

We represent you in the negotiating and establishing child support during divorce proceedings, the modifying of prior child support orders, and establishing child support in other cases, such as custody and paternity actions .

Child support is usually paid by one parent to the other parent to contribute to the cost of upbringing of the child or children. Usually the parent with whom the child resides the majority of the time receives support. If the child resides an equal amount of time with each parent, the parent with the lower income may still be entitled to child support.

In Oregon child support is determined under statewide guidelines. This formula is based on gross incomes of the parents, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, the cost of childcare, and certain other factors, such as health insurance and other children living with either parent.

We can also assist you in defense of child support matters initiated by state agencies or other parties.
Property Division

Oregon law presumes that all assets acquired during the marriage, including the increased value of assets brought into the marriage, are considered part of the “marital assets.” Dividing this “pot” in the event of divorce can be difficult to accomplish fairly without the help of an experienced attorney. 

The division of marital assets and debts may include locating and accounting for, then valuing:

  • Business
  • Retirement accounts
  • Pension plans
  • Investment accounts
  • Real property
Our goal is to achieve results that are fully in your best interests. When necessary, we will turn to experts to assist with matters related to property valuation and division.
After Judgment Litigation

After the granting of a final judgment in a divorce or other family-law case, there may be litigation necessary to deal with the enforcement of judgment or to modify it. If a party has violated a prior order of the court, sanctions by contempt of court proceedings are available. However, the majority of post-decree issues involve children and support. This generally will happen if there has been a significant change in the circumstances of one of the parties that was not foreseen at the time of the prior judgment.  Issues such as spousal support (alimony), child parenting time (visitation), custody, and child support are often modified during the post-judgment process.

This type of case arises when the parties, who were never legally married to each other, are the parents of a child. Either the mother or the father of the child may file a petition to establish the legal fatherhood of a child. Once paternity is established, the court will make decisions on the issues of child custody, child support, and child visitation.
Prenuptial and Cohabitation Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is written prior to a marriage.  It allows each party to maintain as separate property the assets he or she have prior to getting married.  Or, in the event the couple was to get divorced, a validly drafted prenuptial agreement governs the divorce, minimizing conflict and uncertainty about how the case will be resolved.  Prenuptial agreements can be also be used to explicitly define what debts each person is responsible for, such as credit card debt or student loans.

Cohabitation agreements are for persons who do not wish to live together as a married couple, yet wish to define their relationship, rights and responsibilities to each other.

The act of adopting a child establishes a parent-child relationship between a child and an adult or adults who are not the biological parents. An adoptive parent(s) take on the same rights and responsibilities as the biological parents. The most common kind of adoption is adoption by a stepparent of a child who is the child of the stepparent’s spouse. The other usual kind of adoption is adoption of a child by a single person or a couple who are unrelated to the child in any way. Because both kinds of adoption affect important parental rights, these cases can be procedurally complicated. Special legal rules apply if the child who is being adopted is of Native American Indian descent.  We can assist you through this important and rewarding experience.