When one or both parties to a marriage decide to end their marital relationship, a divorce lawyer will help you understanding your options. “Dissolution” is the official legal term for “divorce,” but the words are used interchangeably. Legal separations and annulments are other options some people pursue as an alternative to divorce.
Depending on your circumstances, your divorce lawyer may guide you through the processes of division of property and debts, an award of spousal support and / or child support, and provisions for child custody and parenting time. At the conclusion of the process, the court strives to reach a fair, equitable resolution.
Divorce attorneys rely on the statutory law as well as guidance from the appellate courts to advise their clients about the likely legal outcome based on their unique set of facts. While divorce laws provide both general and specific direction to the judges, attorneys, and the parties, each case is decided on its own merits.
In both Oregon and Washington, neither party is required to allege “fault” as a basis for divorce. Only one party is required to ask for relief and while their spouse cannot challenge the request, he or she can contest the details of the divorce (i.e., the specific division of the marital estate, whether spousal support is included, or the children’s placement).
Once there is a resolution, whether agreed or reached after a court hearing, the terms of the divorce are memorialized in a Decree or General Judgment of Dissolution. With few exceptions, these terms are intended to be final.
If you or your spouse are considering a divorce lawyer, Portland Oregon based Gearing, Rackner & McGrath can help you through this difficult transition and ensure the best possible outcome through mediation, negotiations and, if necessary, legal action.