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Springfield Family Law Blog

Mistakes are an understandable concern during divorce

Trying to predict the future is not easy for anyone. Still, you may find yourself having to anticipate your future needs as you go through a divorce. You may wonder how the situation will turn out since you may have not predicted having to end your marriage in the first place. Unfortunately, mistakes during this process are not uncommon.

On the bright side, you can help yourself understand common mistakes and how you can make the effort to avoid them. If a considerable amount of wealth is involved in your case --  whether from your own income, your spouse's or both -- you certainly want to avoid mistakes that could lead to financial difficulties in the future.

Will you be able to get visitation with your grandchild?

When Oregon parents go through a divorce, the decision has a significant impact on the youngest members of the family. Kids will experience changes and emotional difficulty during this time, including changes in their relationships with other members of the family. This includes their relationship with their grandparents. You may find that your access to your grandchildren has changed dramatically since their parents' divorce.

The relationship a child has with his or her grandparents is special, and it's worth preserving. Unfortunately, one or both parents may attempt to block you from seeing the kids, or a divorce-related conflict or some other unique circumstance may prevent you from seeing them. You may wonder if it's possible to secure visitation rights by taking legal action. In some cases, a court may rule in favor of the grandparents if there is clear evidence it is in the best interests of the kids.

Was your marriage doomed from the start?

The number of couples who enter marriage with the expectation of divorce is likely low. Most couples anticipate growing old together and building a life as partners. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. While divorce rates in the U.S. reached a dismal 50% just a generation ago, they have been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, if you are struggling to keep your marriage together, those statistics may not mean much.

With the skyrocketing divorce rates came the many analysts who tried to determine the reasons why some marriages work and others do not. Identifying these risk factors in your own marriage does not necessarily mean your relationship is doomed, but it may help you understand your situation better, which may be beneficial when making your decision about whether to remain in the marriage.

Determining your company's value during a divorce

When an Oregon couple decides to end their marriage, it is likely that they have numerous details to consider. The specific concerns for each couple can vary, and you may feel the need to focus on how divorce will affect your company. It likely took a considerable amount of work to reach the point of sustainability with your business, and you undoubtedly do not want ending your marriage to jeopardize it in any way.

Unless you took steps to completely keep your business off the table during divorce proceedings, which is not easy to do, the value of your company will likely come into play. As a result, you will likely need to go through a valuation process to obtain the needed information.

Will a divorce settlement play a role in your case?

Getting a divorce is a complex matter. You and any other Oregon resident facing this ordeal certainly want to ensure that your case goes as smoothly as possible and that you reach a final outcome that you can at least live with. The manner in which the final decisions are made could come about in one of two ways.

If you and your soon-to-be ex can get along civilly enough to make decisions together, you may have the ability to come to terms on many important divorce-related matters before even heading to court. However, it is important to keep in mind that a judge would have to approve any choices you make. Of course, if you do not have the ability to compromise and negotiate terms, the court may have to make the final decisions.

When are property transfers in a divorce treated as gifts?

Like nearly everyone else here in Oregon and across the country, you want to pay as little in taxes as possible. During your marriage, you probably took great care to make sure that you limited your tax liability each year. In fact, you may have even received a refund in some years.

Now that you are getting a divorce, you may wonder whether any property transfers you make as part of the divorce will come with tax ramifications. Under ordinary circumstances, that may happen, but since the transfers are occurring as part of the divorce, you may be able to escape paying taxes on those transfers.

Don't forget to get a qualified domestic relations order

During your marriage, you more than likely sat with your spouse and made plans regarding what the two of you would do after retirement. You may have talked about going places you always wanted to see, spending time with your children and grandchildren, and otherwise doing whatever you want together. To make that happen, you diligently saved for retirement as a family through employment, but now, those plans have changed due to divorce.

Other than your marital home, retirement accounts are most likely the largest asset in your marital estate. During the divorce proceedings, the two of you will need to decide how much you each will receive if you negotiate your own settlement. Otherwise, the court will decide how much each of you receives. Dividing it will give you each a chance to rebuild your retirement but with a different future in mind.

One aspect of divorce many people forget: Estate planning

Untangling the lives of a married couple takes time and work, especially if there are children involved. Now that you are going through a divorce, you have several issues on your plate that need your attention before it's over. In the meantime, the law continues to view you as a married couple until the court either enters a final decree and/or approves your settlement agreement.

More than likely, you are concerned about missing something important, so you keep checking your list to make sure that you address everything in order to avoid having to come back later. This is a good strategy for the divorce proceedings, but it's possible you missed one other important matter you may want to address as soon as possible -- estate planning.

Skipped the prenup? You can still protect yourself

The idea of signing a prenuptial agreement may never have crossed your mind. Perhaps you and your spouse even joked about what you might put in your contract and dismissed any serious thought of such an agreement as something reserved for celebrities and heirs of great fortunes.

You may never have expected your life to take the changes it has, and now the thought of a prenuptial agreement does not sound so silly. In fact, you may be regretting that you did not take the idea more seriously when you had the chance. Fortunately, you have another option. If you are already married and believe the protection of a marital agreement may benefit you, you may want to learn more about postnuptial agreements.

Is a New Year divorce in your future?

Are you going all out for the holidays this year? Perhaps you are spending more on gifts, making more time with the kids and accepting more invitations to parties and gatherings than you have in years past. Have you doubled the amount of decorations in and around your house? Have you made reservations for a family trip? Or maybe the opposite is true. Maybe this year you are toning things down, simplifying your holidays.

If the catalyst behind either of these choices is the weakening bond of your marriage relationship, you are not alone. Many spouses will be celebrating this holiday season knowing it will likely be the last one together. You may find yourself going all out or pulling back from the fracas as you consider your options for the new year. In fact, for many family law attorneys, January is the peak month for divorce.