Pitfalls to Avoid
Divorce and child custody cases are often emotional. When tensions run high, people tend to make rash decisions that can either harm their case or narrow their options once the legal matter has been settled.
Involved in a divorce in Oregon? Call 503-821-7437 or e-mail Thomas M. Brasier today for a free initial consultation.
At Brasier Law, LLC, we have seen various people make the same child custody and divorce mistakes. Our goal is to help you see the big picture and avoid these common errors.
Providing Trusted Legal Advice in Difficult Times
Mistake #1 - Not dating while you are going through a divorce or custody battle. Because Oregon is a no-fault divorce state, dating has no effect on your legal matter. The only time your attorney will advise you not to date during the proceedings is when doing so would reflect negatively on your ability to care for your child.
Mistake #2 - Moving out of your house. In Oregon, judges generally are reluctant to order a child to leave his or her home. Therefore, the parent who resides with the child in the family home is frequently the parent who receives custody. In divorce cases not involving children, judges tend to award the home to the party currently residing in it.
Mistake #3 - Waiting until the last minute to consult a lawyer. In Oregon, a party has 30 days to respond to a divorce or custody action. Failing to speak with an attorney until a few days before the deadline can result in a response that is not as thorough as it should be.
Mistake #4 - Failing to respond to legal action. If you do not respond to a divorce or child custody action within the allotted 30 days, a default judgment often results. That means the other side essentially gets whatever he or she requests. Even if everything in the proposed settlement looks reasonable to you, it is essential that you respond.
Mistake #5 - Making negative verbal or written comments. Remember that anything you say or write down can be used against you. Always assume your words and written statements will be seen by a judge.
Mistake #6 - Hiring an overly aggressive attorney. When a case goes to trial before a judge, you lose all voice in the final outcome of the matter. An attorney that pushes you to fight every step of the way cannot change the judge's mind but can drain you financially and emotionally. Most divorce and custody cases settle, and by settling both sides can reach an agreement that everyone can live with.
Mistake #7 - Conceding for the sake of not fighting. Do not agree to anything that you are not willing to live with or impose on your children. With respect to child custody or parenting time , the court tends to rule in favor of what you and the other parent have been doing. By giving up too much, you may be setting yourself up to lose time with your child.
Mistake #8 - Arguing over petty points. In divorce and child custody cases, people often argue over minor items. However, letting your emotions get the best of you can cost time and money as well as cause lasting damage to your children.
Mistake #9 - Don't needlessly offend the other side. Although it may be tempting to push the other person's buttons, you ultimately want that individual to agree to favorable terms. Saying or doing hurtful things can impede the settlement process.
Mistake #10 - Not allowing the other party to see the child. Even if the other parent is behind on child support payments, that person has the right to spend time with the child. Withholding parenting time can hurt your case.
Contact an Experienced Portland Divorce Lawyer Today
To learn more about how we can assist you with a divorce or custody matter, contact us online or call 503-821-7437 or 866-291-8758 to arrange a free phone consultation.
Our firm maintains two offices in Portland and serve clients throughout Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington Counties. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request. Credit cards are accepted.