Divorce is the legal process of dissolving a marriage. It is often necessary, and never easy.
Oregon is a “no-fault” divorce state. You don't need to cite a big event or trauma to end your marriage. The simplest version of the divorce process:
- Complete the required paperwork;
- File with the county;
- Have your spouse served with the paperwork;
- Calculate all assets and debts;
- Work out an agreement, and
- Sign and file the final documents.
Unfortunately, divorce is rarely this simple. Even when a divorce is uncontested, you have no children, and you have the time and skill to handle the paperwork yourself, the safest choice is a quick consultation with a family law attorney.
If your spouse has already hired a divorce attorney, it is critical that you talk to another attorney before you sign anything, or agree to anything.
Starting the divorce process
You know this isn't going to be easy, but we can help you make it as easy as possible.
1. Research divorce attorneys.
There are several factors to consider.
- Location. You want a lawyer who understands the local rules. In most cases, if you live in Lane County, then you should find a divorce attorney in Lane County. There are some exceptions: if you live in a small town or rural area, your options for local divorce attorneys are probably very limited. You can look for a lawyer with experience in your jurisdiction.
- Experience. If everyone acts in good faith, and your lawyer is a skilled negotiator, the process will be much easier. If your divorce needs to be settled through mediation, arbitration, or at trial, then you will need a lawyer with courtroom experience.
- Trustworthiness. Your divorce lawyer is going to walk you through a difficult and very personal experience. It's important to choose someone you can trust.
2: Set up a consultation
Sometimes people have to consult with several attorneys before they make a decision. It is worth a $200 consultation to make sure you have the divorce attorney who is right for your situation.
When you arrange consultations with divorce attorneys, ask what document or information you should bring to the meetings. Being prepared will help you get the most out of your time and money.
3. Make a list of your considerations.
Divorce changes your life, and the process will depend on the different factors in your situation. Before you meet with divorce attorneys, consider your needs and wants around things like:
- Child custody;
- Child support;
- Spousal support;
- Homes, vehicles, property and other assets, and
- Existing debts in either or both of your names.
4. Meet with divorce attorneys.
We have to ask our clients a lot of personal information, and we take confidentiality very seriously. Different lawyers may ask you for different information. In the first meeting, we often discuss things like:
- Personal details, like you and your spouse's names, ages, professions and incomes;
- How long you two have known each other, and how long have been married;
- Whether you have ever been separated, and what prompted the separation;
- If you have signed any separation or prenuptial agreements;
- Personal details of any children you have together or separately;
- Information on parenting duties and roles
- Whether you or your spouse had extramarital affairs;
- If there has been any abuse or domestic violence in the relationship.
5. Invest in your future.
Usually, you will pay a retainer fee to get started. The law firm holds your retainer fee in a trust account until the lawyer earns it. Most divorce attorneys in Eugene, Oregon—and throughout the state—work on an hourly basis.
In addition to attorney fees (payment for your attorney's work), you will need to prepare for the legal fees and court costs. These will vary, depending on your situation. Your attorney should discuss the legal fees and court costs with you.
Consulting with divorce attorneys
At Tullos Beckett LLC, we believe that top quality legal services should be available to everyone. A consultation with one of our experienced attorneys costs $200 for domestic relations matters.
Contact us today to set up your consultation with our divorce attorneys in Eugene, Oregon.