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Frequently Asked Questions

About us:

What areas of Law does Paulsen Gilgan & Cottle (Oregon Family Law) practice?

        • Family Law
        • Marriage Planning
        • Divorce and Separations
        • Custody Modifications
        • 3rd Party Parental Rights
        • Estate Planning
        • Family Owned Businesses

What locations does your firm serve?

           Oregon Family Law is happy to serve the entire state of Oregon.

How to find an attorney?

You can call us directly to set up a consultation and we can connect you with an attorney at 503-625-5529 or fill out our contact us information form here.

Marriage Planning FAQs:

Will a prenuptial agreement control the terms of settlement?

While prenuptial agreements will usually be enforced, they are also subject to scrutiny.  It is important that they are completed well and fairly, giving all parties time to come to an agreement and provide full disclosure of assets.

What is the difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreements?

Postnuptial agreements are different from prenuptial agreements as they will be drafted and signed after the date of the marriage.

What are the benefits of a prenuptial agreement?

Ideally a prenuptial agreement will help both parties to have transparent conversations and set up expectations.  They will also provide a safeguard to business interests, financial clarity, protection of properties, efficient resolution in event of a dissolution of marriage and save on potential legal fees among other things.

Separation and Divorce FAQs:

What is the difference between a separation and divorce?

A legal separation may be granted  when the marriage is temporarily broken.  The same issues may come up in a separation as do in a divorce, however it does not terminate the marriage.  Additional divorce proceedings are necessary if a full dissolution of the marriage is desired.

What are things that get decided in a divorce?

Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage can include:

        • End date of marriage
        • Spousal support
        • Custody of children/parenting time schedule
        • Child support
        • Assets and Liabilities division

If I am separated, do I qualify for child support?

                It may be awarded as part of a Legal Separation but is not a guarantee.

What information should I prepare to file for divorce?

It depends on each individual case, so a consultation with a lawyer would help to determine but will include things such as tax returns, real estate records, retirement plans and accounts, investments, paystubs, savings accounts and financial debts and bills.  If children are involved in the dissolution, any information regarding care or communication is helpful as well.

Will I have to go through trial to get a divorce?

If you are unable to reach an agreement through communication, mediation, or negotiation with both attorneys then a trial will be used to resolve any issues.

Can a spouse get their former name restored?

            Yes, a judge can grant a request for a name change.

Will either party be required to pay spousal support?

           The court considers a variety of factors when determining whether or not to award spousal support. Some factors they often consider are:

        • The length of marriage,
        • Age of the parties
        • Health status of the parties
        • Each spouses' financial needs and resources
        • Each spouses' employment skills, work experience, and earning potential

                     Spousal support must be requested in the initial pleadings. 

Does spousal support automatically end if the receiving spouse remarries?

Not automatically, unless a judgment specifically orders as such. However,  remarriage can qualify as a basis for a request to modify or terminate the current spousal award.

Child Matters FAQs:

Can I stop allowing parenting time if the other parent stops paying their child support?

            No, you must give parenting time according to the court order. 

                Do I have to make my children go on visits if they don't want to go?

Yes, the children need to go on visits that a Court has ordered, even if they don't want to go. You should try to find out why the children do not want to visit the other parent and work out any problems together or through counseling. If necessary, you should consider filing a modification action with the Court.

                How long do I pay child support?

It depends – children are eligible for child support until they are 21.  However, there is special criteria that apply for the continuance of child support between 1 and 21 years old that includes attending school and meeting particular conditions.

                How is the amount of child support decided?

The state of Oregon uses guidelines that take into account many factors, including income of each parent, other children the parents have to support, and child care costs that are associated with work.  The formula used may be referred to as “child support guidelines.” In some cases, the Court may deviate upwards or downwards from the presumed amount if appropriate.

How are custody arrangements and parenting time decided?

If the parties are not successful in coming to an agreement, the judge takes into consideration the best interests and welfare of the children.  Oregon law does not discriminate between mothers and fathers when determining custody.  The parent who does not have sole custody will have scheduled parenting time except in certain circumstances. It is important to know, in Oregon, a Court cannot award joint custody unless both parties agree.

Contact Us Today

Paulsen Gilgan & Cottle is committed to answering your questions about family law and estate planning issues in Oregon. We offer consultations and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.