The most important thing to remember when you receive paperwork in a family law case is to take a deep breath, and know this isn’t the end of the world. There are timelines that apply in all family law case filings, but usually those timelines are adequate enough to allow you time to select an attorney you feel comfortable with to review that case and give you advice on how to deal with the issues you are facing. If the paperwork tells you to not do something (like to not contact the other party directly) then be sure to follow that request. Seeking the advice of an experienced family law attorney will put your mind at ease that you are taking the appropriate first steps in dealing with this new and sometimes confusing situation.
"What services do you provide?"
I offer a full range of family law services to clients in the Portland area as well as Clackamas, Washington, and Columbia Counties.
My cases range from handling the most simple, short-term marriages, to long term marriages with all of the complex issues that come with them. I particularly enjoy working on cases where I can assist a parent who is seeking the primary custody of their child or children - whether the client is the mother or the father.
Child support and spousal support modification matters are another area of law in which I practice. Our courts provide for reasonable modifications to both child and spousal support if certain conditions are met. Most cases may be modified throughout the term of the support order, so it may be to your advantage to find out if you have grounds for a support modification.
I enjoy working as a child's attorney, both through court appointed cases, and as an independent legal advocate for children experiencing their parents divorce or custody case. It is worth noting that in contested cases, it is possible, and sometimes mandatory, to have an attorney appointed for a child in their parent's case - it is a great way for their needs and desires to become known to the court.
"How do I know you are any good?"
I have been in private practice in the area of family law for over 20 years; the last 18 years I have been at the same location in the Montavilla neighborhood of Southeast Portland. I have successfully handled a wide range of family law cases throughout that time. I am especially gratified to have many referrals by former clients to their friends and family. I will do my very best to represent you, and will try to provide you with a full explanation of the pros and cons of your particular situation, so that you can make an informed choice.
"Do I have to commit to a lawyer if I have a situation I think I can handle on my own?"
People often fear committing their time and money to an attorney in situations where they believe either the law or the facts of their situation is clearly on their side. However, even if the outcome of a case should be certain, given the factors involved, it may not go in your favor if you are not aware of additional details - like filing deadlines, appropriate service of paperwork on opposing parties and local court rules. I offer initial office visits at reasonable rates, so you can review your family law situation with an experienced attorney without having to commit to having that attorney represent you.