When we work together, I will help you gather, organize and analyze all of your relevant financial information to take a comprehensive look at your financial picture, utilizing a software program specifically designed for analyzing divorce situations. I will help you identify and value the marital assets that are eligible to be divided, including retirement accounts and pensions, and review outstanding mortgages and other debt. We will discuss an appropriate budget to understand your income needs post-divorce and any spousal or child support needs.
I can refer you to mortgage professionals who regularly work with individuals going through divorce who are better qualified to advise you on qualifying for a mortgage. We can discuss your options for maintaining the primary residence or other property versus selling the residence and moving to other housing.
Depending on your needs and wishes, I often participate in the financial settlement discussions in meetings with you and your Collaborative attorneys or mediator. Alternatively, I can work separately with you prior to your meetings to make the time you spend with your attorney or mediator more efficient.
Each case is different, depending on the complexities of your situation and the amount of analysis needed to help you reach an agreement. I also take into consideration your desire for how quickly you want to move through the process. I charge by the hour for preparation of your financial data, analysis of the data and participation in meetings.
I often work with clients through video conferencing, but if you are located in Central Oregon, I am happy to have in-person meetings.
I am most familiar with the divorce proceedings in Oregon and Washington, but I can assist clients in other states as well.
The main options are Pro Se (Do It Yourself), Mediation, Collaborative Divorce, or Litigation. See below for more information about each one.
Do-it-yourself is best for fairly uncomplicated situations where both parties are amicable and can reach mutual agreement. All necessary documents are completed by the divorcing parties themselves using forms available through your county’s court.
A mediator is a neutral party who helps divorcing parties negotiate a settlement that is agreeable to both spouses. Mediation requires both parties to be willing to be open and share information and work with the mediator to develop an agreement without going to court. The mediator may or may not be an attorney; the legal documents are often drafted by the mediator. One or both spouses may have their own consulting attorney with whom they can confer regarding any legal issues. Find out more about mediators in Oregon at the Oregon Mediation Association website at: https://ormediation.org. Other jurisdictions may have similar organizations, or Mediate.com has nationwide resources.
Collaborative Divorce is a process where both parties have a Collaboratively trained attorney to represent them, but all agree at the beginning that they will not go to court. If agreement is not able to be reached in this process, the parties will need to start over with new representation. As with mediation, the parties agree to share all information and to be open and respectful as they negotiate an agreement. The Collaborative team may include a financial neutral, a divorce coach or a child specialist as needed. The team meets together to negotiate the agreement. Find out more at the Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals website at: https://collaborativepracticeoregon.org. or through the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Attorney to Attorney and Litigation are where each party has an attorney, and most communication occurs between the attorneys. If agreements cannot be reached, the case will go to court where a judge will issue the final decisions. This process is often more contentious but may be necessary where conflict is high and the divorcing parties cannot work together to reach agreement.