practices

WHAT WE DO

family law, wills, trusts & probate

Family law, which encompasses separation, divorce, child support, adoption and property, and financial settlements, is often emotionally difficult and legally complex. We offer personal and compassionate legal counsel, serving as an advocate for our clients, to guide them through some of life’s toughest decisions.

When you hire us, you will receive individualized attention and direct, honest advice from an experienced team who is here to help you make informed and unemotional decisions about the legal issues you face.

Our lawyers have decades of combined experience representing people in all areas of family law, including divorces, prenuptial agreements, custody and parenting time disputes, spousal and child support, adoptions, guardianships, as well as matters of estate planning, including wills, trusts and probate. Meet our team.

We handle family law cases in the northwest part of Oregon (Counties of Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington, and Yamhill).

Prenuptial Agreements

For those who choose them, prenuptial agreements are just as important as wills or trusts. We work with our clients to guide them through an objective process that removes emotion and will provide them with a well-negotiated and legally binding prenuptial agreement. We take careful consideration of the role each spouse plans to have in the relationship and provide a framework for how property acquired during the marriage will be handled.

Divorce

When you go through a divorce, the major issues often include whether to award spousal support and how much should be paid, and the division of property and debts. If you have children, then your divorce will also involve a determination of which parent will have custody, the schedule for visitation (called parenting time), and the amount of child support. We understand this is an emotionally charged and stressful time, and the legal decisions can be overwhelming. We help relieve this burden with honest and direct legal advice, delivered with compassion and care for your best interests.

A well-crafted divorce agreement will fairly share the risks and tax consequences between the parties and give each spouse a firm understanding of their rights and obligations regarding these benefits. We are able to help our clients settle out of court in most cases. In the minority of cases requiring a trial, we will educate the judge about the value and tax consequences of dividing these complex assets.

Spousal Support

Whether you will pay or receive spousal support, and how much, can be a complex issue. We will give you frank advice on whether spousal support is appropriate, how you can protect your interests, and what range of support will likely be awarded by a judge if the case is ultimately litigated.

Property & Debt Division

Property division is more complex than “divide everything in half.” Not all assets are the same and mistakes in this area can be very costly for clients. We will explain the difference between the various kinds of property, including retirement packages, and how they can be divided correctly, so you can make well-informed, objective decisions.

High Asset and High-Income Cases

Particularly for high-asset and high-income individuals, and their spouses, property division can be complicated. Compensation routinely includes a base salary, bonuses, stock options, stock purchase plans, restricted stock units, and different kinds of retirement accounts. Each form of compensation has different characteristics and tax consequences. Owning a business, or having more unique sources of income, such as from family trusts, intellectual property rights, mineral rights, etc., also presents complications. We take pride in our well-rounded experience with complicated property division, and we are well-equipped to advise you regarding the division of these assets in your divorce case.

Child Custody and Support

No one knows your children better than you. Judges say, and we agree, that the best arrangement is one developed by the parents. We can assist you in formulating your plan for custody and parenting time. For those cases that cannot be resolved by agreement, we will litigate custody and parenting time disputes.

Collaborative Divorce & Custody Cases

Collaborative law is a process that relies on mediation and negotiations to reach a settlement without the need to go to trial. In collaborative divorce and custody cases, the two parties are more in control, working together through their attorneys to make decisions on each aspect of the divorce contract, including child custody, visitation, and financial arrangements, rather than relying on a judge to make the decisions for them. Collaborative law is an area we are well versed and have worked with many clients, guiding them every step of the way to an amicable settlement.

To learn more about the Collaborative process, read Collaborative Practice: An Overview co-authored by Lauren E. Walchli.

Adoptions

Adoptions in the United States are guided by federal and state laws and regulations. We represent individuals in uncontested step-parent or grandparent adoptions to ensure the adoption is handled in the right way and that all of the appropriate paperwork is properly filed.

Guardianships

At times, it is necessary for either a minor child or an incapacitated adult to have a legal guardian to make medical, financial, or other decisions. We represent individuals seeking to obtain guardianship in order to protect such a person’s interests.

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Estate planning is essential to ensuring your assets are protected and well managed in the event of incapacitation or death, and may include a will, trust, power of attorney, health care directives, and beneficiary designations. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney will ensure your affairs are in order and that all of your documents are legally valid and enforceable. We have extensive experience in drafting estate plans, wills and trusts–from the simple to the complex–as well as probating the wills of deceased individuals.