The divorce process is complicated, and the outcome will impact you and your children for years to come.
In most cases, you're better off being represented by an attorney.
See the sections below on what you can expect during the divorce process and some suggestions on what to look for when choosing an attorney.
- The partner initiating the divorce (referred to as the petitioner) retains an attorney.
- Divorce petition is drafted by the attorney.
- Petitioner signs the petition.
- Divorce petition and supporting paperwork are filed with the court.
- At this time a motion can be filed for temporary custody, parenting time and support (child and spousal).
- Respondent (spouse of the petitioner) is served with the petition.
- Respondent has 30 days from the date he or she is served to file a written response to the court.
- If 30 days pass and a response has not been filed, the Petitioner may file a motion for default.
- If a response is filed, a court date will be assigned, typically six to nine months from the date the divorce petition was filed.
- Most divorce cases do not go to trial. Typically the parties will negotiate a settlement.
- Once a settlement is negotiated, an attorney for one of the parties will draft the judgment and both parties will sign it.
- The judgment is submitted to court and signed by a judge.
- Once the judgment is entered in the court docket the divorce is final.
Is mediation for you?
In some Oregon counties, such as Multnomah, it is mandatory that you attend mediation if
there are unresolved issues regarding custody or parenting time. Mediation services are provided free of charge by Multnomah County Family
Court Services. In other Oregon counties mediation regarding your children is optional, but mediation services are available in each county
free of charge. Multnomah County also requires mediation in cases where spousal support and asset division are at issue.
During mediation, you and your spouse will work with a neutral third party to resolve the issues faced in a divorce.
If you are able to reach an agreement during mediation, this can help keep the financial costs of divorce to a minimum.
Whether or not you mediate you should consult with an attorney in order to have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities before you sit down to negotiate.
While mediation is mandatory in some counties, in certain circumstances, for example when there has been domestic violence, the mediation requirement may be waived by court order.
Most family law firms offer a free phone consultation.
You may not be talking to the attorney who would eventually represent you but you should take advantage of the opportunity to speak with an attorney.
Avoid attending mediation or negotiating a settlement without consulting with an attorney to
get a basic understanding of your legal rights and responsibilities.
When you call Matthys Family Law for a consultation you will speak with me, Shelly Matthys. I will listen to you and answer your questions.
From there we'll create a plan tailored to your situation for the best chance of a favorable outcome.
Costs vary for attorneys, with hourly rates up to $400 per hour at the most expensive firms.
At Matthys Family Law, you can be assured that there will be no unnecessary costs.
I have strong negotiating skills and typically can find a solution that you are happy with and therefore avoid the expense of a trial.
If your spouse is unreasonable and trial is unavoidable, I have been litigating for over 19 years and will aggressively represent your interests.
My goal is to obtain the optimal outcome given your circumstances, and to do so efficiently to minimize your financial burden.
It is important that you are comfortable and able to communicate with your lawyer. You will find me easy to talk to, and can trust that all conversations are strictly confidential.
For the best chance of success, you will need to inform me of details that may not put you in the best light.
After practicing law for over 19 years, I've pretty much heard it all. Together we'll address the issues and work toward a favorable outcome.
Are we right for each other?
You need an attorney you trust, feel comfortable with and has the qualities you value.
Likewise, I accept clients who are focused on the best interests of their children and have reasonable expectations.
Having extensive experience in family law, I understand what is possible, and what is a waste of my time and your money.
If you're looking for an experienced attorney you can trust to look out for your best interests, and leverage their negoiation and litigation skills to get the best possible outcome, give me a call.
Effective, efficient, expert legal representation
, that's what you can expect from Matthys Family Law.