Considering a divorce in Portland? Essential steps before filing

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce is a life-altering decision, and the process itself can feel overwhelming. Taking proactive steps before filing can make a significant difference if you’re contemplating divorce in Portland. By organizing and understanding the initial procedures, you can approach this challenging time with greater clarity and control.

Gathering your essential documents

Divorce involves untangling finances and assets. Collecting key documents beforehand streamlines the process and saves time:

  • Financial statements: Gather recent bank statements, credit card records, investment account statements and paystubs for both spouses.
  • Tax returns: Copies of your most recent federal and state tax returns are essential.
  • Asset documentation: This includes titles for vehicles, deeds to property and any other documentation related to valuable assets.
  • Debt documentation: Loan agreements, credit card statements and other documentation outlining your debts are necessary.

Sometimes, these documents may be challenging to acquire if you have a particularly sneaky spouse. A skilled family law attorney can give you the support you need.

Understanding your financial landscape

Divorce often involves dividing marital assets and debts. Having a clear picture of your financial situation is crucial:

  • Separate vs. Marital property: In Oregon, property acquired during the marriage is generally considered marital property. Understanding the distinction between separate and marital assets is essential.
  • Debt allocation: Spouses are typically responsible for debts acquired during the marriage. However, the court may determine a different allocation based on your specific circumstances.

Unfortunately, divorce can sometimes come with financial surprises, making it challenging to move forward.

Considering child custody and support

If you have children, decisions regarding custody and child support need to be addressed:

  • Parenting plan: Develop a preliminary plan outlining your preferences for child custody arrangements and visitation schedules.
  • Child support: Oregon has child support guidelines that consider both parents’ income to determine a fair support amount.

While divorce can be a complicated process, by taking proactive steps before filing, you can gain a sense of control and empower yourself to navigate this transition effectively. The crucial first moves are gathering essential documents, understanding your financial situation, considering child custody and support and seeking legal guidance. Remember, with preparation and the right support system, you can approach the road ahead with greater confidence.