This is the fourth part of the Oregon and Washington guidebook to divorce a series meant to help guide those who are just starting the process of getting a divorce within the Oregon or Washington areas. It may be helpful to read the first few posts in the series:
Part 4: Getting a Divorce in Oregon or Washington
Once you have decided to go through with a divorce, you should have an idea of whether you need to pursue mediation, a contested trial, or if yours is going to be an uncontested divorce. The process may feel foreign to you and some general idea of what to expect will be helpful. What to expect will depend on what form your divorce will take so we have broken it down into three parts: making the best use of you family law attorney heading towards trial, proceeding with mediation, and getting an uncontested divorce.
Utilizing a Family Law Attorney: The Contested Divorce
If you are pretty sure you and your spouse won’t be able to agree on much, then you will want to plan early for trial. If you have a lawyer, they will handle most everything for you, but there are a few things you can do to maximize the value you get from your lawyer.
First, you should create a clear outline of the important things you think they should know. Don’t go into a tremendous amount of detail, but your lawyer needs some way to learn about you and your situation, and by creating a timeline of the important things they need to know, you can help them better grasp your unique situation more efficiently.
Second, figure out what you want to get at the end of your case. Having a clear set of goals in mind, and communicating your priorities to your divorce lawyer, can be helpful so your family law attorney can try to work towards achieving those aims.
Third, be sure to listen to your divorce lawyer’s advice. This doesn’t mean that you always need to agree with your lawyer, but it’s important to remember that you are paying your lawyer a lot of money to advise you on what you can and can’t expect to get. This means it can be a monumental waste of your money to disregard your attorney’s advice because you don’t like what they have to say. Always keep an open line of communication with your lawyer, telling them what you need from them, and listening to what they tell you can be critical. If you are struggling with trusting your attorney’s advice you may want to consider if you found the best fit when looking for a divorce attorney.
Using a Mediator for Your Divorce
Uncontested Divorce in Oregon and Washington
Finally, for those lucky enough to have an uncontested divorce, where both parties have reached an agreement on your own, all you need to do is get some paperwork done. Hiring an attorney to handle uncontested, joint paperwork is cheap, easy, and stress free. If you can’t even afford a few hundred dollars for a lawyer to handle this portion for you, there are forms available online that can be filled out and turned in to get a simple divorce completely quickly. However if you can afford even a small amount, we have outlined the benefits of using a family law attorney for doing the uncontested divorce rather than some of the alternatives. It is a very low stress, inexpensive solution that we offer to residents of Oregon and Washington living both near and far from the greater Portland and South West Washington areas.
We hope that this series has provided a guide to help you through the beginning stages of getting a divorce in either Oregon or Washington. We have several other articles that will be helpful to you for making a decision about how to decide if a particular family law attorney is a good fit for you, how to utilize your divorce attorney, summer custody options, and much more.