Practice Areas

I have been practicing family law in Oregon and Washington since 1983. Please take a moment to submit a free case evaluation to see whether Newman Family Law can be of assistance. Areas of practice include, but are not limited to the following:

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Child Custody And Visitation

While people can often approach the division of their marital property as if it were just another business transaction, it is far more difficult to remain detached when it comes to one’s children. That’s why contested custody and parenting time cases are the most difficult cases of all. They are often fraught with contention and can quickly devolve into expensive and emotionally draining mud-slinging contests. In order to avoid this situation, the courts actively encourage and in fact, in some counties require the parties to engage in mediation.

Divorce/Legal Separation

Oregon is what is known as a no-fault divorce state. What that essentially means is that a petitioning party need not prove that the other spouse engaged in mental cruelty, adultery, or abandonment in order to obtain a divorce. All the petitioning party needs to do is to allege in his or her divorce petition that there are "irreconcilable differences" between the parties which have resulted in the "irremediable breakdown of the marriage."

Grandparent/Third Party Custody And Visitation

In 2001, Oregon’s third party custody and parenting time statute was radically overhauled as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Troxel and Granville case. In Troxel, the paternal grandparents sought an increase in visitation with their grandchildren, against the wishes of their mother. The Washington trial court ruled in the grandparent’s favor and the mother appealed. The Washington Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the mother’s favor, holding that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution “protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children.”

Property Division/Valuation

Property distribution in a divorce can be relatively straightforward or incredibly complex, depending on a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, the type of asset involved, the length of the marriage, whether the parties have children together, whether the asset was brought into the marriage by one spouse or acquired by both parties during the marriage, whether a separately owned or acquired asset has been commingled or integrated into the marital estate, the financial and non-financial contributions each party has made to the acquisition of the asset, whether the asset was acquired by gift or inheritance and how title to the property is held.

Relocation (“MOVE-AWAY”) Cases

There is probably no other form of contested custody litigation that is as difficult, gut-wrenching and stressful to the parties, the lawyers and the court than a relocation case. So much rides on the court’s ruling, yet there seems to be no single, objective standard upon which a court will decide to allow, or disallow a move by the custodial parent. Each case is unique and decided on its own facts, so it is often difficult to predict the outcome by simply looking at what the appellate courts have done in other “move away” cases. In fact, the appellate courts have been notoriously inconsistent in their rulings.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

Spousal support, formerly known as alimony, is a court ordered payment by one spouse to the other spouse, usually on a monthly basis, for a period of anywhere from a few months to many years. The party receiving the spousal support is deemed to have been in some way financially disadvantaged in the marriage, and spousal support is the courts way of “leveling the playing field.” The classic example is the spouse who stays at home to take care of the children while the other spouse continues to work and “climb the corporate ladder.” In Oregon, we have three different kinds of spousal support: transitional, maintenance and compensatory support.

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