Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the issues I may have to deal with in a divorce? 

A: Going through a divorce is very stressful. Depending on your situation, you may have to divide property, debts, figure out custody of your children and parenting time for both parents. Usually one parent pays the other child support unless both incomes are about the same and an agreement is reached to share parenting time about equally. Depending on the facts of your case, there may be issues of spousal support.

Q: How is child support figured out? 

A: Child support is usually figured out by a formula calculated by the Oregon department of Justice. You can go on line to the DOJ and click on the child support calculator to get an idea of who may have to pay and how much could be involved. Sometimes you can’t figure this out until a decision has been made about custody and parenting time. Child support is based on income and the number of overnights a parent has with his or her child.

Q: What is a parenting plan and how do we decide on one? 

A: A parenting plan determines who has the children on any particular day or week. Often parents decide on a parenting plan, and generally, the guiding factor is what is in the best interests of your children. Parents can decide to share parenting time equally. Week on, week off, is a common arrangement when children are old enough to be away from each parent for a week at a time. 

Sometimes, when a week on week off plan is followed, we add in what I call a “Wednesday night pizza dinner” for the  parent who does not have the kids that week. It allows that parent to check in and stay current with the children when they don’t have the kids. 

Some parents are busy with work or school, or lack help watching the children, so they may prefer only having the children overnight for a long weekend, usually a Friday after school until Sunday evening. Every situation is unique. Parenting plans are fairly easy to modify as children get older or a parent’s living situation changes.

Q: What are the steps in my divorce and/or custody case? 

A: Cases start when you file a petition in circuit court, and get the other person properly served. The other person then has thirty days to file their response. After their response is filed, if the parties have children, both have to attend a parenting class. After the class, there is the option of resolving the case and figuring out custody and parenting time through mediation. During the course of the case, the parties usually exchange information regarding property, debts and the children. If the parties cannot resolve their situation, a trial will occur and a judge will make the necessary decisions.

Q: What is probate?

A: Probate is the term used for the type of court and the process used when individuals cannot make personal, financial, or health care decisions for themselves. General these people are incapacitated adults, minor children, and those who have died without a will or other legal arrangement. The downside of probate is that it can be expensive. Furthermore, it is generally a time consuming process. It is important to know that the court proceedings and all court documents are public record. For these reasons, many people try and avoid probate with a solid estate plan. It can save money and keep your personal affairs out of public record.

Q: What is a will?

A: A will is the legal document designed to dispose of someone’s assets when they die. It does not even go into effect until the testator (or will maker) dies. A will is not just for the elderly, or for people with a lot of money. At Levy & Harris we believe everyone with a minor child should have a will. For a lot of our clients, creating a will is important because it is the only way to appoint a new parent of a child who has been orphaned.

Q: What happens if I die without a will?

A: Someone who dies without a will is referred to as having died “intestate.” This means the laws of your state have already decided who inherits your assets, and when. The unfortunately part of dying intestate means that after your death some assets may be distributed differently than you may have planned it if you had the chance.

 Q: What is an Advanced Medical Directive?

A: An advanced directive lets you decide what kind of medical life support measures you want to have (or not have) if you ever become in a terminal condition and cannot express your own wishes. This is different from a Durable Power of Attorney which gives another person power to make your health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so. An Advanced Medical Directive is also known as a “Living Will.”

Q: What is a Revocable Living Trust?

A: It takes at least three people to create a revocable living trust: the makers of the trust, the trustee, and the beneficiary. The trust maker chooses someone (the trustee) to manage and distribute the assets of the trust for the beneficiary when the trust maker dies. Revocable living trusts can also help avoid death taxes on your estate. A revocable living trust is suitable for anyone looking bring all their assets together with one comprehensive plan.

At Levy & Harris we strive to offer the best legal services at competitive rates. We have a sliding scale of $150-$250/hour up until we’re certain a case goes to trial, then we ask for a trial retainer fee about 6-8 weeks before trial.

Pre-Trial

$150 - 250hour
  • Billed monthly

Retainer Fee

$TBDOne Time Fee
  • During Trial

Our system of monthly billings ensures that each month you’ll see the work you’ve received from us and the time we’ve put into your case. You’ll get billed at a .10 interval of an hour. You are responsible for all filing fees, costs, expert witness fees, service of process fees, or other out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs, etc. above and beyond the attorney fees.

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