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Modern Family Matters

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Modern Family Matters is a podcast based out of Portland, OR that discusses a variety of different topics, ranging from divorce and custody to adoption and estate planning. We believe that there is no such thing as "broken" family, and that true family can take on many different forms. Join our host, Steve Altishin, as he interviews attorneys and other industry professionals on all matters pertaining to the modern family.
19 Episodes
Former Judge, Ken Stewart, discusses how to obtain a FAPA, what you can expect from a FAPA hearing, and how these restraining orders are enforced. To learn more about how Landerholm Family Law can help you with a FAPA order, call our office at (503) 227-0200 or visit our website at Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such.
If you’re a business owner who is going through a divorce, the first step of the process is to determine the value of your business. There are three different approaches utilized in the valuation of a business by professional valuation analysts: the asset approach, the market approach, or the income approach.There are two different types of engagements that a valuation analyst will employ. There's what's called a valuation engagement, and there's what's called a calculation engagement. These approaches, and the scenarios that rationalize their use, are very different.In any divorce, you’re looking at all the assets that exist so that they can be distributed fairly, generally 50/50. When deciding how to negotiate business interests, you’ll consider the worth of all combined assets, the role that each spouse plays in the business and wants to continue to play in the business, and begin negotiations from there to ensure a fair division. This process can vary greatly from couple to couple. Couples will want to consider the basis, and thus taxability, of all assets before making agreements.When navigating a divorce with a business, it’s important to speak with a professional about how you can utilize certain tax laws to your benefit. A CPA will be able to advice you on how to do this. If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys regarding your unique family law matter, please call our office at (503) 227-0200 or visit our website at to schedule a free consultation.If you have questions for Darren Hall, CPA, regarding this topic, you can email him at, or you can call him at (503) 233-1133, and he’ll be happy to assist you.
Show Notes:·         If a divorcing couple is on a fixed term agreement and they're thinking about breaking it,  the landlord would have the right to continue charging the tenants for all of the rent that is due for the rest of the tenancy period that's been agreed upon if a replacement tenant can not be found. Additionally, there is a law in Oregon that allows a landlord to charge the tenants a flat fee of any amount up to a month and a half of rent, regardless of if they find a replacement tenant. This is only applicable if the tenant is breaking a written rental agreement that includes these terms.·         A divorce decree cannot interfere with the rental agreement that already exists between the landlord and the tenants. Therefore, if a divorcing spouse who decides to stay at the rental property stops paying rent, the landlord would have a claim against both spouses for the unpaid rent, regardless of what the divorce decree says.·         If you’re experiencing domestic violence in your home, the first thing you’ll want to do is speak with an attorney and see what your options are for a restraining order, which can provide immediate relief. In additional to this, you can let your landlord know about the domestic violence that has occurred, as they have the ability to terminate the tenancy of a domestic abuser with just 24 hours of notice. The process of evicting an abusive tenant will take far longer than the process of receiving a restraining order, so both options should be considered. ·         Oregon has a law, 90.453, that allows victims of domestic violence to legally terminate their lease with no penalties, so long as they provide a 14-days’ notice. As part of that notice, victims of domestic violence will be required to include a qualified third-party verification, which provides proof to a landlord that domestic violence did occur. This law also allows domestic violence victims to get out of their lease even if their abuser does not live with them.·         Oregon law has relatively recently been updated to say that a tenant cannot be held responsible for damage that was caused by the perpetrator of domestic violence as a result of an incident of domestic violence.·         Even though a landlord is not allowed to evict or fail to renew the lease of a victim of domestic violence, they do have grounds to terminate a lease if they give the tenant a warning that the abuser is not allowed back on the property, but the tenant invites the abuser back and property damage occurs. By doing this, the tenant puts themselves at risk of losing the protection provided by Oregon law 90.453.·         If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys regarding your unique family law matter, please call our office at (503) 227-0200 or visit our website at to schedule a free consultation.  For more information about Troy Pickard and how his firm can be a resource for your family, you can view his website here:
Senior Judge, Deanne Darling, discusses courtroom etiquette that everybody is expected to adhere to during their family law hearing. You should be aware of your court etiquette from the moment you leave your house, to the moment you return. This includes your behavior in the parking lot, in the lobby, how you treat the courtroom staff, within the courtroom, and so on. The most important thing to remember when deciding how to dress is that the Judge will be looking for clean, respectable, and an honest representation of who you are. You do not need to purchase outfits that you will never wear again, but treat your hearing like a job interview—practice good hygiene, dress in a respectable manner, and avoid anything that might serve as a distraction, such as heavy jewelry, nail colors, audible shoes such as flip-flops, unprofessional t-shirts, heavily exposed tattoos, chewing gum, etc. Avoid wearing any sort of hat if possible, but if you must for health, religious or cultural purposes, avoid hats with bills that could cover your face. When addressing the Judge, refer to them as Your Honor. Never approach the well without permission, and try to avoid distracting behaviors, such as being overly fidgety, clicking a pen, etc. It’s okay to express emotions appropriately, but try your best to maintain control—it’s okay to ask for a short break if you need a moment to compose yourself. When inviting guests to attend a hearing, consider the message they might convey to the judge, and how it will better your case. Inviting support is okay, but they should understand the rules and expectations of the court, and not serve as a distraction. As a general rule of thumb, children should not be brought to court hearings.  If a restroom break is needed, or you need to consult with your attorney or support network, it is okay to ask the Judge for a short recess. If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys regarding your unique family law matter, please call our office at (503) 227-0200 or visit our website at to schedule a free consultation.
Certified Insurance Counselor, Gladys Boutwell, discusses what happens to health insurance in a divorce and how to protect yourself from losing your insurance.Once a divorce decree is obtained, the spouse that has health coverage would go to their employer with proof of the marriage ending, and request for their spouse and/or children or dependents to be removed.Once the removal happens, for the most part, the coverage in Oregon will continue until the last day of the month. However, there are circumstances when that end-of-coverage will happen the day that it is being requested, which are plans that are called 'self-funded,' and are usually larger employers that have those self-funded or hybrid self-funded plans. The party who has lost coverage will typically get notified that their coverage is ending, with alternative options, such as going through marketplace, or directly with the carrier. Using a broker or agent to explore healthcare options is advisable because it won’t cost you any more than if you were to do it yourself.If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys regarding your unique family law matter, call our office at (503) 227-0200 to schedule a free consultation, or visit our website at To learn more about Gladys Boutwell, you can do so here: 
DHS has two divisions. They have the Child Protective Services Division, who investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect and coordinate visits, and they have the ongoing permanency workers, who do the ongoing case work with the family. Child welfare complaints typically get filed from a teacher, a neighbor, a family friend, or someone who has a relationship with the child. A complaint can be filed via the Child Protective Services hotline.The hotline staff will divide the reports into several categories that will trigger measured responses, depending on the seriousness of the allegation. If there are signs that a child might be in danger of abuse or neglect, there will be an immediate response within 24 hours.If CPS knocks on your door, there are two things to know: you are not legally obligated to let anyone into your home unless a warrant is presented, and it’s important to not get agitated or reactive—doing so will almost guarantee an intervention. If your children are taken, the following court appearances may be required, depending on the facts of each unique case, whether a settlement is reached, and each parent’s willingness to address the area of concern:·         A shelter hearing, a jurisdictional hearing, a dispositional proceeding, periodic reviews, a permanency hearing, and potentially a termination of parental rights trial. We explain each of these in the podcast.
Show Notes:Landerholm Family Law’s Associate Attorney, Triston Dallas, breaks down the most common components of an estate plan.An estate plan is an amalgamation of documents that are put together by an attorney on behalf of a client to explain how you would like your estate to be managed upon your death or incapacitation. Included in those documents are things such as a will, a trust, a power of attorney, an advanced directive, a letter of intent, or a disposition of remains. It's important to make sure that your will, your trust, your insurances, and other aspects of your estate plan coincide and are in line with everything else in your life. For example, if you have life insurance, retirement, a home, a vacation home, etc,  you need to make sure that your documents, and the ownership or the rights into those properties of those assets, are in line with what and how you wrote your estate plan.When you die with a will, it will go through probate, which is the process of the court administering your will, making sure all of your assets are together and accounted for, and then dispersing those assets according to your wishes.There are two main types of trusts: a revocable living trust, and an irrevocable trust. The biggest differences are that a revocable living trust can be changed anytime, whereas an irrevocable trust cannot be changed without a court order. This is because the assets that are in an irrevocable trust are no longer considered your assets or part of your estate—they belong to the trust, therefor you do not have the right of ownership to act on those assets without permission from the court. Irrevocable living trusts, while offering less flexibility to make changes, allow people to disclaim an asset from their estate, which can have tax benefits, or protect that asset from creditors.A power of attorney grants another individual the ability to act as if they were you, in the event that you became incapacitated, or when you feel is necessary. This person can then act on your behalf to manage pay your bills, your debts, manage all your assets and make sure that your day to day life doesn't stop because you're not able to take action.An advanced directive is similar to a power of attorney, but applies solely to healthcare decisions. Whereas a power of attorney makes choices for your financial endeavors, an advanced directive would make decisions such as when to take you off life support, etc.If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys regarding your unique family law matter, call our office at (503) 227-0200 to schedule a free consultation, or visit our website at Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such. If you require legal assistance, you can call our office to set up a consultation with one of our seasoned family law attorneys.Creando el Plan Adecuado para Usted: Desmitificando los Documentos de la Planificación PatrimonialSi desea hablar con uno de nuestros abogados de derecho de familia con respecto a su caso único, llame a nuestra oficina al (503) 227-0200 para programar una consulta gratis o visite nuestro sitio web haciendo click en el siguiente enlace.
Clackamas’ Senior Judge, Eve L. Miller, discusses what mediation is, how it’s handled, and what it can accomplish for families who are hoping to avoid court.Mediators are trained to be a neutral party, and to not push or persuade one party in any direction. Evaluative Mediation allows a mediator to put their two cents into the situation due to their background and training, such as formerly holding a position as a judge or an attorney.The focus in mediation is to help parties come to agreements together, outside of court if possible. Generally speaking, people feel better when they have some ownership and control over the outcome, rather than a judge making the decision on their behalf.A mediator is able to tackle every legal issue, ranging from asset division to custody and parenting time. Even if every issue is not settled within mediation, paring down as many topics as possible will save time, money, and some anguish of going to court. Mediation is often an appealing process for couples because they aren’t public, whereas a court trial is. For those who value their privacy, this is a great option to work out negotiations off the public record.Once agreements are made in a mediation, it becomes a contract. Oregon statutes typically encourage and respect the fact that people can make agreements that suit their unique situations better than a judge can, and will ratify agreements made in a mediation, assuming they are made with the well-being of any children in mind. If you're not prepared to meet somebody halfway, you probably shouldn't be mediating, as it requires both parties to be willing to negotiate for an effective outcome.It’s highly recommended to have an attorney on your team when going through a mediation, as they can provide you with legal advice and some basic understanding of what you’re agreeing to, while advocating for your best interest. If you would like to book Senior Judge for an Oregon mediation, you can view her website at If you are looking for legal representation, do not hesitate to contact Landerholm Family Law at (503) 227-0200.Notas del Programa:Si está en una unión libre y tiene hijos, establecer la paternidad es sumamente importante en caso de separación. Si no se establece la paternidad, no se ordenará la manutención de hijos, a menos que una de las partes decida hacerlo voluntariamente. Además, podría haber problemas para establecer la custodia y el tiempo de crianza. Si no se establece la paternidad, es posible que pueda obtener la custodia y el tiempo de crianza a través de derechos de terceros.Al dividir los activos y llevar a cabo la disolución de una unión libre, primero se debe determinar si se está registrada como una pareja de hecho. Los registros de parejas de hecho en Oregon solo están disponibles para parejas del mismo sexo, esta existía anteriormente con el propósito de otorgar derechos matrimoniales a parejas del mismo sexo antes de que la constitución ordenara su disponibilidad.Una pareja de hecho no registrada, la cual es común entre parejas heterosexuales, homosexuales o no binarias, es cuando se han obtenido todos o muchos de sus activos y se ha compartido gran parte de su vida juntos. En este caso, el tribunal observará esta relación bajo la lupa del derecho contractual.La intención juega un papel muy importante cuando se trata de parejas de hecho no registradas. Al decidir cómo distribuir los activos, el tribunal analizará la intención detrás de la relación. La intención puede ser planteada en una escritura formal, una escritura informal (como mensajes de texto o correos electrónicos), y también pueden ser no escritas pero implícitas.
Behavior Analyst, Chris Messina, and Landerholm Family Law’s Marketing Director, Kari Landerholm, discuss creative ideas to help motivate children as many families prepare for a virtual school year. The biggest step we can take to set ourselves up for success is to reprioritize our expectations for ourselves, as parents, as well as for our children. Expectations are going to have to, and they should, be shifted and modified. An activity to help prioritize expectations is to get out sticky notes and make a collection of expectations for yourself, as well as for your child. Once you’ve created a list of expectations that feel feasible, illicit your child’s opinion. Allow them to be part of the conversation and to input their own opinions of what they feel they can accomplish, and the most effective way to structure their day. Parents should remember that the “shame game” will get you nowhere. Remember that every parent is struggling in some way, shape, or form. If there was ever there was a time to stop shaming and comparing, it's now--it is an exercise in utter frustration and has no utility.Even if a child has a skill within their repertoire to achieve something in school, that  doesn’t mean they will be able to accomplish the same goals within their new home-school environment. A child’s behavior is largely dictated by their environment. It’s not always a realistic expectation to see identical performance from a child within a home environment without social cues. One way to help this is to create a space for your child to work, such as in an office or at a desk within their room, that doesn’t require them to tune out stimuli and will indicate that “this is the place where you work”.Consistency and a reliable schedule can help to reduce anxiety in children, as they do not always have the ability to self-modulate. At the core of this is the need for empathy and relating to our kids, so that parents can then collaborate with their kids to come up with solutions that everyone can live with. One silver lining to virtual learning is the opportunity to have concentrated time with children. Take this time to practice empathy and relationship building with your child. If your child is in a position where you’re worried about their mental wellness, remember that you cannot fill all roles within their life—parent, teacher, chef, counselor. Employ the help of professionals, such as the school counselor or a pediatrician.La analista de comportamiento, Chris Messina, y la Directora de Marketing de Landerholm Family Law, Kari Landerholm, discuten acerca de ideas creativas para motivar a los niños mientras muchas familias se preparan para un año escolar virtual.El paso más grande que podemos dar para tener éxito es replantear las expectativas para nosotros, como padres, así como también para nuestros hijos. Las expectativas deben, y tienen que ser cambiadas y modificadas.Una actividad para ayudar a priorizar las expectativas es usar notas adhesivas y hacer una colección de expectativas para usted, así como para su hijo. Una vez que haya creado una lista de expectativas que se sean factibles, tome en cuenta la opinión de su hijo. Permítales formar parte de la conversación y que den sus opiniones sobre cuáles son sus límites y la forma más efectiva de estructurar su día.Los padres deben recordar que el "juego de la vergüenza" no los llevará a ninguna parte. Recuerde que todos los padres están luchando de diferentes formas o maneras. Si alguna vez ha habido un mejor momento para dejar de avergonzar y comparar es este: es una práctica de absoluta frustración y no tiene ninguna utilidad.Incluso si un niño tiene una habilidad dentro de su repertorio para lograr algo en la escuela, eso no significa que podrá lograr los mismos objetivos dentro de su nuevo entorno de hogar-escuela. 
Financial Advisor, Stefanie Pickard, discusses Behavioral Finance, and how awareness of human tendencies relating to financial decisions can help you work towards financial freedom and risk-reward balance with investments.Behavioral finance is the study of observed investor and market behaviors. It focuses on the idea that people don’t always make rational financial decisions, however this irrationality is predictable and normal.Behavioral biases and cognitive errors can be developed from a multitude of different factors, such as past life experiences, general temperament, gender, age, and relationship status.Examples of types of behavioral biases include: loss aversion, overconfidence, status quo, cognitive dissonance, mental accounting, and sunk-cost effect. These biases are explained in further detail in the podcast. Understanding these biases and using them to your advantage is important not only for financial freedom, but to “buy happiness”. You can use these biases to plan life experiences that will bring joy and memories, to donate and give to others in a meaningful way, and to utilize your money in a useful and impactful manner.
Financial Advisor, Stefanie Pickard, talks about Financial Therapy, and how she utilizes her training to help clients understand their financial past, how those biases impact their outlook on money and decision making, and how they can work through those barriers towards financial freedom.An ideal client for financial therapy is someone who recognizes that they are having mental and emotional blocks towards finances, and who can have an open mind to changing.It’s believed that most money behaviors are rooted in family and experiences with money throughout a lifetime. Financial therapy focuses on exploring and digging out those various relationships and events so that when you do behave in a certain way that goes against your best interest financially, you can identify the reason.Financial therapy can also help couples who have different opinions and approaches towards money, in turn creating conflict. Applying therapy techniques to both parties within the relationship can help them explore their individual relationships with money, understand the other party’s perspective and experiences, and provide perspective on how to support each other.Problematic financial behaviors that might be a red flag include overspending, compulsive buying, apathy towards money, workaholism, anxiety surrounding money and the feeling of not being able to get finances under control, and financial abuse towards a partner.There are a few tools used within financial therapy to help clients:·         The primary tool is called Klontz Money Script Inventory (KMSI), which is an assessment questionnaire, which will reveal certain money tendencies and beliefs, called “scripts”. The four scripts are:  Money Avoidance, Money Status, Money vigilance and Money Worship.·         The money genogram is when a client draws a family tree that includes any person who has had a financial influence within their life. Doing this allows the client to then assess how each of these individuals impacted their beliefs and biases.·         The Dow Jones exercise is when a client draw plot points on, above, or below a center line that are positive or negative money experiences in their life. Doing so allows the client to identify trends and visualize the incidents throughout their life that had a financial impact on them and are still influencing them today. ·         Another tool is having a client write out life aspirations and authentic goals. The client starts by writing down goals with no parameters or censoring whatsoever. They then narrow them down according to their level of enthusiasm, and eventually focus on the goals that are feasible, determine a dollar amount that is required to achieve it, and what steps need to be taken to make that goal concrete. If you have questions regarding how Stefanie can help you reach your financial goals, please do not hesitate to contact us at (503) 227-0200, and we can connect you accordingly.
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It’s a program for children who grew up in the United States, have known this country to be their home, but don’t have immigration documents or eligibility to apply for citizenship or a green card. There are 800,000 people in this situation. These individuals are referred to as DREAMers. In 2012, the Obama administration passed a government program that granted “deferred action”, which protected these people from deportation, and allotted them a work permit and the ability to apply for social security. It is renewable for two years at a time, and in exchange, the immigrant has to come forward with their address history, their family history, and have no criminal history in order to be eligible.  While DACA is better than being undocumented, it doesn’t provide benefits similar to a Green Card. A Green Card gives an individual the right to work, the ability to travel in and out of the United States, the right to take advantage of US law, and provides a path to citizenship after five years. DACA does not provide a pathway to citizenship. If an individual with a green card is looking to get divorced, they may need to prove that their marriage wasn’t a “sham” marriage, meaning it was entered into solely for immigration purposes. If they fail, they may be subject to deportation.  When divorcing with a Green Card, sponsorship requirements from the spouse with citizenship will remain in-tact even after divorce. This expectation will remain for up to ten years, regardless of marital status, or until the migrant spouse becomes a citizen. This is because federal laws trump state law divorce proceedings. Undocumented individuals have full access to the circuit court, as they are not required to expose their immigration status in family law cases.  If an undocumented individual wants a divorce but is wary to go to court due to it being on public record, it is possible to handle the case outside of the court via negotiations with the other party. While documentation doesn’t typically have an impact on asset division, it can complicate child custody or support cases, which is why it’s important to have a knowledgeable family law and immigration attorney by your side.• DACA significa Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia. Es un programa para niños que crecieron en los Estados Unidos, y que han visto a este país como su hogar, pero no tienen documentos de inmigración o elegibilidad para solicitar la ciudadanía o una green card. Hay 800,000 personas en esta situación. Estos individuos son conocidos como DREAMers. • En el 2012, la administración de Obama aprobó un programa gubernamental que otorgó "acción diferida", y protegió a estas personas de la deportación otorgándoles un permiso de trabajo y la posibilidad de solicitar el seguro social. Es renovable por dos años a la vez y, a cambio, el inmigrante debe presentar su historial de dirección, su historial familiar y no tener antecedentes penales para poder ser elegible. • Si bien DACA es mejor que ser indocumentado, no brinda beneficios similares a los de una green card. Una green card le da a una persona el derecho a trabajar, la capacidad de viajar dentro y fuera de los Estados Unidos, el derecho de aprovechar las leyes estadounidenses y se puede obtener la ciudadanía después de cinco años. No se puede obtener la ciudadanía por medio de DACA. • Si una persona con una green card busca divorciarse, es posible que deba demostrar que su matrimonio no fue un matrimonio "falso", lo que significa que se celebró únicamente con fines de inmigración. Si fallan, pueden estar sujetos a deportación. • Al divorciarse con una g
If you’re unmarried with children, establishing paternity is incredibly important in the event of separation. If paternity is not established, child support will not be ordered, unless it’s voluntary from one party. Additionally, there could be issues establishing custody and parenting time. If paternity is not established, you might be able to obtain custody and parenting time via third-party rights.When dividing assets and disentangling two unmarried individuals, it first needs to be determined if they’re in a registered domestic partnership. A registered domestic partnership is only available in Oregon to same sex couples, and existed for the purpose of giving marital rights to same sex couples before it was constitutionally mandated that that was available.An unregistered domestic partnership, which is common amongst heterosexual, homosexual, or non-binary couples, is when you’ve entangled all or many of your assets and life together. In this case, the court will approach this relationship through a lens of contract law.Intention is a big player when it comes to unregistered domestic partnerships. When deciding how to untangle your assets, the court will be looking at the intention behind the relationship. Intent can be something that's found in a formal writing, informal writing (such as text messages or emails), but also unwritten but implied intentions. When distributing assets, if the writing of intent is unclear or if there is no writing, the court is going to have to interpret those intentions, and they will do so through the lens of equity. When it comes to handling this process on your own (DIY), there isn't going to be a statute that tells you "this is how it’s done", like you would see in a divorce. It's case-law and contract driven and is entirely dependent on each unique case. When in an unregistered domestic partnership, you should mindfully engage with the other person and consider a written relationship agreement that lays out what your intentions are in commingling your life, as well as your intentions in the event of a separation down the line. Having a good and comprehensive estate plan in place is key for unmarried couples. Everybody should be doing this, but especially when you don’t have a formal relationship that is legally binding. Be mindful of the benefits you can leave your partner and your family with when you pass away.¿Cuáles son los Derechos Legales de las Parejas de Hecho al Separarse en Oregon?Si está en una unión libre y tiene hijos, establecer la paternidad es sumamente importante en caso de separación. Si no se establece la paternidad, no se ordenará la manutención de hijos, a menos que una de las partes decida hacerlo voluntariamente. Además, podría haber problemas para establecer la custodia y el tiempo de crianza. Si no se establece la paternidad, es posible que pueda obtener la custodia y el tiempo de crianza a través de derechos de terceros.Al dividir los activos y llevar a cabo la disolución de una unión libre, primero se debe determinar si se está registrada como una pareja de hecho. Los registros de parejas de hecho en Oregon solo están disponibles para parejas del mismo sexo, esta existía anteriormente con el propósito de otorgar derechos matrimoniales a parejas del mismo sexo antes de que la constitución ordenara su disponibilidad.Una pareja de hecho no registrada, la cual es común entre parejas heterosexuales, homosexuales o no binarias, es cuando se han obtenido todos o muchos de sus activos y se ha compartido gran parte de su vida juntos. En este caso, el tribunal observará esta relación bajo la lupa del derecho contractual.La intención juega un papel muy importante cuando se trata de parejas de hecho no registradas. 
Behavior Analyst, Chris Messina, discusses parenting pitfalls to be aware of in order to help protect your children’s mental hygiene during coronavirus and lockdown measures.Pitfall #1: Don’t double down on kids and try to over-compensate for what is perceived as missed time.Many parents feel that they need to set hard rules and push for increased accomplishments in order to make up for lost time in school and around peers. This includes rigorously tracking academics, skills, and lessons, such as music or languages. Rather, take stock of your child’s mental wellness right now. They may very well need the opposite approach for these coming summer months.Connectivity is key for children. Create a game plan with your family and discuss what levels of exposure with other’s you’re comfortable with. Plan for events where kids can see their peers while recognizing public health advisories. This may also be a time to relax rules with technology regarding Facetimes, messaging, and other apps that allow kids to stay connected and social with each other from afar. Pitfall #2: Don’t treat lock-down, especially during school months, as an extended summer vacationIt’s very possible that this spring was not simply a one-off, as it’s becoming more apparent that this situation may not be over anytime soon. Many parents are relaxing their rules and treating this time as an extended summer vacation, such as: ultra-late bedtimes, sleeping past lunchtime, unlimited time on technology, loosening the reins on any kind of real structured day.The primary way to address this as a family is to generate a weekly schedule by collaborating with your kids, which allows you to roll out your week ahead and have some structure. Get creative with ways that your kids can invest their time this summer. With kids experiencing an abundance of anxiety and depression, they may not generate these ideas organically and by themselves, and may default to phone time, bedroom time, or isolation. Therefore, it’s important that parents advocate, encourage and brainstorm with their kids.Pitfall #3: Don’t forget to be intentional and check in with your child; simply being at home isn't enoughMost kids communicate their feelings through behavior over words. Signs that your kid is experiencing anxiety, depression, loneliness, or lack of stimulation may be expressed as agitation, physical aggression, sourness in behavior, or mood swings. To combat this: make sure that you are regularly checking in with your child. Give it the time, listen to their thoughts, get a pulse for where they are and how they’re feeling. Oftentimes, if parents initiate the conversation, and even open up about their own concerns and vulnerabilities, they can create momentum and children will follow suit. Don’t wait for your kids to initiate these conversations- they may be uncertain about how they feel, and initiating mental dialogue may not be in their behavioral or emotional repertoire. Divorced parents who are struggling with co-parenting during unusual and difficult schedules, research collaborate problem solving. This is an approach and a tool to help develop effective communication and problem solving skill for the well-being of children.
• It’s important that an individual with special needs maintains some level of covered benefits, such as social security or Medicaid, amongst other resources. However, without proper planning it is easy for a family or individual to misstep and lose their benefits. • A special-needs individual can generally have up to $2,000 in their name- anything above that and they may lose their eligibility for government benefits. While this is not a lot of money, it’s very possible to maintain and stay under that limit with proper planning.• The two primary planning options to assist a disabled individual in staying under the $2,000 resource limit are: 1) An ABLE account; and 2) a Special Needs Trust (either first-party or a third-party).• The two major differences between a first-party special needs trust and a third-party special needs trust is that a first-party trust is always irrevocable, whereas a third-party trust can be either irrevocable or revocable. Additionally, a first-party special needs trust has a “Medicaid payback”, meaning if the individual with the disability passes away, any funds left in the trust would go to Medicaid, whereas this is not the case with a third-party special needs trust.• Common trust strategies: -Create a testamentary trust: a trust that does not become active until the grantors have passed away.-Create and fund at third-party trust now, however this will be subject to accounting and taxes.-Create a third-party trust as a “dry” trust, meaning it’s active but there’s nothing in it. This allows family members to include this third-party special needs trust in their own estate plans.-Create an ABLE account: this is an account that can accumulate $15,000/annually, or $100,000 in total, of funds that will not count against the resource limit or eligibility of the individual with a disability. This account also allows for the special-needs individual to have access to a set amount of funds via a loadable debit card. Unlike first- and third-party special needs trusts, an ABLE account cannot account for assets; it can only account for money. Therefore, it’s a great option to be considered alongside a trust, rather than in place of a trust.• Create a list of all personal preferences, details, medical notes and contact information, and activity schedules of the special-needs individual for any person who may assume a guardianship role in their life to help ensure sustained quality of life.
Landerholm Family Law's Partner, Will Jones, breaks down the divorce process in Oregon by focusing on the last step, the judgment, and working backwards.The end of a divorce case for most people is called a general judgment of dissolution, which can be reached in three ways: 1) Trial, 2) Stipulation, which means everybody agrees or 3) Default, which is granted when no one responds to the petitioner. The divorce judgment encompasses the end goal of a divorce. It’s essentially the “law of the land” between two divorcing parties/parents.D.I.Y.(Do-it-Yourself) divorces can be dangerous because there are many details in the divorce process that can get skipped or lost, causing real problems down the line. If your D.I.Y divorce is not enforceable, or you agree to something that is non-modifiable, you can cost yourself large sums of money.When filing a petition, you are setting the goalpost for what you hope to receive. The purpose is to be vague, and not limit the court’s ability to grant what they deem to be fair and equitable. You are stating what you want, and the respondent can state what they want—within these goalposts, the court can work on fair agreements. Requests within a petition should not be considered offensive—simply put, if a party does not ask for it, they will not receive it—so, while there is no harm in asking, there is harm in not asking.Mediation and arbitration are alternative ways for parties to reach agreements without having to go to court. These are not means in which one party can “force” the other to comply or agree. If parties cannot reach agreements together, they will need to take these matters to the court via a trial.
Landerholm Family Law’s Associate Attorney, Triston Dallas, explains what an estate plan and why it’s important for people of all ages to consider.An estate is everything you own-everybody has an estate, regardless of their wealth. You don’t need to have millions of dollars to have an estate plan- it isn't based on the value of your estate, but rather it’s based on your specific values and how you want that to pass on to your next of kin, your heirs, the next generation An estate is your home, your cars, your personal assets, your bank accounts, etc. An estate plan creates a road-map as to how you want your estate to be managed while you're still alive and how you want it to be passed to your heirs and beneficiaries after you’ve passed away. An estate plan allows you to not only assign how you want assets to be distributed, but it lets you plan according your values, such as what religion you would want your kids to be raised in if you were to pass, or how you want your remains to be handled.  An estate plan allows you to assign who is to handle which roles in your estate if you were to die or become incapacitated or have a terminal illness. You can decide who you want to stand in as power of attorney, personal representative, executor or manager of estate, guardian, custodian, or conservator.  While there are will kits available, these cover only the basics of estate planning. There are many details that can be missed without the help of an attorney, such as estate tax planning, and other necessary analysis.   If you don’t have an estate plan in place, the court will look to your spouse, children, siblings, or any next of kin. If you don’t have any living kin, the state will acquire all of your assets. Additionally, without a will, your assets may get distributed by the state in a way that you don’t find agreeable. Estate plans should be reviewed every five years, or when a big life event happens, such as having children, remarrying, divorcing, or a rise or decline in income. If you have questions about how to get started on your estate plan today, you can call our office at (503) 227-0200.
Lewis Landerholm, Founding Attorney of Landerholm Family Law, discusses the various options available to those who would like to pursue their family law case in spite of court delays due to Covid-19.It’s projected that there's going to be a large wave of cases coming through in the next few months when everybody does decide to file, so getting your place in line and starting the process now is important.While the courts are trying to navigate the pandemic with the State’s mandates and restrictions, they are eager to get things moving and provide alternative options so that people can move their cases forward.There are outside and remote options available to those who want to move forward with their family law case but may not be able to get a court hearing. The courts are going to be putting pressure on attorneys and parties to use these outside options, such as utilizing reference judges, judicial settlement conferences, mediation, and remote hearings. Other industry professionals and services, such as therapists, arbitrators, supervised visitation, appraisers, house-movers, mediators, financial and tax planners, etc. are available at remote capacities. We have referral sources that we are happy to connect you with if needed. Coming up with creative options, being as agreeable as possible, and clients being willing to communicate with their opposing party to agree on alternative options, are going to be key in moving cases moving forward so that clients can get what they want without bogging down the system. In the event of an emergency and immediate court intervention, a client can still obtain a restraining order, and in extreme circumstances, an immediate danger order. If there is threat of a child being removed from their regular routine, status quo orders can still be entered in place.The sudden and forced shift to go remote has helped to shake the old school mentality of “this is the way it has to go”. The courts, attorneys, and other professionals in the family law industry are rewriting how it has to go now, and there will be positive changes that will come out of this in the long run.When you decide that it’s the right time to move forward with your family law case, we can help you. We're prepared to help you embrace all of these new, alternative tools that we have and try to solve the problem as efficiently and appropriately as we can. You can contact our office at (503) 227-0200.Opciones para Continuar Con su Caso de Derecho de Familia Durante la COVID-19Lewis Landerholm, abogado fundador de Landerholm Family Law, analiza las diversas opciones disponibles para aquellos que deseen continuar con su caso de derecho de familia a pesar de las demoras del tribunal debido la Covid-19.
-Will Jones, Partner at Landerholm Family Law, explains the QDRO process and aspects to consider when dividing retirement accounts.- Over 90 million workers in the United States are covered by over 800,000 employer- provided retirement plans, totaling billions of dollars. For many people, these retirement savings represent one of their most significant assets.- When couples divorce with retirement accounts, these accounts need to be reviewed and a shared denominator needs to be determined so that both parties reach a fair agreement.-QDROS cannot be handled by a state judge alone, and require federal intervention for approval. This multi-step process can take anywhere from 1-3 months.-Due to the complexity of QDROs, and the risk of losing out on assets that you may have a legal right to, it’s advisable to discuss your situation with an attorney who can help explain your rights.¿Qué es Una Orden Calificada de Relaciones Domésticas y Cuál es su Importancia?- Will Jones, socio de Landerholm Family Law, explica el proceso de las QDRO y los aspectos a considerar al dividir las cuentas de jubilación.- Más de 90 millones de trabajadores en los Estados Unidos están cubiertos por más de 800,000 planes de jubilación proporcionados por los empleadores, por un total de miles de millones de dólares. Para muchas personas, estos ahorros para la jubilación representan uno de sus activos más importantes.- Cuando las parejas se divorcian con cuentas de jubilación, estas cuentas deben revisarse y se debe determinar un denominador compartido para que ambas partes lleguen a un acuerdo justo.- Las QDROS no puede ser manejadas solamente por un juez estatal, y requiere de la intervención federal para su aprobación. Este proceso de varios pasos puede tardar entre 1 y 3 meses.- Debido a la complejidad de las QDRO y al riesgo de perder activos a los que puede tener derecho legal, es recomendable discutir su situación con un abogado que pueda explicarle sus derechos.
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