September 01, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Financial issues lead to contentious disputes in many divorces due to the long-term implications of property division
decisions. These disputes become all the more complex when the couple must resolve issues created by marital debt
, pensions or IRAs, and the tax implications of divorce
Family law attorneys must take a range of financial data into account when helping a client understand his or her best interests. This is all the more true when the marital estate contains diverse assets and business interests or one spouse has received a significant inheritance.
When spouses cannot resolve certain issues and the court must determine how assets must be divided or support obligations are imposed, one spouse may conclude that an appeal is necessary to obtain a just result. A recent Oregon Court of Appeals opinion resolved a typical dispute over the family court's division of property and imposition of attorney fees.
The husband challenged the dissolution judgment, contending that the court imposed an unjust share of marital debts on him without awarding sufficient property in balance. He also argued that the trial court did not allow him to contest the amount of fees that his ex-wife requested.
The panel of appellate judges concluded that the trial court had not abused its judicial discretion in determining how to divide the couple's property and obligations. The case involved outstanding mortgage obligations and complex valuations, and the court noted that it cannot upset a lower court's decision unless it finds a clear misapplication of Oregon statutes and equitable considerations.
However, the Court of Appeals held that the circuit court erred by awarding attorney fees to the wife before the husband's opportunity to object had elapsed. The husband still had time to respond when the attorney-fee request was granted due to a special provision in Oregon law that adds three days to the response time when notice is served by mail, as it was in this case. Therefore, the court reversed the grant of attorney fees and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Protecting a Client's Rights Throughout the Divorce Process
A full understanding of clients' unique needs and diligent representation of their legal rights are the hallmarks of divorce legal representation. Whether a case can be fully resolved via negotiation with the other spouse or requires trial and appeal, a divorce lawyer can advise clients about appropriate legal strategies.
Article provided by DeBast, McFarland & Richardson, LLP
Visit us at www.dmr-law.com/---
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