In most firms it is the staff that handles the bulk of your case. You end up dealing with paralegals, assistants, or clerks instead of the attorney you signed up with. At Pacific Family Law Firm, assistants may handle paperwork and occasional informational calls, but most of the time you will be working with your actual trial attorney.
Our office and divorce attorneys have built the firm from the ground up with efficiency in mind. Paperless, custom-built data centers for instant access to all file information, and flexible communication by phone, email, and even secure instant messaging. We want you to be able to participate as part of the team in your case.
Far too many divorce and family law "mills" are simply out to settle your case as fast as possible so they can move on the next one. Pacific Family Law Firm was founded by lawyers who are used to the courtroom and don't run from it. If getting you the right result means taking the matter to a trial, we will do it. If you are ready for a trial, we won't back down either.
Oregon’s laws for allowing restraining orders under the Family Abuse Protection Act (FAPA) provides a means for courts to address abuse within the family quickly. At its core, a restraining order is a legal document called an "Order" by a judge, which requires that one party stay away from one or more people who are alleged or shown to have been abused. To get a restraining order from the court, a person must provide evidence that shows that they have been "abused" within the past 180 days. Oregon law defines "abuse" as: 1. Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury. 2. Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury. 3. Causing another to engage in involuntary sexual relations by force or threat of force.
Oregon law prescribes who can get a FAPA restraining order. Unlike other types of protective orders, there are specific requirements. The abuser must: 1. Be a spouse or former spouse; 2. An adult person related by blood, marriage or adoption; 3. A person who has lived in the same household; or 4. Someone with whom the abused person has been involved in a sexually intimate relationship within two years of filing for the restraining order.
Restraining orders are an important tool to prevent continuing abuse. However, sometimes they are misused to gain the upper hand in a divorce or other family law matters. Oregon's restraining orders can have prolonged consequences and should only be used when they are legitimately to prevent abuse. Careful consideration of the results to involved parties must be taken into account, particularly if the party alleging the abuse finds themselves struggling to “fit” their circumstances within the legal requirements. Our lawyers are experienced not only in assisting victims of abuse to maintain existing restraining orders, but also in providing a defense and having dismissed orders that were obtained incorrectly.
At Pacific Family Law Firm, our attorneys will provide detailed advice about the merits of obtaining a restraining order, and how it may work in conjunction with other pending family law matters. We can assist you in keeping a protective order in place. Alternatively, if you have been served with a restraining order, we can provide a skilled defense to get the order removed. With potential long-term consequences of an Oregon restraining on employment or your legal record, you must discuss the matter with an experienced and skilled Oregon restraining order attorney.
Clients always want to know the duration and the price of an Oregon divorce. Unfortunately, this is tough to answer without consulting on the case, although a widespread question.
Lawyers charge on an hourly basis, meaning the price of your divorce is related to the amount of time your lawyer spends working on the matter. There are also some court costs associated with the filing of a divorce, or other family law matters, in the state of Oregon. As a general rule, the higher the number of issues that are in dispute in your circumstance, the higher the fees. This is simply because the attorney will need to spend more time working on your matter.
Couples that can solve all issues may be able to do so without the need of a lawyer. Or, they may simply use a lawyer to draft appropriate paperwork. However, if a divorce goes to trial or has multiple hearings in court, the costs will grow accordingly. Because going to court is comparatively expensive, most cases settle without going to trial.
The length of the divorce also depends on whether the case goes to trial. A complete divorce could be finished as little as two weeks (or even less!) if the parties have agreed on most of the matters and only require the drafting of a judgment. However, when the matter involves court time, the schedule is often at the mercy of the court, which can be lengthy given the court's caseload. While most contested cases resolve within nine months, outlier cases can last more than a year.
Let us evaluate your case at a flat-fee initial consultation. We will attempt to give you a ballpark assessment of how much your matter would cost at every step and discuss the specifics of your case, which could make it more or less costly.
Q: What does a family law lawyer do? What is "Oregon family law?"
A: “Oregon Family law” is an umbrella term that refers to the practice of law that involves common domestic and family issues. While it is often associated with Oregon divorce, "family law" covers far more. Common family law issues include child custody, parenting time (visitation), step-parent adoptions, spousal support, child support, restraining orders and stalking orders, prenuptial agreement, grandparent rights, and far more.
Modern families come in all sizes and arrangments, and the term "family law" simply refers to the practice of law that helps those families within the Oregon court system.
There are two primary areas of law: civil and criminal. Criminal matters are generally handled by the state or a municipality and deal with prosecuting crimes, resulting in punishment, including jail. A restraining order is not seeking jail time, and getting one does not create a crime. However, if a person violates the civil restraining order, they may be sent to jail for the violation. Restraining orders in Oregon take place under the "civil law" system. Even though a person can go to jail for violating a restraining order, it is contempt of court to violate a court order, not a crime.
An Oregon Restraining Order, sometimes called a "FAPA order" (or Family Abuse Prevention Act) restraining order is a civil order that protects from abuse or injury from a family or member of a household.
In Oregon, “criminal law” refers to the system that addresses cases that involve violations of criminal law. This includes crimes like burglary, assault, murder, DUII, and other crimes. Criminal cases are handled by a municipality (city), state, or the federal government. The prosecutor (or district attorney) decides whether to prosecute a crime. It is the government that brings the case against the violator, not the victim of the crime.
While it is possible that a victim of crime might not wish to cooperate with the cases (sometimes called “pressing charges”), the district might decide to drop the criminal charges. This is not necessarily true. The prosecutor can also continue to prosecute over the objection of the victim. They could even issue a subpoena (a court order) to force a victim to testify at the trial against the victim’s will. In a criminal case, the prosecutor represents the interests of the government, not the victim specifically.
"Domestic abuse" is defined by Oregon law. Generally, the law states that it is abuse when a family or household member: 1. Attempts to hurt you physically; 2. Actually hurts you physically (intentionally, recklessly or knowingly); 3. Intimidates or makes you afraid of serious physical injury (intentionally, recklessly or knowingly); OR 4. Makes you have sex against your will by force, or threat of force.
Family or household member” means any of the following: 1. An adult related by blood, marriage or adoption; 2. Someone you are living with or have lived with in the past; 3. Someone you have been in a sexually intimate relationship with, within two years immediately preceding the filing of a restraining order petition under; OR 4. Someone with whom you have a child.
After a judge signs an Oregon restraining order, the protective order does not actually go into effect until the other party (the "Respondent") is served. In Oregon, the sheriff will usually try to get this done immediately.
Once the other party physically receives the paperwork (been served), they are immediately restrained by the terms of the signed order. Note that sometimes difficulties finding the Respondent to serve them will result in a delay in getting the restraining order into effect.
In Oregon, restraining orders themselves cost nothing to file, and the sheriff will serve them on the other party without cost to you. Should you choose for some reason to use a private process server instead of law enforcement to serve papers on the other party, that company or person will charge a fee like any other business.
An Oregon restraining order lasts for one year from the date the judge initially signed it, or until it is dismissed by a judge (either after a hearing or by the Petitioner).
An Oregon restraining order can be renewed each year if the Court finds that danger of abuse still exists. Note that renewal paperwork must be filed before the expiration of the existing order.
In Oregon, the Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) provides for a means to have the court issue an order of protection against abuse for certain parties within a family setting. This is also referred to as a "restraining order", and it generally prohibits the person who is the subject of the order (the “respondent") from taking certain actions against the person obtaining the protective order (the “petitioner").
It's difficult to say. In Oregon, restraining orders (sometimes called FAPA orders) are civil matters, not criminal. If the background check was only for criminal matters, it presumably would not come up. However, a civil restraining order is still part of the public court record. A background check which looks for court actions in general, not just criminal matters, would likely reveal a restraining order. Generally, you should assume that if it's part of the public record, it can be discovered.
This question is standard, though completely subjective and fact-specific. Obtaining a restraining order does not require an attorney, and it is usually secured without a lawyer. However, if the matter goes to a hearing, while it is certainly possible for people to handle the restraining order hearing independently, it is probably not a great idea. In addition to being held to rules of procedure and evidence, the untrained person likely will not know which aspects of the law should require the most focus. Because judges are bound to follow the law, if you don't present the correct information, they may have no choice under the law to make a ruling that is adverse to your goals.
Restraining orders have significant consequences, so having an experienced Oregon restraining order lawyer help you is almost certainly in your best interest.
Sometimes not knowing is the most stressful part of a divorce or family law case.
Let us remove the mystery.
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(1) Any person who has been the victim of abuse within the preceding 180 days may petition the circuit court for relief under ORS 107.700 (Short title) to 107.735 (Duties of State Court Administrator), if the person is in imminent danger of further abuse from the abuser. The person may seek relief by filing a petition with the circuit court alleging that the person is in imminent danger of abuse from the respondent, that the person has been the victim of abuse committed by the respondent within the 180 days preceding the filing of the petition and particularly describing the nature of the abuse and the dates thereof. The abuse must have occurred not more than 180 days before the filing of the petition. The petition must include allegations made under oath or affirmation or a declaration under penalty of perjury. The circuit court shall have jurisdiction over all proceedings under ORS 107.700 (Short title) to 107.735 (Duties of State Court Administrator).
(2) The petitioner has the burden of proving a claim under ORS 107.700 (Short title) to 107.735 (Duties of State Court Administrator) by a preponderance of the evidence.
If the respondent requests a hearing pursuant to ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) (10), the court shall hold the hearing within 21 days after the request. However, if the respondent contests the order granting temporary child custody to the petitioner, the court shall hold the hearing within five days after the request.
(2)(a) If the court determines under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) (2) that exceptional circumstances exist that affect the custody of a child, the court shall hold a hearing within 14 days after issuance of the restraining order. The clerk of the court shall provide a notice of the hearing along with the petition and order to the petitioner and, in accordance with ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) (8), to the county sheriff for service on the respondent.
(b) The respondent may request an earlier hearing, to be held within five days after the request. The hearing request form shall be available from the clerk of the court in the form prescribed by the State Court Administrator under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) (7). If the respondent requests an earlier hearing, the clerk of the court shall notify the parties of the scheduled hearing date by mailing a notice of the time and place of hearing to the addresses provided in the petition or, for the respondent, to the address provided in the request for hearing, or as otherwise designated by a party.
(c) When the court schedules a hearing under this subsection, the respondent may not request a hearing under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) (10).
(3) In a hearing held pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) of this section:
(a) The court may continue any order issued under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) if the court finds that:
(A) Abuse has occurred within the period specified in ORS 107.710 (Petition to circuit court for relief) (1);
(B) The petitioner reasonably fears for the petitioner’s physical safety; and
(C) The respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or the petitioner’s child.
(b) The court may cancel or change any order issued under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) and may assess against either party a reasonable attorney fee and such costs as may be incurred in the proceeding.
(1) When a person files a petition under ORS 107.710 (Petition to circuit court for relief), the circuit court shall hold an ex parte hearing in person or by telephone on the day the petition is filed or on the following judicial day. Upon a showing that the petitioner has been the victim of abuse committed by the respondent within 180 days preceding the filing of the petition, that there is an imminent danger of further abuse to the petitioner and that the respondent represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or the petitioner’s child, the court shall, if requested by the petitioner, order:
(a) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, that temporary custody of the children of the parties be awarded to the petitioner or, at the request of the petitioner, to the respondent, subject to reasonable parenting time rights of the noncustodial parent, which the court shall order, unless such parenting time is not in the best interest of the child;
(b) That the respondent be required to move from the petitioner’s residence, if in the sole name of the petitioner or if it is jointly owned or rented by the petitioner and the respondent, or if the parties are married to each other;
(c) That the respondent be restrained from entering, or attempting to enter, a reasonable area surrounding the petitioner’s current or subsequent residence if the respondent is required to move from petitioner’s residence;
(d) That a peace officer accompany the party who is leaving or has left the parties’ residence to remove essential personal effects of the party or the party’s children, or both, including but not limited to clothing, toiletries, diapers, medications, Social Security cards, certified copies of records of live birth, identification and tools of the trade;
(e) That the respondent be restrained from intimidating, molesting, interfering with or menacing the petitioner, or attempting to intimidate, molest, interfere with or menace the petitioner;
(f) That the respondent be restrained from intimidating, molesting, interfering with or menacing any children in the custody of the petitioner, or attempting to intimidate, molest, interfere with or menace any children in the custody of the petitioner;
(g) That the respondent be restrained from entering, or attempting to enter, on any premises and a reasonable area surrounding the premises when it appears to the court that such restraint is necessary to prevent the respondent from intimidating, molesting, interfering with or menacing the petitioner or children whose custody is awarded to the petitioner;
(h) Other relief that the court considers necessary to:
(A) Provide for the safety and welfare of the petitioner and the children in the custody of the petitioner, including but not limited to emergency monetary assistance from the respondent; and
(B) Prevent the neglect and protect the safety of any service or therapy animal or any animal kept for personal protection or companionship, but not an animal kept for any business, commercial, agricultural or economic purpose; or
(i) Except as described in subsection (12) of this section or parenting time ordered under this section, that the respondent have no contact with the petitioner in person, by telephone or by mail.
(2) If the court determines that exceptional circumstances exist that affect the custody of a child, the court shall order the parties to appear and provide additional evidence at a hearing to determine temporary custody and resolve other contested issues. Pending the hearing, the court may make any orders regarding the child’s residence and the parties’ contact with the child that the court finds appropriate to provide for the child’s welfare and the safety of the parties. The court shall set a hearing time and date as provided in ORS 107.716 (Hearing) (2) and issue a notice of the hearing at the same time the court issues the restraining order.
(3) The court’s order under subsection (1) of this section is effective for a period of one year or until the order is withdrawn or amended, or until the order is superseded as provided in ORS 107.722 (Effect of dissolution, annulment or separation judgment or modification order on abuse prevention order), whichever is sooner.
(4) If respondent is restrained from entering, or attempting to enter, an area surrounding petitioner’s residence or any other premises, the order restraining respondent shall specifically describe the area.
(5) Imminent danger under this section includes but is not limited to situations in which the respondent has recently threatened petitioner with additional bodily harm.
(6) If the court awards parenting time to a parent who committed abuse, the court shall make adequate provision for the safety of the child and of the petitioner. The order of the court may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) That exchange of a child between parents shall occur at a protected location.
(b) That parenting time be supervised by another person or agency.
(c) That the perpetrator of the abuse be required to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the court, a program of intervention for perpetrators or any other counseling program designated by the court as a condition of the parenting time.
(d) That the perpetrator of the abuse not possess or consume alcohol or controlled substances during the parenting time and for 24 hours preceding the parenting time.
(e) That the perpetrator of the abuse pay all or a portion of the cost of supervised parenting time, and any program designated by the court as a condition of parenting time.
(f) That no overnight parenting time occur.
(1) A peace officer who accompanies a party removing essential personal effects pursuant to an order issued under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) shall remain for up to 20 minutes and may temporarily interrupt the removal of property at any time. Nothing in this subsection shall affect a peace officer’s duty to arrest under ORS 133.055 (Criminal citation) and 133.310 (Authority of peace officer to arrest without warrant).
(2) The party removing essential personal effects from the residence pursuant to an order issued under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) is entitled to be accompanied by a peace officer on one occasion only.
(3) A peace officer who accompanies a party removing essential personal effects pursuant to an order issued under ORS 107.718 (Restraining order) shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, for any actions of the party committed during the removal of essential personal effects.