Portland Divorce Lawyers Blog | Goldberg Jones
1Aug/130

Colin Talks Paternity DNA Testing in Oregon

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Managing attorney Colin Amos stopped by 750 The Game to weigh in on current events and answer a few family law questions.

The first topic of the day was the 3 million dollar paternity suit in which former Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher, has been named. According to online reports, a $3 million paternity suit has been filed in regards to a seven-month-old little girl.

New York Times journalist, Liza Ghorbani, is bringing the paternity suit against Gallagher after profiling the musician in 2010. According to one source:

dna paternity test“Gallagher started an affair with her, they took a few months off, then started again. The relationship allegedly continued on and off for the next three years until Ghorbani told the former Oasis singer that she had a bun in the oven. The same source also claimed that Ghorbani was involved with another British rocker, whom it did not identify, and is "looking for money."

Colin addressed several of the issues that can arise during a paternity case, starting with establishing legal paternity. The most efficient way for a man to establish if he is the biological father, is to take a DNA paternity test.

In Gallagher’s case, a DNA test will be required because he is not married to the child’s mother and he has not declared that he is the child’s father by filing the appropriate documents. While Gallagher's case will be heard in the jurisdiction it was filed, it is worth noting how paternity is established in Oregon.

If a child is born to a married couple, the mother’s spouse is assumed to be the father.  In situations where the couple isn’t married, paternity can be established by submitting paperwork, through a court, or by an administrative legal process.

Paternity-dna-testIn instances like Gallagher’s, where the alleged father believes he is not the biological father, he will need to take a DNA paternity test to confirm that he isn’t the biological dad.

Shifting away from paternity, Colin also answered the question “My girlfriend and I just bought a house together. I don't know if we will get married, how can I protect my assets?”

This is a poignant question as many couples are forgoing marriage and instead choosing to cohabitate. Unfortunately, this type of cohabitating romantic relationship can create some major challenges if the couple breaks up.

Colin recommended that couples should draft a written agreement when making large investments, purchasing property, or planning for the future. Having a written record of how assets are to be divided if the relationship ends may seem unromantic—but it can save you headaches and money if things don’t go as planned.

You can hear all of Colin’s insight and advice in the clip below. If you have questions about divorce, custody, child support, or any other family law matter, please give Colin a call. He is always happy to answer your questions over the phone at no charge and no obligation. (503) 731-8888

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29Feb/120

Is Leaving the House in my Name Sufficient? When do I need a Pre-nup?

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In his most recent radio interview, Colin Amos talked about pre-nups,  Portland Divorce for men, and child custody. He took questions from callers and questions that were submitted to our website.

One question he answers asked about separate property and when to get a prenup. The question read:

I plan on getting married in a few weeks. I have a house in my name, some investment accounts, and a retirement account. I plan to leave all of these assets in my name and only open up a joint account for our joint expenses. Do I need a pre-nup to keep our assets separate?

Colin elaborates in on this and other issues in this radio interview:

 

 

Many of people feel that keeping their assets in their own name will protect those assets from being divided in a divorce. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily how it works and without the protection of a prenuptial agreement there is no way to guarantee your asset will be safe.

We get questions about pre-nups and protecting assets all the time from prospective husbands. Unfortunately, too  many of them are from men heading into their second marriage. Nevertheless, we are committed to giving you quality answers on the phone and through our consultations, feel free to call us with any questions about Portland family law and divorce for men. Call - (503) 731-8888

15Sep/112

Criminalizing Poverty – Failing to pay child support may land you behind bars.

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There was a very interesting article on MSNBC today about the problems that are faced by dads who lose their jobs. Many are stuck in the situation where they are unable to pay child support. After months of failing to pay, the court issues a warrant for their arrest. Many times these dads are thrown in jail without ever talking with a lawyer.

 

Thousands of so-called “deadbeat” parents are jailed each year in the U.S. after failing to pay court-ordered child support.

Randy Miller, a 39-year-old Iraqi war vet, found himself in that situation in November, when a judge in Floyd County, Ga., sent him to jail for violating a court order to pay child support.

He said he was stunned when the judge rebuffed his argument that he had made regular payments for more than a decade before losing his job in July 2009 and had recently resumed working.

Miller, who spent three months in jail before being released, is one of six plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed in March that seeks to force the state of Georgia to provide lawyers for poor non-custodial parents facing the loss of their freedom for failing to pay child support.

“Languishing in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes over a year, these parents share one trait … besides their poverty: They went to jail without ever talking to an attorney,” according to the lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Southern Center of Human Rights in Atlanta.

While jailing non-paying parents — the vast majority of them men — does lead to payment in many cases, critics say that it unfairly penalizes poor and unemployed parents who have no ability to pay, even though federal law stipulates that they must have “willfully” violated a court order before being incarcerated.

Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44376665/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/#.TnKAadQxlaQ

I'll stand with the fathers on this case. While I agree that there are some people out there who neglect their repsonsibilities, I know that most of the time so-called "deadbeat" fathers are victims lost jobs, injuries, or personal tragedies. Like the man in the story, when they lose a job, the maintenance obligation swells from a manageable percentage to immovable burden.

Unfortunately, Mr. Miller made the mistake we see all the time -- "[he] went to jail without ever talking to an attorney." Too often, we get clients who walk into our office 6 months after losing their jobs. They are underwater on child support and don't have anywhere to turn.

What they don't know is that they could have petitioned the court to modify their obligations as soon as their financial situation changed. The law provides four situations that will allow you to modify child support obligations:

1. Physical custody of the child has changed

2. The needs of the child have changed

3. The number of children involved has changed

4. The income of one or both parents has changed

However, the longer you wait, the greater your burden will grow because it is very unlikely that the court will retroactively modify your obligations. As soon as you know you need to change, contact a lawyer.

We here are Goldberg Jones believe that a father should not have to go to jail because he loses his job. We stand by our offer that if you call us, we will answer your questions on the phone for free. If you are facing a situation like Mr. Miller, don't hesitate to call. We will help you out, give you advice, and if you want to hire us we'll be happy make sure you are protected throughout the modification process.