Colin stopped by 750AM The Game to help listeners with custody, divorce and family law questions on air. The first question posed to Colin “I wanted to get through the holidays before I get a divorce. I am finally ready, I have been married 14 years, have a 12 and a 9 year old, and my wife doesn’t work. We haven’t been getting along, but she doesn’t want a divorce. Can I still pursue a divorce even though she doesn’t want one? What should I do first?”
This is a question that Colin is no stranger to answering. Obtaining a divorce does not require both parties to agree to the divorce. The spouse that doesn’t want the divorce cannot contest the divorce—the only thing they can contest is the terms of the divorce.
To answer, “What should I do first?”, it is essential to speak to a divorce attorney. Men considering divorce will benefit from educating themselves on their rights and the facts of their case, by consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer. Even if you choose to forgo hiring a divorce attorney, it is important to understand how your circumstances may impact the final outcome of your divorce.
Colin compared going through a divorce to putting your life in a blender. This analogy illustrates how disruptive and tumultuous divorce can be. Even in a best-case scenario where the separation is amicable, finances, custody, visitation, and emotions will all be impacted.
The next question addressed by Colin was a custody question. “My kids came to live with me at the beginning of the school year because they wanted to change schools from the Portland area to Hillsboro. We never changed the court orders and I have not asked for any child support. My ex is now telling me that the kids need to move back in with her by the end of the month. They are doing fine in school and don’t want to move. What are my rights, since she has sole legal custody?”
Colin’s advice in this situation is for the father to act quickly. A significant precedent has been set in regards to the father having custody. Dad needs to file a modification to change the court orders to reflect the new living situation. If he files right away he can get a post judgment status quo that will keep the kids in the routine they have become accustom to since moving in with dad, before any permanent changes are made to the court orders.
There is another issue that this situation presents and must be addressed. The father has an exposure to back child support, because the court orders were never changed. The original orders may have him paying support to the kids’ mother, but because they are living with dad, the parents agreed that he doesn’t need to continue to pay. While both parents may agree on this arrangement, the court will still see the father as responsible for the support payments because that is what is in the orders.
Finally, Colin tackles the Kim Kardashian, Chris Humphries, and Kanye West custody triangle. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s impending offspring has been in the news lately. Interestingly, there is a legal twist on this situation due to the fact Kardashian is still legally married to Chris Humphries. Because the estranged couple hasn’t finalized the divorce, Humphries will be the assumed legal father of the Kardashian baby.
This custody triangle isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Colin sheds some light on this saying, “in Oregon, Chris Humphries is the father. Until they get divorced West has no legal right to this child. This is a situation that many couples face. They will separate, not get divorced, and then get pregnant with a new partner. Given how the law in Oregon is structured, the father is assumed to be the legal husband regardless if they are estranged.”
While there is little doubt that West is the biological father, the Kardashian’s drawn out divorce has certainly created some additional legal challenges for the new couple.
If you would like to speak to a Portland divorce attorney about custody, support, or any other family law issue—please give Colin a call at (503) 731-8888. He will personally answer your questions over the phone at no charge and no obligation.