Colin On Air: Divorce, Custody, and When Not to Hire a Lawyer

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Colin stopped by the studio and fielded some divorce and custody questions on air. With topics ranging from custody modifications to spousal support, Colin provided some legal insight to the often-complicated situations husbands and fathers face in divorce and custody cases.  You can listen to all of Colin’s advice in the video.

I was told I can pick up documents at the courthouse for divorce, do I really need an attorney, how much does a divorce cost if I hire an attorney?

If you don’t have property, you don’t have kids, you don’t have debt, then you probably don’t need an attorney. If you have any of the above, then at the very least you need to educate yourself on how divorce will affect your specific circumstances.  Speaking with a divorce attorney will help you evaluate your situation and understand what can be a complicated process.

 The cost of a divorce can vary significantly and Colin compares it to buying a car. There is a broad spectrum of makes and models—all at different price points.  Every divorce comes with its own set of issues and circumstances that will affect the final sticker price of a divorce.

 Just like fixing anything that is broken, it is best to do it right the first time. Rather than creating a makeshift solution and then trying to fix the issue later or needing to repairing the repair, it is often more effective and efficient to make sure it is done properly form the get-go.  The upfront cost of hiring an attorney may seem more expensive, but trying to overhaul a do-it-yourself divorce can be even more costly.  A good attorney will work to minimize conflict, make the divorce process easier, and save you headaches in the long run.


I’m divorced and my kids are 16 and 13, and really want to live with me. My children are with me much more than the parenting plan states. I was told to wait until the kids finish the school year. Is this right?

Effectively, no. The process of a modification takes time, if you wait until the end of the school year to petition for modification could have additional implications. By the time the case reaches a judge the new school year may have already started and that can impact the final decision.  The sooner you start, the easier it will be to adjust to a new routine.

 I was divorced 6 months ago. In lieu of spousal support I gave my ex-wife $50,000 in cash. I make $250,000 a year and she makes $40,000 a year. She has spent the cash and is now threatening to take me back to court for spousal support. Can she do this?

No. There are some things you can’t fix. Once you have concluded your case and no spousal support was provided, you can’t go back later and add it. Spousal support can only be modified if it was part of the original divorce decree.

 Divorce and custody issues are complicated. If you are dealing with any sort of family law concerns, please call our office  (503) 731-8888. The best way to protect your rights is by educating yourself and Colin is happy to provide you answers over the phone at no charge.

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