503-243-2733

Choosing an Attorney

When choosing a family law attorney you should consider the following things: One, the experience of the attorney. Two, the attorney's philosophy. Three, whether you can get along with the attorney. Four, the attorney's fees. Choosing an attorney can be very difficult and stressful. There are several ways to find an attorney. Probably the best way is to ask friends and family to refer someone they retained and liked. Other resources include the yellow pages, the Oregon State Bar Referral Service (1-800-452-7636) and advertisements. Before your first meeting, write down a list of questions and a brief summary of your case. Bring all relevant paperwork, including previous court orders or documents you have recently been served. You should choose someone who knows the law and court procedures well and someone that you can understand and trust.

It is possible to obtain a divorce without attorneys, particularly when there are no children or significant assets or debts involved. You may obtain self-help forms and assistance from your local courthouse and online. When significant assets or debts are involved or custody or visitation issues are present attorney representation is strongly recommended. However, if you proceed to handle your case without formal attorney representation, we suggest that you at least consult with an attorney about your rights and the proper procedure, particularly before submitting final documents to the court. An attorney with Kramer & Associates can consult with you about whether your plan and review documents you have prepared.

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About Family Law Attorneys - Kramer & Associates

The firm of Kramer & Associates was established in 1987 and consists of attorneys Mark Kramer and Lisa Kenn. We are located in the Cascade Building, 520 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 1010, in Portland.

Mark Kramer has more than twenty five years of trial experience. Mark concentrates his practice in the area of family law and has extensive experience in matters ranging from adoption to contested custody, grandparent and psychological parent rights. Mark is the author of several articles about family law and is a frequent speaker. In 1987, Mark worked as co-counsel for the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee. As part of that work and in later legislative sessions, Mark has helped drafted family law legislation. Mark is listed in Who's Who in American Law.

Mark is a member of the family law section of the Oregon State Bar.

To obtain more information about your legal needs, we suggest that you schedule an initial 60 minute consultation. During our meeting, we will discuss your legal needs, explain the law, and give you a fair estimate of what your legal costs would be if you decide to hire an attorney. A consultation can impart important self-help information or result in referrals or other solutions such as mediation. In some cases, a sliding scale fee may be charged or time payments may be made. Consultation and legal fees may also be charged on Visa or MasterCard. A one-time consultation fee of $100 is charged. Validated parking is available. For further information about Kramer & Associates you can visit our web site at www.kramer-associates.com or leave us an e-mail at reception@kramer-associates.com.

In addition to expertise in family law issues, Kramer & Associates has the experience to help you in other legal matters as well, such as vehicle accidents and personal injury, employment and discrimination issues.

Kramer & Associates is committed to providing you with aggressive, understanding, and effective representation. We look forward to serving your legal needs.

Resolution without Litigation - Collaborative Family Law

Unfortunately, too many divorces end only after months of financially and emotionally draining adversarial litigation. Collaborative law, the practice of resolving cases without resorting to costly court intervention, provides an alternative. Encouraging cooperative, non-combative behavior creates an environment where both spouses and counsel are committed to reaching a mutually agreeable settlement - out of court.

Collaboration starts with the recognition that both parties share common interests. The lawyers help identify what those interests are, anticipate what future needs might be, and help the parties find ways to meet those needs. Both spouses enable collaboration by treating the other with honesty and respect. The commitment to continued cooperation, even in difficult circumstances, increases the likelihood of a solution where everyone wins.

As in a traditional case, your lawyer supports you and your spouse's lawyer supports your spouse. But before the process begins everyone, including the attorneys, sign a contract to work together to resolve all issues. This helps to generate options and creates an atmosphere for resolving conflict while giving both spouses control over the outcome. Because you and your spouse shape your agreements together, you are both more likely to keep them. If you have children, it helps to protect them from the anguish of divided loyalties. Once an agreement is reached, all the required documents are filed with the court and, just as in a traditional case, the agreement is binding on both parties.

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Kramer & Associates
520 SW Sixth Avenue
Cascade Building #1010
Portland, Oregon 97204
503-243-2733