Join us as we sit down with Divorce Coaches, Bill Miles & Kristen Noel, to talk through steps that you can take to help claim control over your divorce and make the transition a healthier and easier process. In this interview, Bill and Kristen discuss:
• Harnessing the power of your intuition and understanding the critical role it plays.
• The importance of establishing clear goals for the outcomes you want for yourself and your kids.
• How to become the CEO of your divorce.
• Why self-care should not be an afterthought, something to catch up on once the dust settles.
• Critical mistakes made in the early stages of divorce can leave lasting imprints upon your children.
• Why you need to make proactive, tactical, practical and intuitive decisions that resonate with you.
• Designing how you want your divorce — and life — to look.
• Why it’s critical to lay the groundwork and set the tone of your divorce is during the first hundred days.
If you would like to speak with one of our family law attorneys, please call our office at (503) 227-0200, or visit our website at https://www.landerholmlaw.com.
To speak with Bill and Kristen about how they can help you claim control of your divorce, you can contact them via their website: https://learning.bestselfmedia.com/intuitive-divorce or their Facebook profiles: Best Self Magazine and Best Self Intuitive Divorce Coaching
Disclaimer: Nothing in this communication is intended to provide legal advice nor does it constitute a client-attorney relationship, therefore you should not interpret the contents as such.
Welcome to Modern Family Matters, a podcast devoted to exploring family law topics that matter most to you. Covering a wide range of legal, personal, and family law matters, with expert analysis from skilled attorneys and professional guests, we hope that our podcast provides answers, clarity, and guidance towards a better tomorrow for you and your family. Here's your host, Steve Altishin.
Steve Altishin 0:28
Hi, everyone. I'm Steve Altishin, Director of Client Partnerships here at Pacific Cascade Family Law, and today, I'm here with divorce coaches, Bill Miles and Kristen Noel, to talk about how a divorce can feel like a series of wildfires and steps that you can take to claim control over your divorce and make the transition a healthier and easier process. So Kristen, Bill, how are you guys doing today?
Bill Miles 1:00
Very well. Thank you. I'm very happy to be here.
Steve Altishin 1:04
We're happy you guys are here, too. So before we get started, can you guys just tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Bill Miles 1:11
Well, briefly, we have both been through some kind of dramatic divorces ourselves. And we had a long period of growth sort of recovering from that and rising from the ashes, which has been a real journey of discovery. Through that it led us to create a digital media company called Best Self Media and Best Self Magazine, which is really geared towards holistic health and conscious living. But along the lines more recently, kind of combining that platform and what we've learned along the way, we just realized how profoundly we could help parents going through divorce, because there is an incredible amount of really unnecessary suffering that goes on. And if we can help people kind of identify the pitfalls and take control of what feels like a runaway train, they can truly save themselves a lot of time and money and heartache for their family. So that's kind of what brought us to here.
Steve Altishin 2:19
You know, I agree, we see that. A lot of times, and it kind of transfers from the spouses to the attorneys, it's like a series of wildfires that need to be extinguished from here to there because, you know, that's just tough to kind of get through all that.
Kristen Noel 2:42
See, that's a really good point, I just wanted to actually comment on that, because I so appreciate that your law firm sees this as a bonus and understands that if we can help get our clients centered, and grounded, and on better footing, so that they can navigate this process--like, divorce is a series of wildfires, no matter how you look at it, because it encompasses everything. It encompasses your finances, your family, you know, how you feel about yourself, your self care, your children, your future, right? So it's just kind of like nothing is untouched, right? So most of the time attorneys, you know, they get hysterical clients plopped down in their offices, and then they have to unpack all of that while kind of imparting their wisdom and their expertise in the law. But I so, so appreciate the fact that your law firm understands that there is a gap there, and that we can I sort of work together and bridge that, and that the client needs more support, you know, beyond just the scope of what the law is, or child psychology or, you know, it's just a whole big picture. So thank you for bringing that into the conversation.
Steve Altishin 3:53
Well, thank you for being on your side--we often try to recommend people see people, either, you know, sometimes it can be a therapist of divorce coach, because, of course, we get a lot of questions that are really questions that are meant for you. And I imagine you probably get a lot of questions that are meant for us. I mean, it just--
Kristen Noel 4:18
Right. Well, I think that sometimes though, people sometimes, you know, a law firm could look at this as being a competition or a competitive like, we're not giving legal advice. We're trying to really help fortify people emotionally, physically, spiritually, so that they can sit in your office and make really prudent decisions and hear what the attorneys are saying and navigate that from a really grounded foundation. You know, it is building like a fortress around the client of support.
Bill Miles 4:54
And helping them also gain some clarity around what they really want.
Steve Altishin 4:59
That's huge. As attorneys, and people don't understand, you know, one of our duties is to do what the client tells us to do, ultimately, and knowing what they want makes it so much easier to get there. And again, a lot of times a divorce is an ending, and especially the legal case is an ending. But I know you guys also talk about it being an opportunity for a new beginning, and you can you hear that from friends and family as well. But, you know, as a practical matter, how do you work through that, to get this ending to be a new beginning?
Kristen Noel 5:45
I would just say, first of all, just to go back to something you said, it's like, it almost seems like an oversimplification when we say we want to get the client to understand or get to the place where they're really clear about what they want. And I think because we assume that that's an oversimplification, or, you know, even as human beings, we're like, well, of course I know what I want. Well, do you really know what you want? Because when you're in this moment of like, tremendous stress, upheaval, duress, you know, it's fight or flight. You're not necessarily making the best decisions, you're not necessarily seeing like, wait a minute, I need to pull back a little bit here. I need to figure out what I really do want. What is my ultimate goal looking forward? How do I want to navigate this divorce? What condition do I want to be in when I get to the other side of it? Oh, and wait a minute, do I have a choice? Do I actually have to do that?
Bill Miles 6:35
Yeah, so people come in and they're emotionally charged, they may feel shame, and they feel revenge and vengeful anger, they may feel embarrassment, they may feel like a failure, they may feel all these things, which clouds the waters, you know? It clouds waters of how to really get through this with the best outcomes for you, and, of course, for your children. And there are so many pitfalls along the way, you know, but going back to what you said, how do you actually view this as a new beginning, because it does sound kind of trite to say, well, it's close one chapter open another, but it is true. And in the heat of divorce, it's very hard for people to see this as an opportunity. But that's the first thing we actually help our clients through, is to see this as maybe the greatest opportunity they'll ever have in their life. And it's the chance to to get it right, it's chance to go back and look at the breadcrumbs that led to here in the first place. Right? Like, what was your role in it? Even if you feel this all happened to you without your your willingness, you probably had a role in it. Or maybe you are the one who initiated it. But there are many more layers to it. You know, what did not work in this relationship, that is a pattern for you that you want to not repeat going forward. Right? That a big one. There are so many opportunities to rescript your life going forward with your children as well, and other relationships. So that's kind of number one is flipping this from being this horrid experience. And there's no doubt, divorce is a mess, you can't clean that up. But it can also be an opportunity.
Kristen Noel 8:38
And that doesn't happen, like in an instance, right, when you're in that place. But if you could just say to yourself, Okay, I can't control every single thing that happens in life, right? I can't control all circumstances, but I can control how I'm going to respond to it. What am I going to do with it? And where do I want to see it going? Like we are where we are, right? Whether it's from, you know, a myriad of reasons, for why we may find ourselves where we are. But the the big thing is, when you when you can like, slightly shift from feeling victimized to saying like, okay, but I'm going to take control of my life, and I want to be empowered, and I want to make decisions that are going to make me feel good about building a future that I'm excited about. And that's where the work comes in...it's not a hallmark greeting card. It's a step by step process, but it's possible. And that's the exciting part.
Steve Altishin 9:35
So if I come in to you, and I'm kind of like, first of all, a lot of people come in, they say, I'm just ashamed and no one talks about it, and getting past that shame is an issue. How do you start? I mean,how do you help them start that process?
Bill Miles 9:56
Great question. We actually have a methodology that has worked very well for our clients, where it really takes them through, it's a kind of a 12 week process. So though the methodology we really unveil in about six weeks, the rest is just kind of coaching and helping them through the process. But it is a combination. The very first step we do is have them craft what we call a divorce declaration. And this is a very mindful process of taking stock of exactly what Krista was talking about, what do you want? And how do you want to greet this event that's going to happen that's unfolding? We then go into how to prepare yourself for this very difficult journey. That part of is self care, a lot of that is self care. And self care is a lot more than you know, doing a yoga class and drinking green juice. Self care is acknowledging that what you feel is valuable and needs to be a priority. And that if you aren't taking care of yourself, you're not going to be well positioned to take care of your family. So it's understanding the journey ahead, what's coming, and then being able to prepare yourself for it. We talk about taking control of your team, instead of the other way around. So when you have, you know, you likely are going to need attorneys, and child psychologists and mediators and accountants, whatever, all these professional resources, which will add value, but you have to be clear again, on what you want as your end game in order to coordinate their services efficiently and get the best out of it.
Steve Altishin 11:55
That brings up a question. If I'm listening to you, I'm up there, right now somewhere listening, and I'm going God, yeah, I mean, this is gonna happen. It isthings are so bad. I haven't filed yet. It probably shouldn't call you guys. Yeah. I mean, is there? Is there a time you need to start this? Is there like a critical moment that that you say, don't wait and start? Well, I think if you are,
Kristen Noel 12:27
if you're if you're at that point where you're really on the fence, but leaning towards filing, I mean, we always say that the first 100 days are critical. And yes, they are. I mean, that will change the trajectory of how you experience your divorce, if you can get on top of you know, setting this foundation and navigating this in a certain way. Of course, if you miss the window of 100 days, and you're still things are a mess, and you're no frazzled, we work with people that come in at any point, we'd love to get a hold of people from the beginning, because we can really take their hands and help them avoid unnecessary suffering unnecessary pitfalls, and show them different ways show them that it is possible to do this differently. So the beginning, obviously is ideal, but it's not. It's not the only way. It's not the only time. Well, that's
Steve Altishin 13:19
good to know, we get it feels like sometimes the spouses are maybe angry, maybe, you know, not really talking. But but the filing of the divorce itself seems to be another one of those things that lights fire.
Kristen Noel 13:40
Well, that I mean, that's a critical, that's a critical juncture. I mean, even when Bill was speaking about the divorce decree, one thing I or the declarations, I want to really acknowledge how painful emotional and upsetting this is. And it's like, we're not airy, fairy woowoo believing that you're just gonna come in and sit down, and we're gonna like, you know, it is a process. It is a process. But I think most of us were really not raised with understanding that we had a choice about how we would navigate adversity in our lives. And once once Bill and I created this program in this framework, and started taking clients through it, we actually realize these are tools, these are life skills, life skills for navigating adversity, any kind of adversity, whether it's, you know, a financial or, you know, ailment or you know, you know, adversity comes in many forms. But I think it--and by the way, we came to this from a long and winding path of our own learning things the hard way. And that really was the impetus for us saying like, Oh, if we had only known if we had only known what it could have been like, or what we could have done.
Bill Miles 14:54
Or if we could have found somebody like what we're doing right now at that time, what a difference that would have made, oh my goodness, what a difference that would have made and the outcomes, at least speaking for myself, of my own divorce.
Kristen Noel 15:09
Well and particularly with our children. We have four children between us. And I think that oftentimes, I mean, maybe even somebody that's listening right now, who is just in that really frenetic moment, may say, like, I don't have time to think about yoga and green juices and self care right now, and my kids, I'll get to them in a minute. But it's like, these are aspects that don't get pushed to the side, you know? You get to decide like, are you going to deal with it now, and try to make really grounded, prudent choices that will help you all, or you're going to clean up a big mess on the other end? And we're both here to say that we've seen it in living color, that this stuff trickles down and spreads. Your children are witnessing this from the sidelines, and there's no avoiding it. And this can really impact them when it's handled improperly, it can really impact them into into adulthood.
Bill Miles 16:07
And that is one of the big things we focus on in our program. I mean, I talked about preparation and mindset, and so forth. But the kids is a very big statement. And money is as well. But when it comes to the kids, this is the thing, a lot of parents--look, anybody that comes to us wants the best for their kids, they wouldn't be seeking help if they weren't looking for the best. But what they think they're doing that's best for the kids may not at all be what's best for the kids. They may think, just as an example, that protecting them from their maniacal soon to be ex is the best thing that may not be in their best interest at all. You know what I'm saying?
Kristen Noel 16:57
Or a little jab here and a little jab there, and daddy did this, and Mommy did that-- that will bounce off of them, the same way that it can bounce off of you. And it's just not true, it's just not the case.
Steve Altishin 17:08
That feels like it's going back to what you're saying about being mindful. Almost about, you know, and I bring this up because I was reading some of your stuff, you use the term, 'become the CEO of your own divorce', and we did a Facebook Live a while ago about treating your your parenting plan like a startup company. And it's sort of that maybe being business like, I mean, taking the emotion out of it, maybe that's what helps.
Bill Miles 17:48
It absolutely helps. It's not taking the passion out of what you want the end game to be, but it's making grounded decisions that are not knee jerk reactions to your emotions.
Kristen Noel 18:00
But also when you think about as CEO, you know, it's a leadership role. And I know this is a point where you're not feeling necessarily like a leader. But at the end of the day, you make prudent choices, you sit down with your attorney, you sit down with the child psychologists, you sit down with all of these people that are advising you. And you step back, and you sift through, and you realize, Okay, I have to really decide how this resonates with me, because this is going to impact my life, my children, my future going forward. All of these other people that are advising me, they're gonna go back to their lives, they're gonna go back to their businesses. You ultimately want to cull very prudent sage advice, but then you have to reel it, then you have to, you know, go and sit with it, sit down at the boardroom table like a CEO and decide, Okay, I'm making the ultimate calls, because this is my life and I'm going to figure it out. We try to get our clients to a place where they can trust their intuition. They can trust themselves to make decisions that are aligned with what they ultimately want. And it actually goes back to what Bill was saying about the divorce declaration. That's a bit of a squirm worthy moment for people when they're in that hot seat. And it's like, well, how do you want this divorce to go? It almost seems, you know, I remember a particular one client who did this. And she said she felt like it was like pie in the sky, the thing she was putting down on that paper, and the last session that we had with her, we asked her to go back and read, would you mind going back and reading her divorce declaration, and we were, the three of us, in tears, because she had actually achieved and exceeded her expectations of what was on that list. But you really do have to take a leadership role, be a CEO and say, Okay, here's my plan. Here's my strategic plan. This is what I want. Look, this is what I want, this is what I want, this is what I don't want. And then run everything through that filter--is everything going through that filter? And you know, of course, you're gonna make mistakes. And of course, something's gonna slip out of your mouth you wish hadn't. But you start to develop these skills and these awareness, because we're human.
Steve Altishin 20:22
Yeah. And you said, you talked about, you know, use your own intuition. And that really resonated with me, because again, it kind of goes back to the best way to make a decision is to get all the advice you can, that's good, but then don't say, Okay, this is the advice I'm going to take, just because you're who you are. It's about running into through yourself.
Bill Miles 20:54
Steve, you just nailed it. And that intuition is, we actually call our program, best self intuitive divorce. The intuition part is really a center pillar for what we're talking about. And that in itself, kind of intimidates people, they think that's kind of woowoo. And they're very angry, and so forth. But once we unpack it for them, and give them tools for how they can actually develop their intuition, and listen to it-- it sounds woowoo, but there are definitely techniques where you can ask for answers and learn to receive them, and they will guide you. And they're never ever wrong. That's the thing.
Kristen Noel 21:36
Well, we always say you may not have used your intuition getting into your marriage, but you can use it getting out of it.
Steve Altishin 21:43
I like that. So your first reaction isn't necessarily your thoughtful intuition. You're not saying okay, here's my first reaction, that's what I'm going to go with.
Bill Miles 21:58
You mean our reaction as a coach, or if I'm somebody going into a divorce?
Kristen Noel 22:05
I think the first reaction for someone that's going through a divorce is: make the pain stop, make the pain stop, make the pain stop. Yeah, that's the first reaction. But that is the way we have, as a society, you know, quick fixes, and you know, overstimulation and busyness and run, run, run, run, run. You know, we're not nurturing intuition. We're not nurturing how to make decisions. These are big decisions. It's not that if you make this lesson--listen, if you make one decision and it doesn't work out, you can make another decision. This isn't the end of the world here. But the sooner we can learn how to make decisions that are aligned with our intuition, the sooner life becomes a lot easier, a lot smoother, and you can start, instead of second guessing yourself all the time.
Steve Altishin 22:54
Right. So that makes so much sense. And it feels right. Take the time to do it right, you know, kind of a thing. It's like you said, today, if you don't do something within 24 hours,you feel like, oh, okay, that that opportunity is gone.
Kristen Noel 23:11
Right? And it's like, oh, the lawyer said this, the doctor said that, and I'll take this medicine, and I'll just sign that paper. And, you know, we move at that pace. And listen, the lawyer might be right, and the doctor might be right, but you know, allow yourself a little bit of space to like really reconnect, is that right for me?
Bill Miles 23:29
And here's where it can really help to have somebody guide you through the process, to ask the questions that you need to think about, and respond to because without that guidance, it can feel insurmountable. I would say when people come to us, the two things that they're experiencing most: one is they're terrified of the future, like they don't know what's going to happen to their finances. They don't know what's going to happen to the child or the children. They don't know what's going to happen to the living arrangement. It's all like, dark, mysterious future. And then the second thing, I mean, there's definitely sadness in there. But confusion is a big part of it. They're terrified, and they're confused. And like one of our clients-- well, I like to say that, and I kind of said early on, there's this bridge that you're going to cross to the process of working with us, where you're going to leave this landmass that you have spent most of your life on, maybe all of your life on, and you're gonna cross this bridge to a new island, a new landmass that feels different with different rules, different operating instructions, a different sense of freedom than you've ever been used to. And people start and they're like, What the hell's he talking about? I don't get it. But by the end, they get it and this client, for example, when we were having kind of the review at the end, she said, I understand exactly what you're talking about. I've crossed that bridge and I'm never going back.
Steve Altishin 25:04
It's kind of that never give up--it feels like, obviously, this is not a quick fix. You guys are not the quick fix people, this isn't a 32nd talk about, okay, this is how you get divorced. And having even the patience to get through it, it seems like is something that is really important.
Bill Miles 25:32
Well, this is the thing, you're going to go through it anyway. You know, nine months, 12 months, 18 months, whatever it takes to get through it, it's going to happen, you're going to go through that time anyway. So you might as well start waking up and learning from it and start to take control of it. I mean, yeah, it's not a quick fix, but--
Kristen Noel 25:53
You're seizing the opportunity, it's using every opportunity in there, and really bringing the power back to clients. Just really reminding yourself of what you're capable of, and who you are, and what you want. And that's okay. And you get to decide, and you get to make different choices, and maybe the choices you made in the past, you know, just because a marriage ends didn't mean it was a total mistake. Didn't mean that that was, you know--marriages end for different reasons, right? And it's just a chapter. What are you going to learn from that chapter? And what are you going to bring from that chapter into this chapter? And we just really want to help people see possibility, really reconnect to their power, their choice, their intuition, and to just move through life with different views and know that that is possible.
Steve Altishin 26:46
It feels like this is bigger than just, like you said, the divorce. But, having said that, a lot of people end up to getting tripped up ,not just in the divorce, but you know, in the next 10 years or five years while they're trying to co-parent. It feels like this is the kind of stuff that would help them through those co-parenting issues that are bound to come up. I mean, do you ever see people after a divorce?
Bill Miles 27:20
It is--well, I'm sure Kristin you want to weigh in--and I just want to say that the answer is yes. The skills that you learn through this process set you up to make to handle adversity and make decisions forever for the rest of your life. Once you flip the switch and start to see life differently, to see your worth, to see your power, to see your role in life more mindfully--
Kristen Noel 27:46
The interconnectedness and the big picture, right?
Bill Miles 27:51
--you can deal with that. And of course, there are problems and co-parenting is never a perfect thing.
Kristen Noel 27:57
Just to that point, though, we really do focus on the co-parenting, we have a whole whole part of our program that is dedicated to co parenting because the co parenting and how you set that up-- we have something called divorce vows in there. And that's literally, I don't care how contentious or acrimonious the divorce is, if you are two parents who have a responsibility to those children, they didn't ask for this. And you need to protect them. And you need to really run everything, again, through a different filter. But the filter is, does this benefit them? Am I hurting them? Is this causing damage? Is this just a quick hit for me because I get to say something nasty about Daddy, or you know. So there is a lot to that, if it's set up, especially from the beginning, the co parenting is essential.
Bill Miles 28:45
If you're in that situation, where your ex or soon to be ex, the other parent, is really difficult and won't agree to do anything on your terms or anything. Okay, we still have you go through this process. Because even if you can only do it, you can do on your side of the street, that will still have a profound impact. And surprisingly, that actually has some influence on your spouse too.
Steve Altishin 29:15
I totally believe that. When one spouse is really super difficult, and the other spouse is, like you said, sort of first reaction is to be difficult back. You know, there's a very short way to you know, get out of that. I mean, it seems like it just makes matters worse, so atleast having you be thoughtful.
Kristen Noel 29:38
Well, yeah, I mean, that's adaptive, right? So we always say there's a dance, and if it takes two to tango, and if one person doesn't show up to the dance, guess what? There's no dance. So even if one person is doing their work, and it's like I'm not doing this anymore, I'm not dancing, I'm not doing that thing. Blah, blah, blah, have fun. That eventually can have, you know, a trickle down.
Steve Altishin 30:03
Oh my god. So, you know, like we were talking before, we started and it's 30 minutes gone now. But before we go, I want you to talk just for a minute about, you know, really why it's important to invest in coaching. You know, people pay their lawyers, they pay their appraisers, they pay their CPAs, but this is a real profession. Can you talk about that, and then also, please give us some information about how people who are in this situation can get a hold of you?
Kristen Noel 30:40
I'll just give a quick little response to why coaching. First of all, you're in the heat of this moment. And you know, we're not expected to know everything. And you know, a lot of this information is new to people. But it's like, if you're going through something like this, if you're going into surgery, you want the best surgeons around you and you want a surgical team, you want a backup team, and you want to know you've got the best support around you. And a coach really is someone who's going to come in, and is going to hold your hand, it's like a Sherpa, who's gonna walk beside you, and really guide you through this process, remind you who you are, but more importantly, impart the tools upon you. Because you know what, the coach doesn't save you, the coach teaches you how to save yourself. And that, to me, is like when you see that in motion, that just makes me say, I got the best job in the whole wide world, literally.
Steve Altishin 31:36
I love it.
Bill Miles 31:36
And truly, the investment, I mean, when you think about the impact, the implications of getting it right through divorce, it's kind of priceless. I mean, the implications of your child being able to thrive in school and have a relatively normal childhood versus withdrawing and turning to I mean, we've seen, you know, kids turn to substance abuse and depression and withdraw, all sorts of things, relationship issues, because their experience of divorce was unnecessarily messed up, more than it had to be. And then there's, I mean, what the cost of divorce is, it's 10s of 1000s of dollars, when you tack on the settlements of alimony and child support, so forth, it can be in hundreds of 1000s of dollars. The cost of one mistake there, one bad judgment and a decision is huge. So I mean, it's the kind of thing where it almost seems, I can't say it's a no brainer. Everybody has, you know, money, constraints, especially going through divorce, but it's an investment that pays back multiple times.
Steve Altishin 32:51
Oh, yeah. I don't know why, but it's what you just said, Kristin, especially what you said, reminds me, my wife was having a first baby, and your doctors in the room and there's me, and there's her, and they pull the baby out. And the doctor turns and says, Do you want to cut the umbilical cord? All I could think of is, isn't there someone else in the room more qualified than me? I don't know. I don't know. So I really, really want to thank you guys so much. This is just really, really interesting, and you made this really amorphous, difficult concept, kind of understandable. So before we go, I do want you to just quickly, if you want to shoot how people can get a hold of you.
Bill Miles 33:39
Sure. So the best place for people to find us is best selfintuitivedivorce.com. So it's best self like your bestselfintuitivedivorce.com. And if you go to that webpage, you'll learn more about the work that we do. There's an opportunity to see a free masterclass, where we kind of outline five key steps that any parent can take right now to kind of take control of their divorce and start aligning themselves with the process. And there's an opportunity to book a call with us, connect with us and learn more. So that's bestselfintuitivedivorce.com. That's really the best place.
Steve Altishin 34:17
I love it. Well, Bill, Kristen, thank you so much for being here today.
Kristen Noel 34:21
Oh, it's our pleasure to talk to you. Thank you.
Steve Altishin 34:25
And thank you everyone else for joining us today. If anyone has any further questions on today's topic, you can post it here we can get you connected with Bill and Kristen. And until next time, stay safe, stay happy and be well.
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