Alternatives to Divorce, High Asset Divorce, Complex Divorce
Jody Stahancyk has earned her reputation as a strong woman with a generous heart, a formidable opponent in the courtroom, and a pillar of her community. She began her legal practice in 1973 as a Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney, where she successfully prosecuted for six years. In 1979 she was appointed as the pro tem judge for the Multnomah County Juvenile Court, where she sat until 1982. After this appointment, she spent a year as an Assistant Oregon Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division. From 1983 until she began private practice in 1986, Jody was a full-time mother and wife. In 1986, Jody founded this firm and has continued making innovative and creative advances in the area of divorce and family law to this day. She prides herself on creative solutions to difficult problems in every area of her work. Stahancyk, Kent & Hook has grown from one office in Portland to include offices in Bend, Prineville and Astoria, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. SK&H is one of the leading divorce, family law, and estate planning firms in the Northwest.
University of Oregon School of Law
Eugene, OR · J.D. – 1973
Institute for American University
Aix-en-Provence, France – 1968-69
McMinnville, OR · B.A. Political Science – 1970
Crook County High School
Prineville, OR – 1966
Jody is a member of the Oregon State Bar as well as a member of multiple local bars where she has served on many committees. Jody regularly lectures at continuing legal education seminars and various Oregon colleges and law schools.
Jody is currently the President of the Board of Directors at Child Centered Solutions, a non-profit organization she founded, and has previously served on the boards of Children’s Relief Nursery, the Parry Center for Children, Boys and Girls Club, Children’s Charity Ball, Lutheran Family Services (now Lutheran Community Services), and as a Trustee of Linfield College.
Jody particularly enjoys working with the SK&H High School Intern Program, which has provided real-world work experience to hundreds of high school students over the last 20 years. The SK&H Student Interns polish their skills in work ethic, presentation, etiquette, problem-solving and creative business thinking. They also spearhead a variety of community projects.
Jody is a loyal fan of Portland State University Women’s Basketball and values the close relationship the firm has with the team.
Jody and her husband John Crawford attend Trinity Episcopal Church.
Jody was appointed to the Clatsop Community College Board of Education in September 2021.
- 2020 · Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers
- 2020 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2019 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2019 · Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyer
- 2018 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2018 · Top 50 Oregon Lawyers Super Lawyers
- 2017 · Grand Marshal of Crooked River Round Up
- 2017 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2017 · Top 50 Oregon Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2016 · 10 Best Female Attorneys, American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
- 2014 – 2001 · AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Rating, Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
- 2015 – 2006 · Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers
- 2012 – 2008 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2011 · Leadership in Law Award, Daily Journal of Commerce
- 2010 · 15 Most Influential People in Portland, Willamette Week Finder
- 2008 · Orchid Award Winner, Portland Business Journal
- 2008 · MAX Award: Best Single Medium Print Advertising, American Marketing Association
- 2007 · Ultimate Rainmaker of the Year, Daily Journal of Commerce
- 2006 · Top 25 Women Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2006 · Top 50 Oregon Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers
- 2005 · Top Contributor Category, The Lawyers’ Campaign for Equal Justice
- 2003 · Alumni Service Award, Linfield College
- 2001 · White Rose Award, March of Dimes
- 2000 · Ten Years Championing for Justice, Lawyers’ Campaign for Equal Justice
In March 2022 Jody gave an inspiring speech at the Bend Chamber of Commerce Workplace Awards Ceremony when SKH was given The Inspiring Workplace Award recognizing excellent places to work and the individual roles within, as well as shining a spotlight on inspirational leaders who strive to deliver a better experience for their colleagues. In the same month Jody gave a rousing introduction the Portland Business Journal’s Women of Influence recipient, Melissa Spain.
Learn from the best
Jody compiled extensive materials to provide helpful advice to people in the legal field. This ‘Jody Style’ material packet has become an instant classic for anyone seeking to expand his or her interpersonal, presentation, marketing, and legal (the list goes on) skill set. Peruse it here and find yourself learning information you had no idea you didn’t know.
See Jody on AM Northwest.
- “I just experienced the most difficult year of my life. I was blindsided by divorce with 2 small kids who I adore and quickly set out to assemble my team. I had 4 total consultations with highly rated family law attorneys in Portland and left each consultation feeling depressed and defeated. I had most attorneys tell me that the process is biased against men when it comes to custody and, as a devoted father, it is the thing I care about above all else – more than the financial impact (which, of course, I greatly care about as well).”
- “It was the last consultation that was different – the one with Jody Stahancyk and Anna Friedhoff. It was the only one where I felt empowered. They care. They fight. They are truly empathetic and understand what you are going through. And, they are extremely skilled.”
- “I was coached. I was guided. They demanded that I stand tall when I felt like falling down. I was made to feel like their only client when I know they are in high demand. I felt I could call on Anna and Jody at any time of night and day and, if they were able, they would answer the phone.”
- “In the end, not only did I get everything I wanted in regard to my kids, I have a financial settlement I can live with. I feel lucky that they accepted me as their client and, if there is trouble down the road at any point, they will be my first call. You simply must have them in your corner if you are going through divorce… there are no better attorneys in town.” – Ross S.
- “Sequoias in Yosemite. Exceeding 100 mph on a deserted nighttime highway. Children. Those leather pants I bought in the 90s. All of these are life-altering experiences. I did not ever think I would add ‘meeting an attorney’ to this list. But that was before I started working with Jody Stahancyk. Ms. Stahancyk is a Portland legend in her own right, larger than life with a bray and bellow to match. Only under her scrutiny did I realize the real source of Ms. Stahancyk’s power: a perceptive mind that instantly demolishes not only any legal challenge, but the self-inflicted roadblocks holding one back as a person or a parent. I entered our meeting with my own legal agenda, which she immediately threw out the window to address the underlying dynamics at the real root of my issues. Better still, Ms. Stahancyk delivered a strategic solution, assembling a brilliant plan and an ace team of resources to address my every need, both legal and personal. I am not a litigious person, but I have worked with a few lawyers in my day. I’ve always left these meetings feeling empty, marveling at the inverse between money spent and satisfaction gained. Working with Ms. Stahancyk has the opposite effect; I feel better not just about the legal challenge at hand, but about my family’s life, overall. Thank you, Jody.” -D.M.
- “In effort to save money, my original plan was to go through my uncontested divorce without an attorney’s assistance. However, even the best situations can get sticky when emotions and finances are involved. Jody Stahancyk and her staff worked out a financial plan that gave consideration to my budget. It was nice to be able to relax knowing that my case was being handled by a professional, competent and respected law firm. They kept me safe and protected from issues I had not prepared for; or even thought of. I feel truly blessed to have found Jody and her team and even more blessed to have had them in my corner during one of the hardest times in my life. She managed every aspect with integrity, courtesy and respect. I was never treated like I was just another client; I was treated like I was a partner in preparation for the next phase of my life. For that, I am eternally grateful. If you are looking for a family law attorney, I highly recommend Jody Stahancyk and her brilliant team.” — Anonymous
- “Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to participate in your student intern program. I was quite impressed. Not only was it a job, but a great learning experience. I got to meet new people, enjoy guest speakers and have the chance to work in a law firm. It is so hard to find a job as a 14 year-old, so working with the program was much appreciated.” — Nick L.
- “Jody, thank you so much for being available on every phone call. I truly felt taken care of during this difficult time.” — B.M.D.
- “Since the first moment I walked into your office I felt taken care of. Although I was nervous in the beginning, you made me feel comfortable. It was good to know over a few months of the struggle that my lawyer was there thinking about me and understanding me.” — O.P.
- “I just wanted to thank you for listening to me. You were the person to listen to my story. You didn’t interrupt me once. I was comfortable for the first time in a long time. You were like a family during my divorce – and you never judged me. What a lucky man I was to have met you.” — Z.B.
- “Jody, it took me a couple of months to write to you, but every day when I wake up I truly thank you for changing my life. I am a happy woman and I wouldn’t be here without you and your staff. What a great law firm you have created for people who encounter difficult situations in their lives. Thank you for everything.” — M.M.
- “Jody, when my friend talked about you for the first time, I thought he was exaggerating. Well, when I was in need – you were the first person I thought of. You welcomed me with your arms open. There was no pity in your voice. I felt like I was myself the whole time in your office. And this doesn’t happen a lot when I meet people for the first time.” — D.G.
- “Thank you for all your hard work. We had some long days together and you kept my head up. I am so happy the divorce is over, but more importantly I am happy I got to work with a woman like you.” — S.T.
- “Jody I cried on your lap because you were the first person who just let my emotions go. I opened myself to you and made an incredible connection with the greatest professional you could ever work with. Jody – thank you for all your support.” — A.M.K.
- “The fact you are facing a divorce is really scary. I, personally, had no idea what was going to happen. Thanks to you Jody I became a brave woman. You showed me how to deal with a lot of issues that I didn’t even want to talk to anyone about.” — E.T.
- “Thank you for your guidance and support.” — K.
- “I had been dealing with a most stressful divorce. It’s enough that these situations are one of life’s most stressful. You would at least hope that the people ‘on your side’ are there to watch out for you. My prior attorney treated me like a number in a long line of clients. She felt her job was to go through the same motions as with every other case. I felt completely alone. Then I met Jody Stahancyk. She invited me in to her office, sat me on the couch, took off her shoes, curled her feet underneath her, wrapped herself in a blanket and we started to chat. As an attorney, there is none better than Jody. But you don’t need to read that here – there are enough articles published about her to fill an entire building. But she was far more than that – and when you are going through this kind of a monumental life event, that is exactly what you want. Jody was a friend, a guide, a caretaker, a mother, a sister and even at times provided nanny and cooking services! (No joke, when I had nowhere to leave my children and needed to meet with Jody, she would have her office staff take care of them). One person’s “yell” is another person’s “passion.” Jody works with people going through this trauma every day. Every situation that each of us thinks is unique, is something that she’s seen 20 times in the prior month alone. So Jody knows how the movie is going to end every time. All she is trying to do is help you get to the end in the most painless manner possible. Unfortunately since none of us clients know the end, because we haven’t seen the movie, sometimes we do things that we think are in our best interest, but are absolutely wrong and destructive to our case. If Jody cannot get you to see this, then yes she does get passionate. And once you get over the initial shock of getting spoken to very passionately, you thank her a million times over for helping you see things straights and getting you to where you wanted to go. I couldn’t have been more grateful for the things she pointed out – I wouldn’t have survived otherwise. Divorce is far more than a legal procedure. With Jody and the whole SK&H team (and I know most everyone there by first name when I call) the legal part is taken care of by the best team around. But it is the other part – the emotional, traumatic life event that you are going through that also needs tending to. I forever will be grateful to Jody, Brad, and the entire team for getting me through to the other side.” — Anonymous
- “We really enjoy our association with your firm.” — B.T.
- “On behalf of the Emanuel Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees and Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital, thank you for your gift of books for the Oregon Burn Center children’s library. With your support, we can continue to enhance the medical care and support services that we offer our youngest patients.” — Emanuel Children’s Hospital Foundation
- “We can’t thank you enough for all the hard work and advice. You’ve become a part of our family.” — W.
- “Dear Ms. Stahancyk, From time to time one hears of acts of kindness and of people who do good things. Now, I haven’t met more than a few people who have made good and thoughtful things happen, but I have heard of a few. I believe that you are one of those people.I have not had the pleasure of meeting you, but would like very much to. Perhaps as much as I like to meet you in person and thank you respectfully and with much admiration, I’d like to acknowledge my heartfelt appreciation for the guidance you’ve given K. as well as provided a significant role model for a fine young lady. Thanks for being one worthy of emulation. K. will get her chance to be all she can be at Oregon this fall, due in large measure you considerate involvement with her application and acceptance problems. Thanks for being there. Efforts like yours make this a better place to live. Thanks and thanks again.” — T.B.
- “You are a truly amazing boss! I have learned so much from you! Thank you! — Laurie
- “Dear Ms. Stahancyk, ‘Thank you’ seems too insufficient a phrase to express how grateful I am for the experience I had last Friday at the Family Law Practicum at SK&H. Not only was it an interesting learning opportunity but it was also a valuable glimpse into the world of family law practice. Your firm provided practical and thought provoking programming which was augmented by the personal involvement of you and your partners and associates. The presentations were also successful in offering a breadth of topics and unexpected perspectives. Your attention to detail and professionalism set a standard that I doubt can be easily emulated. However, the most indelible impression left upon me was left by you. Your willingness to invest your time and insights (as well as your brutal honesty and openness) has inspired me both personally and professionally. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to get to know you. Very truly yours.” — Anonymous
- “You and your people have been a haven in this weird storm I am going through. I have heard from so many people that I talk to about how amazing they hear you are and I must say I agree now having experienced it first hand. You have such a commitment to the community around you – and on a personal level, you, and those I have come into contact with in your firm, have helped me in a much more human way than I hear other firms handle these situations. It shows what a wonderful heart you have for people.” — J.
- “I wanted to personally thank you for both sponsoring and taking the time to attend the Astoria Bicentennial event. Thanks to sponsers like you, we were able to raise $17,195 for the cause – that’s 15% over our goal, which is fantastic! Thank you for your support for Astoria. I also very much enjoyed meeting you partners and guests. Many thanks! — T.C.
- “Thank you for your gift for our Lord’s Acre Day. It’s because of people like you being so generous it made our day a success. Many blessings to all in the new year.” — P.B.C.C.
- “Thank your for really caring about Jan, for thinking of things that others do not, and for helping me to become a better mother for Henry. I know this thing is not over, but I’m really glad you are on my side. I will look to you for continued guidance. From the bottom of my soul, thank you for hearing my cry for help.” — M.
- “I love your enthusiasm and it made an impression on me. Thank you so much for your time and advice.” — J.B.
- “Dear Jody and Laurel, All the mean things that people say about attorneys are totally untrue as it relates to all of you. You know that you’re doing a good job when your client (me) can honestly say, “I miss you.” The two of you are like sisters to me. You have seen me through much more than my divorce process. You are much more than extraordinary attorneys, the two of you are extraordinary people.” — D.B.
- “Jody Stahancyk and her team are the best domestic relations attorney’s in the Portland/Vancouver area. If you are willing to pay for it you will receive the greatest value from Jody. She is also the most strategic, creative and competitive leader of the half dozen top attorneys I interviewed. Hiring Jody and her team was the best decision I made during my divorce. Thank you Jody!” — J.F.
- “Jody Stahancyk leads SK&H, and she does it well. She is a smart, energetic, creative, honest, hardworking woman who cares about getting her clients through the divorce process in the best possible manner. She doesn’t indulge unrealistic expectations, talks tough when you need to hear it, and listens well as you go through different stages of the process. She is a highly creative thinker and a realist.” — S.S.
- “I appreciate the great advice you gave me. I still remember a lot of stories you told me. I find it helpful to use “leveling” communication all the time. What freedom it brings! Thanks so much.” — L.P.
- “As my arduous divorce finally comes to an end, I thank you for the education on so many aspects too numerous to name here and the sincere concern for my girls and me. You said you’d take care of me and you did. I’ll miss those big hugs.” — D.N.
- “Dear Jody, Thank you so much for giving me another opportunity to work for your firm. I had a great time this summer with all of the interns and my experience this summer proved to be invaluable.” — C. G.
- “Jody you always find a solution to a problem. I was hopeless when I found out I was going to get divorced. You showed me new opportunities that opened in front of me. Thank you for helping me be a happy person again.” — Z.M.
- “I can’t thank you enough for all you taught me. Thanks to you I know that the divorce is not an end of someone’s life, but rather a new beginning to an even better life! Jody you’re great!” — V.P.
- “Lawyers can be your friends. You make this statement be true. Never before have I thought I could count on my lawyer to be a better friend or listener than people who I have considered my friends for years.” — J.G.
- “Jody as I am writing this note, I can’t help but think how lucky I am to have met you. You’re an inspirational woman who impacted me so much. There weren’t any questions I couldn’t ask you during my divorce. You always had answers for me. And – I could always count on hearing back from you. Thank you for being there for me. You made the last few months bearable and life-changing experiences for me.” — P.W.
- “Jody thank you for all your support. You and your staff carried me through the divorce. I couldn’t have done it without your positive attitude. Thank you.” — H.C.
- “Jody – you and the people who work for you are the best. I can’t thank you enough for saving me. It was comforting to know I could always count on my lawyer to be just a phone call away when I needed you.” — R.S.
- “I will recommend you and your firm to anyone in need of family law advice. I went to see you not knowing what to do with my life and you opened so many doors to me. I am now happy with my family and learned how to solved problems and conflicts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me, Jody.” — L.R.D.
- “From the day I met you I knew I wasn’t alone anymore. You told me all the stories about you and made me truly know you were a person just like me and everyone else. Divorces are real, but so are you. Thank you for your kindness.” — D.T.
- “Thank you for the insight and professionalism. I appreciate our time together” – C.J.C.
- “We were impressed with what you have created with your contributions to kids in the community” – J.D
- “Thank you for your continuous support of Cardinal Football. We so appreciate all you and your staff does for our boys. From the meals to the words of wisdom before every game – LHS varsity boys are extremely lucky” — Lincoln High School
- “I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for your insight and wisdom the last few years. When I look back I feel that I learned and have grown from the experience. Thank you” – J.H.
- “I really, really, appreciate your continued help on getting me custody of my son. I feel part of a team.” –D.K.
- “Thank you for your help, your expertise and your caring.” — C&H
- “Thank you for taking care of us.” – S.
- “Thank you so very much for the opportunity to work at your offices this last summer. I had a great time doing it and it was a great learning experience.” — E.
- “Jody, Words cannot express the depth of gratitude we feel for all you have done for our family. You literally saved us from the “jaws of the lions” and pulled us up from the depths of despair. I don’t say these things lightly. I’ll always remember those times as very dark days. I’ll always be thankful that not only did you choose the profession you’re in but that you decided to take our case. Many thanks and blessings.” — Anonymous
- “Jody, I’m not sure that I’ve ever formally thanked you for everything. Thank you for all of your hard work. strength, wisdom — always a step ahead, and caring about R’s and my best interests. No one else could have turned everything around the way you did. Thank you for giving us our lives back. Forever grateful.” — Anonymous
- “Dear Jody, I want to personally thank your for your continual generosity to the Children’s Relief Nursery. This past summer, The Stahancyk, Kent, and Hook High School Student Interns were an incredible help and asset to our organization.I would estimate the value of their contribution was approximately $12,000 in saved staff time. For an agency our size this is a huge gift! More than that, the Interns and our children are better people today because of this gift. I know that you and your firm went to great lengths and expense to train, transport and educate your Interns in order for them to volunteer at CRN. Your Interns always came prepared, had a great attitude and possessed an even greater enthusiasm to work hard regardless of the tasks at hand. They were a pleasure to have working with us and their service was greatly appreciated. Thank you again for your support, sincerely.” — M.S.
- “Thank you so much for all your help with recommendations, and for all you taught me over the last three summers. And thank you for your unparalleled generosity.” — J.
- “Thank you for everything – you are a great example for all of us!” — K.S.
- “Jody, I want to offer you my deepest appreciation and thanks for everything you are doing for me and my children. I know when this is all done that I will owe you much more than just a simple “thank you,” as there is no greater love than the love I have for my children. I appreciate you, your firm, your tough love, and your willingness to take me by the hand and teach me to quit the pity party and start living in gratitude. I’m a work in progress but I assure you when I finally get my shit together, I know that I have the ability to “pay it forward.” I want to be your success story—another (Woman) surviving an ugly divorce and helping the next broken woman in your lunch room. Thank you for saving me and teaching me that it’s okay to be scared everyday but learning to face that fear head on. I will do better. I promise.” – A.B.
Any result achieved on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate that similar results can be obtained for other clients.