The field of Family Law is very broad and it touches almost everyone at some time. Many people have to deal with family law issues in their own lives and many more have indirect contact through family and friends. Our office helps clients in a variety of matters.
Family Law cases include such matters as: divorce, custody, modification of prior orders, enforcement (motion for contempt) of prior orders, paternity, pre-marital agreements, post-marital property partitions, setting and collecting child support and orders for access to and possession of children, among other topics. Our office handles all of these types of cases.
The advent of Collaborative Law has provided the means for people to resolve important legal disputes without destroying relationships that are important to them and their families, especially their children. It is a process of settling disputes without going to court. Through a series of private, relatively brief meetings, the parties are able to make civilized decisions that can be very creative and effective. The parties maintain control over the timing and the final decisions. They also keep their personal and financial information private.
Even without Collaborative Law, most cases are settled without trial, so the question becomes, in a given fact situation (case), what is the best way to reach a settlement? Typically, the litigated cases that settle will do so only after considerable time, energy and money have been expended. While Collaborative cases begin direct discussions at the very beginning of the case, negotiations in litigated cases usually aren't very productive until just before a trial date. We discuss the possibilities for negotiation in each case as we work on it.
Unfortunately, there are some legal matters that need to go through the court process. In the litigated cases, it is important to have an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in the courtroom. One sign of that experience and knowledge is Board Certification. A Board Certified Specialist in Family Law must be experienced in trial work and must be an expert in the law.
The Marital Assessment is a new service we provide to assist prospective clients who are facing a divorce. We provide a lot of information, options, advice and strategy, but we also start off listening and learning as much as we can about our client's concerns, background, motivation, and goals. While we cannot be as thorough in one session as we are over several months, we do explore substantially more than is typically done in an initial consultation.