Domestic Relations and Family Law
When it comes to domestic relations and family law, my guiding principles are simple: When litigation is necessary, I fight hard and I fight effectively. But at the same time, I never forget that you have a future. What does that mean? It means that talking things out with your spouse is almost always better than fighting them out in court. That's especially true when there are kids involved. When your case is over, the lawyers will put away their files and move on to their next case. You, on the other hand, will have to live with what we have done. And what we do can have a lasting impact on your friendships, your kids, and your own future happiness. You need a lawyer who knows how and when to fight. . . and how not to.
So you're contemplating a divorce. You have questions.
Do both you and your spouse want to end the marriage? Can the two of you work together to come up with an agreement that is fair to both of you? If so, dissolution may be for you. As a mediator, I can help you spot issues you may not have thought of, help youtalk through any sticking points you may have, and help you resolve conflicts without resorting to litigation. And then I can help you prepare the documents necessary to file for a dissolution in court.
You have kids, but you and the other parent have never been married (at least not to each other). You have many of the same issues as a divorcing couple. Who will pay child support? How much? Where will the kids live? What will the visitation arrangement look like? If you want to talk these issues through with the other parent, I can help. If the other parent won't work with you and you need to go to court, I can help with that, too.
What do you do when your spousal support, child custody, child support, or visitation order just isn't working any more? It may be time to seek a modification. If you and your ex want to work together to resolve issues without going to court, I can help. If you need to go to court, I can help with that, too.
Post Decree Enforcement
Sometimes the reason the court order "isn't working" is because your ex-spouse or the other parent won't do what he or she is supposed to. Maybe there's a way to talk it out without going to court. Or maybe you have no choice other than litigation.
Considering a prenuptial agreement? Most people don't need one, but if you do, or if your fiancé is suggesting one, legal counsel is critical. As a general rule, courts will not review contracts for fairness. If you make a bad business deal, well, too bad for you. Prenups are different. If you ever need to enforce a prenup, you can bet the court will look hard at whether the agreement was fair when it was signed, whether it is still fair, and whether both parties had a good opportunity to review it and consider it. Your best protection is to make sure both you and your spouse have separate counsel and that both of you have plenty of time to consider whether to sign.