Divorce and Family Law Services
I began working with family law clients while attending law school almost thirty years ago. My passion for advocating for “real people” and their families is what drew me to family law and keeps me in the field. I tailor a strategy for every case that is unique to each person. I view my role as assisting you and your family in getting through the transition of divorce intact, emotionally and financially. I can advise you of your options in all types of family cases, from clients working through mediation to cases proceeding to trial.
I am equally comfortable attending mediation with clients, and going to court as an advocate. I work to settle cases and seek results that are best for my clients. Sometimes trials are necessary though, and I will persuasively present your case. I clearly explain the legal process to clients. I want to make sure that my clients have the information that they need to make good decisions in their case.
I represent clients in all stages of divorce. I talk to people who are gathering information as they decide whether they want to dissolve their marriage and those who have made the decision to move forward with a divorce. Clients also often retain me for post-decree work on their case. These are people whose divorce has been finalized, but they need additional legal help after the case was closed. Sometimes these are people seeking changes to child support, spousal maintenance or custody of their children. Post-decree matters may involve issues where one party is not following a court order, and the client needs help with enforcement.
Some clients hire me because they’re not happy with the representation they are getting from their current lawyer. Others meet with me for post-decree matters who were not satisfied with their previous attorney. Regardless of where they are in the legal process, after clients meet with me for the first time, they consistently tell me that they feel much better! Call me today to set up a meeting to discuss your case.
Divorce Mediation/Alternative Divorce Resolution
Family Law mediation is a process where both parties meet with a neutral person to reach an agreement about the issues in their divorce. As a mediator, I will provide you both with a safe manner to discuss those concerns that need to be resolved before you can reach a final divorce or modification agreement. As an attorney, I can give you both the legal framework you need to understand to reach a workable agreement, and I can also prepare the legal documents necessary to finalize your family law matter. If I work with you as your mediator, I cannot represent either of you individually, but I can help you to reach a settlement.
Mediation can take different forms. Sometimes I mediate cases by meeting solely with parties. In other cases, the parties and their attorneys attend mediation together.
I am a Rule 114 qualified neutral, and my mediation training and practice are focused on family law issues. I can help you find creative solutions for custody, parenting time, spousal maintenance and property disputes through mediation.
Often, clients will split the costs for mediation. I do not require a retainer fee for mediation services. The fees are paid at the end of the session and my hourly rate for mediation is $200 per hour. In addition to payment by check or cash, I take Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Wills and Probate
Wills and Estate Planning
A divorce or the birth of a child can change your life. Whatever your situation, you should have a plan for taking care of loved ones or distributing your assets after your death. I can help you with this process. I can prepare these documents for you:
- Financial Powers of Attorney
- Health Care Directives
When a loved one passes away, you may need help to wrap up his or her affairs correctly. Please let me assist you with determining whether Probate (Formal or Informal) is necessary. I can guide you through the process with compassion and expertise.
Early Neutral Evaluation in Divorce
Early Neutral Evaluations are a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution where the parties meet early in their divorce or custody proceeding with a neutral evaluator. Each side provides information to the evaluator and gets feedback about likely outcomes if the case does not settle and moves to litigation through the court system.
There are two types of Early Neutral Evaluations. Social Early Neutral Evaluations focus on custody, and parenting time issues. Financial Early neutral Evaluations are geared to resolve financial issues, from spousal maintenance and child support to dividing property and debts.
I’ve been successfully guiding clients through Early Neutral Evaluations for decades. I use my extensive background both as a lawyer and evaluator to prepare my clients for the Early Neutral process.
Early Neutral Evaluator
As a trained Early Neutral Evaluator, I can help you resolve your case without going to Court. I have over 25 years of experience as a family law attorney, so I can evaluate your case and issues based on the outcomes that I’ve seen from a variety of judges and referees.
Early Neutral Fees
Early Neutral Fees are set by Court Order and are based on the schedule determined by the Family Court for each county. Sometimes the fees are based on the hourly rate that your attorney charges for representing you. If you are self-represented, the fees are typically based on your income. Other counties charge a set fee for Early Neutral Evaluations.
Collaborative Law Divorce Services
One alternative to traditional litigation is the collaborative law process. This alternative gives you and your spouse, partner, or co-parent a way to resolve your disputes without going to court. You have the expertise and support of legal representation, without the expense and unknown of going to court. The parties use a series of four-way meetings with their attorneys to resolve the issues.
How Is Collaborative Practice Different From Litigation?
- The parties agree to exchange documents and information informally, without using formal requests for document production, and other discovery methods.
- The parties sign an agreement that they will not go to court, and that both attorneys will withdraw from the case if either party elects to litigate. The parties agree to respect each party’s goals during the process.
- Each party must be represented by a Collaborative attorney. In addition to attorneys, other professionals can be added to the team when their expertise is needed. These experts can be: mental health professionals, child specialists, parenting experts, and financial experts. If needed, the team members help both clients reach agreement using solutions tailored to their case.
Would Collaborative Divorce Work For My Case?
Client must be willing to negotiate with one another face-to-face, with the aid of their attorneys. Collaborative divorce may not be appropriate for cases involving domestic abuse.
Collaborative process can work for a variety of family law cases, including divorce, parenting time, child support, and custody issues.