Practice Areas

Family Law

Family law spans the complete intersection of family and legal relationships. Our lawyers have the experience and training to assist clients at any stage of the relationship and to help them navigate through the complexities, challenges, and emotional terrain inherent in each of those stages.

Beginnings. The preparation and completion of a pre-nuptial, domestic partnership or living together agreement is often an essential foundation to a successful and less stressful marriage, partnership, or relationship. The key is to allow sufficient time, transparency, and consideration of legal counsel. Sometimes a brief legal consultation before taking the next step in a relationship may be valuable to understand the potential legal consequences when one or both partners have children, former spouses, debts, etc., from prior relationships.

Mid-Points. Sometimes a legal consultation in the middle of a marriage may address legal problems before they become irretrievable. Sometimes it is necessary to intervene on behalf of a child who may not be in your own immediate family, and our attorneys are able to advise, and when warranted, file and pursue a third-party custody or guardianship petition.

Transitions. Unfortunately, not all relationships last as originally planned or hoped, and in the case of marriage [or domestic partnership or living together relationship], one or both spouses may choose to end or change the relationship. Sometimes the issues are less complicated and the couple is able to resolve most aspects on their own with minimal legal assistance. Our attorneys are prepared to provide assistance and guidance for individuals who choose to handle their cases "pro se" [without the formal presence of an attorney].

In those situations where a client needs formal representation, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients through all stages of a dissolution or legal separation. Each case is unique and requires a collaborative approach to gathering information and analyzing property interests [including business interests, investments, retirement benefits, and real estate], debts, income, earning capacity, anticipated expenses, and temporary and permanent support issues. We always remain open to and encourage mediation [or other alternative to litigation, such as collaborative law] as a first option where appropriate.

When children are involved, our attorneys are sensitive to the complexity and emotional turmoil that often accompany parenting issues. Our goal while representing a client is to seek the children's best interests, which nearly always means reducing, rather than increasing, the conflict. While it is sometimes not possible to avoid the confrontation, we are committed to seeking where possible an agreed parenting solution which recognizes that a child has two parents, each with the opportunity and duty of physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual support.

Specifically, our attorneys have years of experience handling all aspects of dissolution [divorce], legal separation, restraining and/or domestic violence protection orders, parenting [custody, relocation, modification], paternity, child support, post-secondary [college] support, modifications, maintenance [alimony], property and debt division [complex and basic], mediation and settlement negotiations, litigation and post-trial enforcement/contempt.

Finally, we can assist with those planning issues inherent in changing family relationships that are best addressed by an attorney familiar both with family law and collateral areas of law, including estate planning, special needs planning, dependency and mental health issues, and related taxation issues.