Family Law & Adoption
If you would like a better understanding of your options in your current situation, our firm can help you move forward to make the right decision for you and your family. Although family law problems can be stressful and emotionally draining, we will help guide you through the best process for your situation.
Divorce and Legal Separation
Deciding to terminate your marriage is a tough decision. If you are considering a divorce or would like to start the process, we will help you to understand the process and your options. We can advise you how to separate and divide community and separate finances and property. We can work with you to help determine how the welfare of your children can be protected through the divorce or separation. If post-divorce spousal support is a question, we can help you evaluate your options.
Custody and Child Support
Some of the most emotional parts of a divorce involve your children. It can be difficult for parents to decide how to make decisions together after they have split up. We will help you reach a fair parenting plan according to the child/children’s developmental needs. We can help you understand how child support is calculated and how judges make the decision about each parent’s time with the children.
Alternate Dispute Resolution Options
The goal of both parties is to reach an agreement which may become a final order without the stress and expense of a trial. There are many alternative dispute resolution options available to you:
It is always best if both parties can reach a mutual agreement about family matters – property, support, alimony, custody, and shared time with children. We can act as a neutral mediator to help both parties negotiate an agreement. Mediation is a confidential process that can alleviate the need for litigation, expensive legal fees, stress, and anxiety.
Settlement Facilitation is like mediation in many ways, but more “directive”. The facilitator assists both parties reach a beneficial resolution. The facilitator is a neutral, impartial, experienced person who listens to both parties and/or the attorney assessment of the case. The facilitator will help parties evaluate the strengths and weaknesses, look at ways to settle the case, and may suggest a possible settlement solution neither party has considered.
Co-parenting coordination is a therapeutic family resolution process where parents receive help in solving their co-parenting issues over several sessions. A Co-parenting Coordinator helps parents focus on their child’s needs and work out co-parenting issues together. The Coordinator may give recommendations, help limit the conflict between the parents, teach new skills, and prepare both parents to work together in raising their child/children.
Guardian ad Litem
Also known as a “GAL”, a Guardian ad Litem is a court appointed person who is responsible for representing the interests of a child in high conflict custody matters. In addition to being the voice for the child, the GAL acts as an “examiner” for the court, interviewing teachers, the parents, healthcare providers, family friends, and others familiar with the child. As an extension of the court, the GAL’s recommendations are highly regarded and the court follows the GA L’s advice the majority of the time.
If you have made the decision to adopt a child into your family and giving them a “forever family”, there is a complicated process to go through in order to make it official. Our firm can help you get started and understand the necessary actions to legally become that child’s parent. From the orientation to the application process to the final placement, we will be with you every step of the way in your adoption journey.