Family Law includes divorce, adoptions, child custody, and child support. This area of the law can involve high-conflict matters, involving complex issues. Litigation can be very expensive and decisions prolonged. It is important to understand the complicated and difficult issues before you make family law decisions. It is also important to consider solving the family issues through mediation and settlement if possible.
Our firm helps with the following:
- Family Law MediationMediation of family law matters can be the ideal method of resolving issues that are creating conflict. Mediation is a confidential process that helps the people in a family law case reach an agreement about some or all of their issues. Mediation can help reduce the likelihood that a trial will be necessary or reduce the number of issues to deal with in a trial. Locally, the courts require mediation of disagreements in family law cases before a trial will be heard. Mediation helps keep decisions about what is best for children in the hands of the parents, instead of lawyers or judges who do not know the family. This gives the parents more control over the case and the outcome.
Mediation also can be helpful with divorces or other family separation issues when there are no children. In cases where there are no children, mediation services may be helpful in addressing property distribution, asset and debt allocation, and whether either party is entitled to spousal maintenance.
In mediation, the mediator acts as an impartial person who assists the parties in negotiating with one another, offers information, and summarizes in writing any agreements reached by both parties. Any discussion that takes place in mediation is confidential and the mediator does not represent either party.
Some people choose mediation because they find it less expensive than litigation and it can resolve the conflict much quicker than going through typical divorce litigation. Others wish to resolve issues in a more amicable, non-adversarial way. Current research shows us that children’s well-being after divorce is significantly impacted by the degree of conflict between the parents. Mediation can help the parties decrease the conflict between them and work cooperatively for the benefit of the children. Research also indicates that parents are more likely to follow agreements arrived at through mediation than imposed by a third party, another reason why some people choose to create a parenting plan through mediation. A mediated parenting plan is more likely to address the parents’ specific wishes and the children’s needs.
Mediation services are offered to married and unmarried partners, and to parties who are currently separating or divorcing as well as to those who have post-divorce changes in circumstances. Some people go through mediation before they have filed anything in court. Oftentimes, beginning mediation before filing for divorce helps prevent the parties from becoming polarized. Others come after they have filed and the issues are defined. Still others come to mediate issues that have arisen since the original order. Most people come to mediation when they recognize that the use of an impartial person may be helpful in resolving the issues between them.
- Divorce Litigation
- Property Settlement Agreements
- Division of Assets and Debts
- Business and Asset Valuation
- Child Support
- Spousal Maintenance and Post Separation Support
- Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements
- AdoptionAdopting a child is a wonderful but sometimes stressful experience. The reasons to adopt a child are varied and the process of the adoption can be complex. An attorney that understands the adoption process can help avoid problems. It is important that the attorney treats each case with care and an understanding of the adopting parents’ goals.