I offer a variety of family law services, including divorce, spousal maintenance, paternity, child custody, child support, post-decree enforcement and guardianship. My goal as a Family Law attorney is to help my clients avoid unnecessary litigation and cost, both monetary and emotional, through the use of mediation, negotiation and out-of-court settlement. When settlement is not an option, I am a strong advocate in the court and will litigate to whatever extent is necessary to protect my clients' legal rights and achieve a just and fair outcome.
Divorce and family law issues present some of the most stressful and difficult challenges that many of my clients have ever faced. I address my clients' concerns with open communication, compassion, and a commitment to fostering the least combative atmosphere possible within the divorce proceedings. Some family law firms lead clients to believe that they can achieve superior outcomes through excessive litigation. While this may be true in certain circumstances, such as where one party has fraudulently hidden assets, the opposite is true in the majority of cases. For example, child support and spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony) are based on statutory guidelines which leave little room for discretion on the part of family law judges. Because of this, I reserve litigation to issues which can't be settled outside of court. This not only saves my clients time and money, but lends to a more cooperative divorce process.
When children are involved in a divorce or custody case, my goal is to reach amicable solutions and create joint parenting agreements that encourage active participation by both parents. I represent both men and women in custody cases, and I believe that either gender is capable of excellent parenting. Joint custody is preferred by the courts and by many divorcing couples, with one parent serving as the residential parent (meaning the children reside primarily with that parent) and the other exercising regular visitation. Joint custody does not mean 50/50 parenting time, but that both parents share jointly in the decision-making process. Parents who share joint custody are more likely to be involved and to engage in the day-to-day life of their children.
A great deal of research confirms that children of divorced parents can flourish and thrive as well as children of non-divorced couples when their parents treat each other with civility, and when children have the opportunity to build strong relationships with both parents. With this in mind, I work to nurture a tone of civility between divorcing parents through out-of-court negotiation and well-crafted joint parenting agreements. I never forget that, long after my involvement is over, divorced parents will have to continue to work together to raise their children.
Of course, there are times when divorce agreements can't be reached, or when one party to a custody dispute is unfit to share custody. In such cases, aggressive litigation to is my primary course of action. However, in most cases it is possible for divorcing couples to reach out-of-court settlements, or for parents to reach custody and visitation agreements that account for the needs of their children while allowing a level of parental flexibility that is non-intrusive and nurtures a respectful co-parenting relationship.
If you are considering divorce or have other family law issues, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be glad to meet with you for a free consultation to address your concerns, answer your questions and discuss the legal options that are available to you.