Litigation – Divorce, legal separation, and annulment (including complex property and reimbursement issues); custody and visitation (including custody and visitation requested by grandparents and other nonparents); child support and spousal support (including modification, termination, and enforcement of support orders), support-arrearage claims, and representation before the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) and the Family Support Division (FSD); paternity (determining parenthood); palimony (breach of an oral promise or promise implied by conduct); and prosecution and defense of requests for family law domestic violence restraining orders and citations of contempt.
Mediation – Parties to anticipated or current litigation can opt for a relatively low-cost alternative to litigation. I provide confidential mediation services in family law, including property division, parenting plans, and child and spousal support. Mediation, however can be a waste of time and money unless the parties seriously feel they can make a good-faith attempt at mutual compromise to resolve the issues in dispute, knowing the financial and emotional expense of litigation.
(Note that because of the appearance of a conflict of interest, I cannot ethically provide mediation services if I have an attorney-client relationship with either of the parties. Similarly, I cannot represent either of the the parties in litigation if I have previously provided mediation services for them.)
Document Preparation – I negotiation and prepare the following instruments: cohabitation agreements (for couples with no intention of marrying but who want clarity in their property rights and obligations while protecting against palimony claims); prenuptial agreements (for those intending to marry who want security in clarifying property rights and obligations before, during, and after marriage and against palimony claims); transmutation agreements (changing the character of property of spouses from separate to community property, community to separate property, or separate property of one spouse to the separate property of the other); marital settlement agreements (incidental to divorce or legal separation); powers of attorney for financial management (to pay the bills and sign the tax returns on behalf of an incapacitated person) and healthcare; advance healthcare directives (living wills); and revocable living trusts (protecting one’s privacy and against the expense and delay of probating an estate while maintaining the flexibility to revoke or amend the trust during one’s lifetime) including special-needs trusts.