My practice areas are Family Law – helping spouses and parents resolve their divorce, property, support and children’s issues, and preparing pre and post-nuptial agreements; and Estate Planning – helping couples and individuals plan for their death or possible incapacity, so that their needs, and the well-being of their children and other family members are protected.
An important focus of my Family Law work is helping your resolve matter outside of Court; and for Estate Planning, focusing on putting in place plans that address your and your family’s needs, and also working to help prevent conflict among your family members if you become incapacitated or when you pass away.Family Law
You can visit the Family Law pages listed here (below). Family Law covers divorce and the many issues that are important in a divorce, as well as child support, time-sharing/child custody in paternity matters; and also the process of how to go about resolving your divorce or other family law matter.
In my opinion, the process of how you get divorced or resolve other family law issues can end being more important than the substantive legal issues in the matter. The pages for Collaborative Law, Mediation, Co-Mediation, and Uncontested Divorce address ways to settle family law matters outside of court.Divorce
- High Net-Worth Divorce
- Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements
- Property Division
- Division of Businesses
- Pensions, Retirement Accounts and Stock Options
- Uncontested Divorce
Collaborative Divorce is an out of court way to resolve a divorce, with multiple research projects regarding this process showing 90% rates of full settlement. It is based on a multi-disciplinary team of professionals guiding you through a process, in which both of you commit to full disclosure, and to seek a resolution fair to both of you. It’s not always free of conflict, but it can lead to less conflict.Co-Mediation
Co-Mediation is a process, like Mediation, in which you meet with a mediator who works to help you resolve issues, but we used two mediators – one an attorney and one a mental health professional, and add in as needed other professional, for example a neutral financial professional or forensic accountant to analyze financial issues in the case. The neutral professional brings added expertise, and often that expertise and also their being a neutral party can help in arrive in an easier resolution – for example when a neutral accountant analyses the income of a business, and gives one or both spouses more certainty regarding that issue. Often the cost of the professional is in effect offset by the time and money each spouse would spend if they hired attorneys and separate financial professionals to look at an issue. Co-Mediation can involve both clients being represented by an attorney, or each of you participating without an attorney.
- Additional Options for Co-Mediation -- Attorneys, Financial Neutrals and Child Specialist
- Comparison of Co-Mediation, Collaborative Law and Other Options
As the titles suggests, this area deals with enforcing or modifying a court order or agreement – for example a marital settlement agreement or parenting plan. My practice focuses on helping your do this outside of litigation, through settlement between you and the other person or through your attorneys, or mediation or collaborative law.Other Family Law
- Child Custody
- Parenting Coordination
- Time-Sharing and Parental Responsibility
- Child Support
- Dependency Cases
- Domestic Violence Injunctions
- Temporary Relief
Estate Planning deals with how you will pass on your assets in the event of your death and planning to provide for your family; and planning for what happens in the event you are incapacitated, so that your medical and other needs are provided for, and your assets are managed how you would want, via appointment of a power of attorney and sometimes trustee of a trust. Often, a significant element estate planning is passing on assets to your spouse or children so that they are protected from the claims of future creditors, being lost in a divorce, or lost early, for example if a child inherits assets outright at the age of 18.Child & Family Planning
This area focusses on planning to be sure your minor children are raised by whom and how you want, if you become incapacitated or pass away.Estate Tax Planning
This topic deals with minimizing estate taxes if the value of your assets is or may be above the estate tax exemption (currently $15.8 million per person); and also the next topic, passing on retirement accounts in the best way.Retirement Account Planning
There are fairly new rules regarding how many years somehow who inherits an retirement account has to take withdrawals, and therefore pay income tax on the funds in an inherited retirement account. It is often important also to plan for when an heir, for example a child, can access all of the funds in an inherited retirement account, and potentially protecting the funds from creditors or other risks.Collaborative Estate Law
Just as for family law disputes like divorces or child custody issue, I am convinced that in Court, litigating is not the best place for families dealing with a conflict after a loved one dies. Resolving estate and probate issues via Collaborative law involves resolving those issues by meetings among family members, with attorneys trained as collaborative lawyers to seek results fair to all and led by a trained facilitator; and with neutral professionals as needed, e.g. professionals to address disputes regarding the value of assets, business issue, tracing how funds have been used, or other disputes.