Divorce - Divorce can be emotionally taxing, financially challenging and in many ways confusing. I provide honest advice and strong representation to men and women who are facing serious marital difficulties.
Child Custody - Child custody cases establish the legal relationship between a parent and his or her child, including the right of the parent to make decisions for the child, care for the child, and safely maintain the child. If you are involved in a custody battle with the child's other parent, grandparent, stepparent, or any other person, I can help you learn where you stand legally and what your legal options are with respect to your child custody and visitation rights.
Modification of existing decrees - Changing custody and visitation agreements may be performed with the authority of the court for a variety of reasons. As children mature a parent may seek an order from the court to change custody and visitation agreements. Likewise, repeated violations of custody and visitation agreements by either parent may result in a change to the existing order.
Custodial parent relocation - When a marriage that produced children ends in divorce, the court will determine custody and visitation arrangements for the parties. However, if the custodial parent plans to relocate to a different city, state or country, he or she must notify the noncustodial parent and initiate a legal process to modify the court-ordered custody and visitation arrangements. I have extensive experience in representing custodial parents who are seeking to relocate with their children, and also in challenging move-away requests on behalf of noncustodial parents.
Grandparent rights - When it comes to making decisions for their children, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parents have the final word. But what happens when parents decide that their children should not see or spend time with their grandparents? Although grandparents have rights, they are not automatic. Grandparents must ask the court to enforce them. The law surrounding grandparents’ rights is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. Please contact me if you need help in this area.
Guardianship - Guardianship of an individual refers to a legal relationship created when an individual or institution, named in a will, is assigned by a court to take care of a minor child or an incompetent adult. These matters call for mature, knowledgeable legal counsel. Contact my office for assistance with these matters.
Step parent Adoption - Step parent adoption is one of the most common forms of adoption; however, the laws vary from state to state. This adoption occurs when a stepparent agrees to be fully responsible for his or her spouse's child. Following the stepparent adoption, the noncustodial parent no longer has any rights or responsibilities for the child, including child support.
Juvenile delinquency - Unlike adult criminal cases in which the goal is typically restitution or punishment, juvenile delinquency matters are geared towards rehabilitation. The courts attempt to intervene with children who have committed crimes, and to guide these young people into being productive members of society. If you or a loved one requires assistance with juvenile charges, please contact my office right away, so that we have the best chance of resolving the case successfully.
Abuse/neglect - When the Court has an abuse or neglect case, the purpose of the court is to keep individuals (children and elderly) safe. The goal is to help families to have safe homes for their children and for all their loved ones.
Estate Planning - Every person needs to have an estate plan in place to assure that their assets will be distributed, and their children protected, according to their wishes upon their death. Furthermore, estate plans should be updated regularly, especially upon the occurrence of major life events such as marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, or if a named beneficiary dies. Whether you need a new estate plan or an update to an existing estate plan, I can help you.
Inheritance - Everyone has a unique goal for their inheritance, from planning for their children and grandchildren to leaving a legacy in their community. I'd be happy to work with you to understand what's important to you and help you plan accordingly.
Advanced Directives - An "advance health care directive" lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don't want at the end of life, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and organ donation. By considering your options early, you can ensure the quality of life that is important to you and avoid having your family "guess" your wishes or having to make critical medical care decisions for you under stress or in emotional turmoil. If you are unsure of your options or have questions on this, please contact my office.
Last Will & Testament - A last will and testament is only worth the paper that it is written on unless, of course, it is valid. Although each state has its own list of formalities that must be observed in order to ensure that the document is legally binding, many of these requirements are the same across states. If the last will and testament is not valid, it will not be legally binding on the heirs. I have extensive experience helping clients create valid Last Will & Testaments.
Alimony - Often in divorces, a spouse is ordered to pay alimony (also called spousal support or maintenance) to the other spouse. The idea seems simple - one former spouse helps to financially support the other - but it's rarely that easy. In all cases, there are many factors the courts look at when deciding if alimony should be awarded, the amount and for how long. Alimony is often one of the most fought-over items in any divorce. It can make the stress level soar and make the divorce process much longer. Whether you're asking for alimony or challenging your ex-spouse's request for alimony, it's a good idea to talk to an attorney to help ease the stress and to make sure your interests are protected. Please contact my office if you need help in this area.
Domestic Partnership - More and more, governments recognize "domestic partnerships" between unmarried couples. This treats unmarried couples who live together like they were married. These couples then have many of the advantages government gives to married couples. There are many questions that you may have in this area, "Can domestic partners be forced to testify against each other?" "Can I legally marry someone without terminating a domestic partnership?" "Do domestic partners have the same adoption rights as single or married persons?" Please feel free to contact my office if you need assistance with these types of issues.
Document Preparation - If you need legal assistance with any document preparation related to the above (or other) topics, please contact our office.