Family Law Practice
I have been handling family law cases in Circuit Courts, District Courts and Family Courts for 39 years and have experience in representing people in these kinds of matters:
- Dissolution of marriage
- Post-decree of dissolution disputes
- Parenting disputes between unmarried parents
- Child custody, child support and visitation disputes
- Grandparents rights
- Dependency, neglect and abuse allegations
- Allocation of retirement accounts and pensions.
- Qualified domestic relations orders
These matters are often extremely upsetting for the participants. The loss of control is one of the most frustrating aspects for clients in a domestic case. Clients may have lost control of many areas of their lives – their household, their children, their finances – and this loss is difficult to deal with. Life patterns are disrupted. What was taken for granted for years is now under scrutiny and in dispute. Added to the losses noted above are the facts that clients will have no control over how their spouse, former spouse or partner react to the situation, over the time it takes for a response, and over the obstacles imposed by the positions taken. If the ‘opponent’ wants to resolve issues quickly and the parties are on the ‘same page,’ the case can move along smoothly. If not, expect the opposite.
I offer seasoned, calm and rational counsel on family disputes. I suggest alternative dispute resolution techniques like mediation as an alternative to costly and time-consuming litigation. Mediation has several strong points to consider. First, the litigants decide the outcome of their dispute instead of a stranger – the judge. Second, mediation usually saves both parties time money and heartache. Third, a resolution can be crafted in the mediation that might not be something that a judge can award under law. Fourth, there is little risk in a failed mediation as parties can just walk away and resume litigating. Fifth, mediation generally is civil and avoids the face-to-face confrontations that can harden positions and further destroy relationships. Finally, mediation is typically confidential so that things said or positions taken during the process are not admissible in court nor can the mediator be forced to testify.
If mediation fails, however, I offer many years of trial experience. I have litigated countless issues in Courts all over the Commonwealth. I have taken decisions my clients believed were incorrect to the Court of Appeals and obtained reversals. I know, however, that the last place people want to find themselves when their world is disintegrating is a courtroom.