After 25 years practicing law as an attorney in an exclusively family law firm, I changed my practice in 2005 to do nothing but family law legal consultations, family law mediations and premarital agreements. I no longer fully represent clients in court, but rather help them resolve their legal issues through mediation or assist them in a consulting capacity.
A consultation is where I meet with an individual and we discuss and evaluate their situation and then decide together on the best way for the client to move forward. My goal is for everyone to leave me with a plan that is a path towards a solution. Most people would benefit from having a consultation before they file papers or hire a lawyer to simply take over. Potentially, there can be more than one way to proceed - and different methods work better than others in different situations and can have dramatically different costs and results. Some people can do many things themselves, with a little help and using the court's forms. Perhaps mediation or collaborative law should be considered as options. (After consulting with someone I am not able to be their case's neutral mediator, but there are other excellent mediators in our community.)
For example, a consultation could be helpful if:
- you are about to get married and want to understand the legal ramifications.
- you are thinking about a divorce or legal separation.
- you think your partner is thinking about a divorce or legal separation.
- you are beginning or ending a living-together relationship.
- you have custody/visitation issues.
- you have questions about your child's or grandchild's involvement in a divorce or custody battle or with state protective services.
- you have just learned that you are, or are going to be, a parent.
- you are representing yourself in a court case and need advice.
- you are in the midst of a litigated case and want a second opinion.
- you are considering whether an appeal of your case would be worthwhile.
- you have had a pre-marital or post-marital agreement presented to you.
I can consult with people that are in the midst of mediation with another mediator to assist them in their negotiations. I function like an attorney-coach.
When I mediate a domestic relations issue, the style of mediation I do depends upon the situation. Please see the mediation page on this website for more information.