CHOOSE THE APPROACH THAT BEST FITS YOUR NEEDS
We believe that if you are dissolving your marriage you should choose the approach that best fits your needs. There is not one approach that is best for all cases. Mediation is best in some cases, advocacy on behalf of one spouse is needed in others. Because the dissolution of a marriage often involves changing objectives and emotions, you may need to remain flexible in your approach. Your lawyer should learn the facts of your case, listen to your objectives, and then help you to identify the approach and combination of services that will best achieve your objectives. Together you and your lawyer develop a strategy and a plan for implementation.
Your lawyer should also help you to identify constructive and creative solutions. Help you to control costs. A constructive approach helps preserve family relationships, and is appreciated by the courts. Creative solutions maximize resources and opportunities, and often allow both parties to achieve their important objectives, producing win-win results. The process of dissolving a marriage involves personal and financial interests vital to all members of a family, and is after an emotional process. The process ends only in one of two ways: when there is an agreement acceptable to both sides, or in litigation with a judge deciding. Because neither side can control the process, legal fees and costs can become substantial. You and your lawyer should budget the case, and monitor costs as you go. Proposed actions should be subject to a cost/benefit anlysis before they are taken. Actions should be implemented only if they have value in relation to overall objectives and in relation to projected cost. Objectives sometimes need to be reassessed as the case proceeds. Your lawyer should be clear and candid about legal fees and other costs. Your ability to communicate effectively with your lawyer is paramount.
We believe that if clients and lawyers follow the principles outlined above, client objectives can be met at a reasonable cost. We re-emphasize case management throughout to ensure that objectives and implementation stay on track, and we budget each stage of our work to help keep costs within the control of the client. We also believe it is important to provide an emotionally supportive environment for what we know is a stressful life transition. In all matters, client communication and quality of work product are paramount, regardless of the scope of our engagement.
SECURE THE SERVICES YOU NEED FOR YOUR SITUATION
You may need extensive and in-depth assistance in a divorce involving complex issues. This may take the form of your lawyer providing advocacy for you as one of the parties in a legal proceeding. In other cases, the issues can be efficiently resolved using mediation because the parties are able to work together collaboratively. At other times, you may need only a second opinion on a particular issue, or want a private mediator to facilitate the resolution of a particular issue. Sometimes you may need a specialist for a specific purpose, such as help or a second opinion when preparing for a court hearing.
We believe that by remaining flexible, we can best address the needs of each individual client in his or her special situation. To address the objectives of our clients, we offer services in the following areas:
Negotiated settlements. Many people want to settle their cases on a negotiated basis. We always recommend a constructive, amicable approach where possible. An experienced and skilled lawyer ensures that all the facts are gathered efficiently, that communications remain positive, and that the focus remains on constructive resolutions. We provide experienced representation and advocacy to individual clients working toward a negotiated divorce settlement.
Contested situations. Some clients are involved in contested cases, where a decision by a court is needed. Strong advocacy, thorough preparation, and skillful presentation are paramount in such situations. We bring twenty seven years of courtroom experience to our clients in helping them present their case to the court.
Private mediation. Private mediation is a constructive, efficient approach for couples who are able to facilitate their own divorce by working together in a self-directed process. Mediation is efficient, amicable, and, most importantly, allows control to remain with the parties without outside interference from the court system.
Consultation with other lawyers. In many situations, an outside lawyer can add substantial value by facilitating a quicker resolution at a lower final cost to the parties. We believe strongly in the value of outside opinions and help. Cases can drift, causing delay and increased legal fees and costs, because lawyers are uncertain as to the approach to take, do not have confidence in a settlement position, or are uncertain as to the most effective way to prepare for the trial of an issue. No matter how experienced or confident an individual lawyer is, an outside opinion can provide confirmation or the additional insight which ensures that all issues and options are considered. This allows the primary lawyer to move ahead with confidence and focus. Often, the careful consideration we give to such situations, and the simple fact that we take whatever time is needed to focus on a problem until a solution is found or a strategy is developed, brings about resolution or advancement toward the desired objective. We have twenty seven years of experience in evaluating settlement proposals and in complex litigation, involving such issues as contested child custody, complex financial issues, and business and professional practice valuation.