The term “family law” encompasses many legal issues that families may face. From divorce to child support, adoptions to name changes, West & West can help you maneuver the legal system and the hurdles that may arise.
Divorce is what many people think of when they hear “family law”. Getting divorced is a highly personal and emotionally charged process. Knowing what to expect can help ease the stress and create a sense of security at a time when you may be uncertain about your future.
Because our clients feel uncertain, West & West is compassionate toward the emotional difficulties related to a family dispute. This is why we consider it top priority to help our clients maintain reasonableness during the decision-making process, as opposed to allowing emotions to control it. We have heard of people who have run up their attorney’s fees because of a simple lamp. This sounds crazy, but emotions run high. We want to help our clients make sound decisions.
Our goal is to advocate and protect your rights without destroying relationships, especially when children are involved. We know that frequently children are the innocent bystanders who often are hurt worse than the parents. We encourage self-control, and reasonable cooperation to ease the suffering of the children.
West & West, LLP has years of experience guiding individuals through the complexities of the legal system. We are here to listen to your story, understand your future goals and then counsel you about your legal options. Our attorneys will advocate for you in matters such as:
- DIVORCE – We represent both men and women in uncontested and contested divorce cases. We understand that any divorce regardless of complexity can be extremely sensitive and difficult for our clients. Our first priority is to answer your questions, carefully explain the law to you as it relates to your unique situation, and to formulate a plan of action to best advance your interests and protect your rights.
- CUSTODY & VISITATION – Unless a parent is abusive or neglectful, family courts generally believe that it is in a child’s best interests to maintain a relationship with both parents. However, when deciding with whom a child will primarily live, courts will often favor the person who has been the child’s primary caregiver.
- PATERNITY ACTION - Under the law, designation as a “parent” comes with several rights, responsibilities and obligations. A cause of action to establish oneself as a child’s parent is known as a parentage action, and more specifically as a paternity action as pertaining to the child’s father. If a child is born outside of wedlock or the child’s father is not the mother’s husband, the biological father will need to file for an establishment of paternity
- CHILD SUPPORT – The amount of child support you are entitled to receive (or obligated to pay) will depend on the noncustodial parent’s (the parent that is not the primary residential parent) net income and how many children he or she is responsible for supporting. A court may also consider other factors, such as whether the child has any special needs (disabilities, etc.), the independent resources and needs of the child and maintaining the child’s current standard of living.
- MODIFYING AND ENFORCING DIVORCE & CUSTODY AGREEMENTS – All too often, people experience much of the same behavior from their ex-spouse post-divorce as they experienced during the marriage. Even years after a marriage has ended, a former spouse may not be cooperating or may be trying to manipulate the terms of the agreement. Also, other life events may occur that affect the terms of a divorce or custody agreement. When circumstances change (or need to change), we help clients seek post-judgment modifications to address their needs. Our family lawyers also help clients enforce court orders for custody and support.
- PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS – Entering into a prenuptial agreement is a smart decision for many couples intending to marry, especially those with significant assets. This type of agreement can greatly simplify and save substantial costs in the event the couple divorces down the road. Prenuptial agreements, can provide for how marital property is to be distributed in the event of divorce or separation, protect assets, or protect income and inheritance plans for loved ones.
- PRE-DIVORCE PLANNING – We also provide a unique service which we call Pre-Divorce Planning. The purpose of pre-divorce planning is to help clients anticipate what will occur if a divorce happens and what steps can be taken to insulate themselves and protect their interests.
- NAME CHANGES – West & West helps individuals navigate the process of legally changing his or her name. We will prepare and submit the name change petition and order, help submit documents for a background check and appear in court to present compelling reasons for the court to grant the name change request. Our goal is to provide effective representation while keeping the associated price reasonable.
- ADOPTIONS – We at West & West are happy to meet with clients when they are first considering adoption. We can explain various types of adoptions and the pros and cons of each option based upon the circumstances. We work with our clients through every step of the process, from start to finish. Each kind of adoption carries its own legal challenges, often involving both federal and state law. Our goal is to take proactive steps to protect you from potential custody disputes that may arise after the adoption process.
Call West & West, LLP to set up a consultation to determine what options are available to you regarding your specific needs. We will stand beside you throughout the entire process of your potentially life-changing event. We will be up front and honest about what to expect, and how to help you move forward in the best way possible.