Family Law Attorneys
Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote’s Family Law Group handles a full range of personal legal matters including adoption, divorce, separation, premarital agreements, paternity, custody, support, and alimony.
Consider a Premarital Agreement
For many couples, particularly those with high net worth, with children from a previous marriage, or owners of family businesses, the execution of a prenuptial agreement may be a prudent move. The existence of such an agreement could save a couple considerable time, money, and heartache should the marriage not succeed.
We work with clients to craft agreements that are equitable to both parties but work to preserve wealth brought into the marriage, protect the rights of children by any previous marriage, and ensure continuation of a family business.
Separation or Divorce
If a marriage is not successful, one or both spouses may consider separation or divorce. We understand that a divorce can substantially impact the lives of the couple and their family — we do our utmost to ensure that these cases are handled as compassionately and expeditiously as possible.
Because for many divorcing couples this is their first foray into the legal system, we explain the details of the proceedings and assist clients through property settlements, debt division, and child custody and spousal support agreements. A typical initial meeting between our attorney and a client is often spent explaining the process and enumerating documents, such as tax returns and bank statements, which are essential to ending the marriage on an equitable basis.
Once a client makes the decision to dissolve the marriage, a Family Law Group attorney will draft a pleading notifying the court and the corresponding spouse of the client’s intention. While the pleading includes information regarding what the client is seeking by way of custody, visitation, spousal support and the like, our attorneys will, in most cases, request temporary orders, setting rules that apply while the case is pending. These orders may include who remains in the family home, who is responsible for caring for the children, and who pays the bills.
Whenever possible, we recommend that our clients resolve their cases by negotiating an agreement, rather than going to trial. We have found that clients value the control and the privacy afforded by a negotiated settlement — and an agreement two people arrived at jointly is more likely to be heeded than one imposed by the court. However, we are seasoned litigators and can represent clients in court should the case not be amicably resolved.
Valuations and Revised Estate Plans
In order to ensure an equitable distribution of property, our Family Law Group attorneys can consult with our Estate Planning and Administration Group attorneys to ensure that existing estate plans are amended to reflect the client’s changed status. The Group offers clients family law valuations including pensions, 401(k) plans, business and professional practices, and employee stock options. In this day of amassed wealth and two-income households, accurate valuations are essential to an equitable settlement.
We are committed to responding quickly to our client’s needs and ensuring that the divorce proceeding moves as quickly as possible. We counsel clients every step of the way recognizing, that for many, this is one of the most emotional experiences they will ever have.