Going through a divorce is a scary and painful process for most people. The emotional, financial and social impact can be huge. The fear or concern about the unknown can be overwhelming. The legal process itself is complex and confusing. When you are facing divorce you have questions that need answers. But not just any answers, you need answers that are based on your situation and all of the factors of your life. No two families are the same. No two children have the same needs. A “cookie cutter” approach is not what you need. Our goal is to give you the attention, information and support that you need to reduce your anxiety and help you through thi s situation, into the next stage of your life.
That is why at McHam Law we start from the position that every case is different and that the “standard” is not our beginning point. Our goal is to provide a customized, tailored result that matches your family’s needs. Whether it is a customized visitation schedule that takes into account the parent’s work schedules or the child’s needs, or a division of assets and debts that is based not on an arbitrary fifty-fifty but on what has actually occurred in the past and what the future may hold, we will analyze your needs, your family’s needs, the facts of the case and other factors and work with you to customize and create the best possible result.
This custom result can be achieved in a number of ways.
Uncontested Divorce –Some marriages end with little or no conflict. The parties simply agree that they no longer need to be married and work together to settle the issues of custody, child support and division of assets between themselves, often before meeting with a lawyer. Or they have the spirit of an agreement but need our legal expertise to determine how to handle these issues. Either way we are happy to help draft all necessary documents, making sure that they comply with State law as well as giving you the benefit of our experience over the years as to what works and what doesn’t.
Many uncontested divorces are finalized with only one lawyer hired. It is not possible for one lawyer to represent both sides and we will never agree to do so. What we can do is represent one side and work with the other party as they represent themselves to bring the agreement to life and finalize the divorce with the minimum of unpleasantness and cost.
Informal Settlement – It is very common in divorces for the parties to want to avoid a long, drawn out fight, but they can’t seem to find a way to reach an agreement. Breakdowns in communication are common in divorces and when you can’t talk you can’t reach agreements without involving lawyers. Whenever possible we try to speak with the other side and reach as many agreements as possible. Many times having lawyers do the talking allows both sides to express their views while minimizing the emotions. This allows for an exchange of offers that often results in a final agreement that doesn’t require a trip to mediation or court, saving time, energy and money.
Mediation – Most courts require mediation before they will allow a case to go to trial. They do this because mediation works. Mediation can be court ordered or voluntary. It is a process in which you and one of our attorneys sit together in one office, the other side and their attorney sit in another office and the mediator goes back and forth with ideas, offers and suggestions. 80% of cases that make it to mediation settle.
Trial – Generally when all else fails and there is no chance of reaching an agreement the last resort is trial. Trials are expensive and time consuming but in the end the questions are answered and the divorce is final. Our attorney has significant experience with trials of all sorts. In fact one of the requirements to become board certified in family law is to participate in a minimum number of trials to the judge and trials to a jury. In the event that a trial becomes necessary we are more than prepared to handle the situation.