Are you interested in resolving your family law issue without litigation? Collaborative Law offers a means of resolving your disputes without going to court. It is a client-centered, family-focused approach to problem solving that emphasizes full disclosure, respect and open communication. Each party is separately represented by a trained collaborative lawyer and negotiations take place in a private team setting. Kim will advise you every step of the way through the process and provide you legal advice to make sure that your needs are addressed appropriately, while creating mutually acceptable solutions with your partner.
Are you and your partner interested in resolving your issues outside of court, but want a trained facilitator to assist in your communication? Mediation involves a neutral 3rd party (the mediator), facilitating effective communication between you and your partner so that you can resolve your conflict in the way that works best for you and your family. As a trained mediator, Kim does not provide legal advice to you or your partner, but helps you interact in a non-combative atmosphere.
Kim encourages her clients to view litigation as a last resort. Most cases that start out in litigation eventually resolve in an out of court settlement, but this often occurs only after a lengthy process involving a large expenditure of time, energy and money. However, if your partner is unwilling to pursue collaborative law or mediation, there may be no option other than to take the formal steps in court that are necessary to protect your personal and financial interests. With more than 25 years experience in the courtroom, Kim provides excellent representation and the zealous advocacy necessary to protect your interests in the courtroom.
Most of the time, parents are able to come to an agreement on the best type of custody arrangement for them and their children. Creating a written agreement on custody and parenting related issues in a “Parenting Plan” that becomes a court order is a helpful process for many separating couples and gives both parents the right to seek enforcement of that agreement if future disputes occur. Parents who are unwilling or unable to come to an agreement about what kind of custody arrangement is best for their children may have to ask a judge to determine the best interests of their children. The judge must consider a long list of statutory factors concerning the ability of each parent to provide for the children’s physical, emotional and intellectual well-being. Kim has more than 25 years experience working with clients to develop custody agreements that work best for them and their children. She works hard with you to find creative and workable parenting solutions and to handle conflicts as they arise.
Support and Alimony
In general, Pennsylvania imposes a duty on parents to pay for the support of their children until age 18 or the completion of high school, whichever occurs later. A spouse may have an obligation to provide support for an economically dependent spouse while they are still married (spousal support) or after the divorce becomes final (alimony). There is also temporary alimony (alimony pendente lite), which is designed to help maintain a spouse financially during litigation. These concepts are distinct, but interrelated. Kim can help you analyze the factors involved in your particular situation to determine which, if any, of these types of support may apply and help you navigate the support process.
Pre-Nuptial and Co-Habitation Agreements
Before you get married or move in with a partner, you should consider whether a pre-nuptial or co-habitation agreement makes sense for your specific situation. By entering into such an agreement, you can make your own rules about what will happen to your property in the event of a divorce or separation. Kim can help you clarify the legal issues in these distinct situations so you can make an informed decision about documenting your agreed upon financial arrangements and expectations for the future.
Divorce is a major life event that typically requires you to rethink the distribution of your assets in the event of your death. A will provides for the distribution of your property upon death, but it can also be used to appoint a guardian for your children and to establish a testamentary trust to provide for your children’s education and support. You may also need a power of attorney to act for you in financial transactions if you become incapacitated, and a medical power of attorney and living will to direct your health care in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Kim can help guide you through the various elements of estate planning to ensure that your family and financial goals are met after you die.