All too often, marriage ends before “death do us part.” When that happens, experienced legal counsel can make an enormous contribution to a successful resolution of your family’s problems.
Blank Rome’s matrimonial and family law practice is among the largest group in the nation and can serve your needs from coast-to-coast. We’re able to guide you through issues related to pre-divorce, divorce, and post-divorce to make sure you’re clear on the actions necessary every step of the way.
Our seasoned, compassionate attorneys understand the complexities and challenges of these difficult times and will advocate vigorously in order to achieve the best outcome for you.
How We Can Help
It may not be time to file for a divorce, but many clients want to at least know their options and have an understanding of both the process and laws in their state. We consult with our clients pre-divorce to provide advice about the process, the available options, and the particular circumstances of their case, and also provide information on what they should and should not do.
Some common recommendations include:
- Marriage Counseling: If serious marital problems are not being resolved through talking one-on-one, we advise you to consider marriage counseling with a qualified, competent marriage counselor.
- Journaling: When marriage problems escalate and emotions run high, it may become hard to concentrate and recall important events or information. As such critical events occur, you should record them in full detail as soon as possible.
- Financial Resources Assessment: In the event a separation occurs and you are the dependent spouse and not independently wealthy, you’ll need a source of funds to hire a lawyer and perhaps pay for other experts to assist them, such as an accountant, appraisers, or a private investigator. If you are the higher-earning spouse, we advise you to take stock of your financial resources in a similar manner.
- Household Inventory Assessment: Most cases involve distribution of property, including household furniture and furnishings. Before a separation, you should create an inventory of home furniture, furnishings, and other assets, room by room.
Ending a marriage can be an emotionally charged decision. Despite its emotional qualities, we know the best divorces and civil union dissolutions operate as business transactions to address the issues related to money, property, and children. Blank Rome’s matrimonial and family law attorneys have the experience and objectivity needed to handle this process, which can involve negotiation, discovery of assets, litigation, custody issues, and more. Just as importantly, we have the necessary experience to assist in achieving the best possible resolution with your specific issues in mind.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
We often recommend and encourage you to take advantage of alternative dispute resolution techniques—such as negotiated settlements and mediated settlements—to create mutually agreeable outcomes without the need for litigation or unnecessary judicial decision-making.
We have the experience needed to help you avoid unwanted public attention during divorces and dissolutions. For example, in California we often take advantage of California’s Retired Judge System, in which retired judges hear cases in private trial settings. These retired judges have the same powers to issue orders and abide by the same rules of evidence as judges in traditional courtroom settings. However, these alternatives keep personal financial information and sensitive custody situations out of the public eye.
After a divorce is final, lives and situations change. Agreements that worked at one time may need to be changed. At Blank Rome, we help you with a variety of post-judgment options and modifications in areas such as child custody, child support, and spousal support/alimony modifications.
Courts review requests to modify divorce settlements based on significant changes in circumstances, such as changes in income or relocation needs. We work with you to understand the changes that have occurred and then seek arrangements that better fit your needs and goals.