guardianFamily Law (also known as Domestic Law)

When anyone is asked what is most important in his or her life, the answer may be “my husband,” “my wife,” or “my children” – in other words, “MY FAMILY.” “Family” can be the source of indescribable joy or the source of unimaginable heartache. Events and decisions that impact the legal status of a family are addressed by a family lawyer who must not only be thoroughly knowledgeable of the law, but also sensitive to the joy or heartache that a client is feeling at the time. Leslie has served as a mediator for many years and has helped hundreds of couples reach fair and equitable solutions to their domestic issues and events. Leslie calls on those years of experience to assist each of her clients, recognizing that each client is different and no two situations are the same. Most of all, Leslie and her staff remember that each client must be treated with sensitivity and compassion during this emotionally vulnerable time in life.

Divorce

Divorce is the legal process that takes place when two persons no longer want to be a couple, no longer want to be together and share their lives with one another. A simple divorce takes place when there are no assets, no debts, no children and each person “wants out.” A divorce becomes complicated when there are assets and debts to be divided, there are children under the age of 18 and one person “wants out” and the other one does not. Whether simple or complicated, Leslie recognizes that it is her responsibility to guide a client through the legalities of a divorce. A “successful divorce” is one where a client can move on with his or her life without any legal baggage trailing behind.

Modifications to Custody, Visitation & Child Support

Circumstances change. Life brings changes. People change jobs and move. What may have been perfectly reasonable for a child, mother and father when a settlement was reached, may no longer be reasonable or even possible. Leslie assists when a change in circumstances requires a modification involving who the child lives with, how often the other parent gets to see the child or how financial responsibility for the child is divided.

DNA Testing, Establishing Paternity & Legitimation

Testing the DNA of a child and a man can determine if the man is the biological father of that child. If the DNA test is positive, then paternity has been established and that man can be made to pay child support for the benefit of that child. That same man can also request visitation with that child and can, in fact, petition the court for custody of that child.  Legitimation allows the child to have the full legal rights of a child born in wedlock including the right of inheritance.  This, of course, can be a long and difficult process, especially if the mother does not want the father involved in the child’s life. Leslie has dealt with this situation over and over and will guide the father in his efforts to establish a relationship with his child.

Leslie has represented clients in many contested domestic cases; however, she now limits her practice to uncontested domestic cases. She uses her knowledge of domestic law with her mediation skills to assist parties in crafting an agreement to better capture the nuances of their particular situation. If you are interested in Leslie’s services in this capacity, please give the office a call to schedule an appointment when both parties can come into the office to reach an agreement.