Juvenile Court and Divorce

I handle a full range of family law matters litigated in Juvenile Court and Domestic Relations Court. I represent minor children in juvenile delinquency proceedings where they are charged with a criminal offense. I also represent parents, grandparents and other family members in child abuse, neglect, dependency proceedings where children services or another child welfare agency is involved.

In Domestic Relations Court, I handle cases involving divorce, dissolution, legal separation, paternity, custody and support.

In my child custody and divorce practice, most cases are prepared for trial while at the same time settlement negotiations and mediation are pursued. Settlement negotiations and mediation are valuable tools that should be discussed and used early on in the court proceedings in order to more quickly resolve disputes and lower the stress level for client and children.

The more things that husband and wife can agree upon before hiring an attorney can also help to resolve issues in regard to terminating the marriage by agreement. Consequently, most people get divorced on the no-fault grounds of incompatibility when there is good communication and cooperation between the parties during this process.

In addition, more and more married couples today find themselves filing for bankruptcy either jointly just before the divorce, or individually after the divorce. I can help advise you on the consequences of bankruptcy and how it could affect your divorce case.

Generally, before a client hires a lawyer to file a complaint for divorce, most people should seek the advice of some type of marriage counselor, such as a psychologist, religious clergy, or social services agency (i.e., Lutheran Social Services). Most relationships are worth saving and some effort should be made at exploring and discussing those things that are stressing and causing the break up of the marriage.

Of course, this unfortunately is not the case for everyone. Not everyone has the ability to openly and effectively communicate with their spouse through marriage counseling. Certainly, mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence add another layer of difficulty in one's ability to communicate, negotiate and agree on important issues. If some of these problems are involved in your family situation, always take proper measures to protect your children and yourself.

I also have significant experience handling domestic violence and civil protection order cases and can advise you on how these criminal/civil matters could affect your divorce or child custody case. In my law practice, I work with a diverse population in terms of cultural and ability differences.

In every case that involves child support or spousal support, it is very important to have income, expense, and tax records or information. You should review your personal household files and secure any records or documents that deal with these financial issues. Some of these documents would include: federal tax returns filed with the IRS, W-2s,1099s, bank, loan and credit card statements. If possible, try to locate and secure the relevant financial records for the last three (3) years.

Failure to pay and stay current on your child support obligation(s) could cause you to face significant penalties. Child Support Enforcement Agencies and Domestic Relations/Juvenile Courts have the power to suspend many licenses that you may have, such as drivers, professional, business, and recreational licenses. The non-paying parent could also be subject to jail or prison time.