Domestic relations cases involve defining your legal rights and obligations about the most important aspects of your life, your family, children and future financial security.
The decisions you make concerning these issues will have a far lasting impact on your future. It is critical that you receive comprehensive legal advice to allow you to make the best decisions for your unique situation. Knowledge is power.
When interviewing a lawyer you should look for someone who has extensive experience with cases in the Probate and Family Court and who can handle all aspects of a case regardless of whether the case resolves through negotiation or trial.
Through experience, a lawyer learns how to properly prepare and present a case to maximize outcomes for the client’s benefit. You should also look for someone who is a good fit with you and shares your goals for the outcome of your matter.
Mediation is a voluntary process in which the mediator acts as a neutral third party to facilitate a negotiation between the parties of a case. The mediator cannot give legal advice and does not represent either of the participants.
Many cases are excellent candidates for mediation provided the parties involved are honest with their disclosures during the process and are flexible with their positions in the case. Even where parties choose mediation, each party should consult with a lawyer to obtain advice from someone reviewing the matter with the client’s interests as a primary focus.
Attorney assisted mediation is a process wherein the parties attend mediation with independent legal counsel. Attorney assisted mediation is an alternative in cases where the parties wish to resolve through mediation but one or both parties feel they need a lawyer to advocate for them during the mediation process.
Limited Assistance Representation (often referred to as LAR) is hiring a lawyer for a specific task or event in a case. The client remains responsible for the case on an ongoing basis and the lawyer provides the service specifically detailed in the fee agreement signed by both client and attorney.
LAR is a responsible alternative when an individual is conformable handling party of a matter but needs assistance for certain aspects of the case. LAR also allows a client to limit the financial obligation for legal fees by limiting what tasks the attorney is hired to do.
Cases range in duration based upon the type of matter, the complexity of the issues involved and how many contested issues exist between the parties. If the case remains contested after negotiation, the resolution will also depend on the court’s calendar and when the case is scheduled for hearing by the Court.