Family Law

Our Family Law Group assists and advocates for family members whether it is in the formation of a family or for a family in transition.  Our attorneys can guide you through the preparation for marriage with a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement after you wed. When it comes to family transitions including separation or divorce, our attorneys expertly advise and handle the issues of custody, child support, alimony and/or property division.  With our many years of experience, we are equipped to help our clients protect, distribute or divide all kinds of assets whether it is a business interest, house or retirement benefits.  We are here to help if you are experiencing domestic violence. We also assist in guardianships of a loved one when the loved one is no longer able to care for themselves.

 

We provide full-service support to clients growing their families by assisting with agreements for surrogacy or other assisted reproductive technology. Our team understands the legalities, search processes, and costs of adoption can be confusing and stressful and use our experience to guide clients through the process.

 

With Family Law attorneys in every state from New York to South Carolina, we can assist you in family law matters occurring in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously.  Many of our Family Law attorneys are members of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers or the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Premarital Agreements

  • Sets forth financial rights and obligations in the event of divorce or if one spouse predeceases the other
  • Sets forth plans of your financial life during marriage
  • Protects heirs and clarifies expectations
  • Helps to keep divorce from being extremely hostile, adversarial or expensive

Postnuptial Agreements

  • Entered into after marriage
  • Allows you to focus more on wedding plans, your children, your relationship etc. prior to marriage
  • Sets forth financial rights and obligations in the event of divorce or if one spouse predeceases the other

Separation and Property Settlement Agreements

  • Child-related issues – physical and custody; child support; school tuition; discipline
  • Real Property – Buyout of interest; transfer of title; use and possession, payment of mortgage
  • Other Assets – Retirement accounts; securities and other investments, deferred compensation; vehicles; business interests 
  • Liabilities – credit card debt; student loan debt; home equity lines of credit
  • Alimony or spousal support – Amount; duration; catastrophic provisions; life insurance
  • Payment of attorney’s fees

Divorce Mediation, Collaboration, Arbitration and Litigation

  • Negotiation – Informal meeting to discuss settlement ideas
  • Mediation – Process with specially trained neutral third party to resolve issues
  • Arbitration – “Non-judicial trial” with specially trained arbitrator hearing evidence and making decisions
  • Litigation – Outcome is entirely determined by a Judge based on evidence

Child Custody

  • Initial physical custody and legal custody orders
  • Modification of physical and legal custody
  • Emergency and temporary custody orders
  • Child relocation cases
  • Best interest attorney/guardian ad litem representation
  • Registration and enforcement of child custody orders from other U.S. states and foreign countries
  • Interstate child custody cases involving the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
  • International child custody cases
  • Cases brought pursuant to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
  • Settlement agreements and consent custody orders resolving all aspects of physical and legal custody of children

Child Support

  • Establishment of child support orders, including payment of:
    • Health insurance
    • Medical expenses
    • Work-related childcare
  • Modification of child support orders
  • Registration, enforcement, and modification of child support orders pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
  • Negotiation of agreements providing for payment of child support and child-related expenses, including:
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Private school education and college
    • Tutoring
  • Collection of past-due child support by garnishment and attachment of assets

Education and Special Needs

  • Child support for adult disabled children –
  • Custody issues involving children with special needs
  • Parental disputes regarding special education
  • Parental disputes regarding medical and psychological treatment for minors

Identification, Valuation and Disposition of Marital Property

  • Identify Marital Property under applicable state’s law
  • Identify, inventory and valuate all Marital Property
  • Determine equitable distribution of Marital Property in light of applicable state’s legal factors and factual circumstances
  • Business valuations, appraisals and present value calculations of particular property interests
  • Consider tax implications of disposition or transfer of particular property interests
Non-Qualified Mortgage Loans

Use and Possession of the Family Home

  • For the child to remain in the family home the court may order exclusive use and possession of the family home to you or your spouse.
  • Helps spouses get back on their feet and to allow children to remain in a familiar setting while they experience significant change in their day to day lives
  • Court may require that one or both spouses contribute towards any or all monetary obligations to the home

Alimony Issues and Tax Consequences

  • Alimony (often called “spousal support”) is typically a periodic (usually monthly) payment from one spouse to the other after separation and/or divorce
  • Rehabilitative alimony: financial support for a set period of time with a clear termination date
  • Indefinite alimony: more common in long-term marriages or when relative standards of living of spouse are extremely different
  • A wider variety of alimony arrangements can be determined by agreement, as opposed to the authority of a court order
  • Courts consider a variety of legal factors and factual circumstances in determining alimony
  • Currently, alimony is not taxable income to the recipient or deductible by the payer – it is paid from net income

Guardianship

  • Help clients evaluate whether to file for guardianship or conservatorship of a minor child or disabled adult.
  • Represent clients in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, including contested proceedings.
  • Advise clients serving as guardian or conservator.
  • Serve as court-appointed counsel or guardian of property/conservator.

Adoption

  • Parental (private or directed) Placements - Birth mother chooses the adoptive parents and places the child directly with them.
  • Agency (public and private) Placements and Finalizations
  • Domestication and Re-adoption of International Adoptions  
  •  International Adoptions
  • Stepparent, adult, foster parent and relative adoptions
  • Second parent adoptions in same-sex parent marriages
  • Contested matters

Uncontested Divorce

  • Mutual Consent Divorce (available in certain jurisdictions) - Allows you to skip through a formal litigation
  • Marital Settlement Agreements – Finalize your divorce without a judge

Cohabitation Agreements/Domestic Partnership Agreements

  • Legal document for unmarried couples
  • Protects their rights as a couple
  • Safeguards their individual interests and assets
  • Agreements can be comprehensive or limited

LGBTQ+ Marital Agreements

  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Separation Agreements
  • Custody and support Agreements
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology Agreements/Surrogacy Agreements
  • Parentage Agreements

LGBTQ+ Family Law

  • Adoptions
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology Agreements/Surrogacy Agreements
  • Family Formation
  • Parentage agreements and orders
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Probate
  • Wills & Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Domestic partnership agreements
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Separation and Divorce agreements and litigation
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support and spousal support
  • Distribution of marital property, including business valuation, appraisals, etc.
  • Orthodox Jewish divorces, balancing and considering Jewish traditions, holidays and laws
  • Post-judgment modifications of child custody, child support and spousal support
  • Parental relocation issues
  • Grandparents rights

Retirement/Deferred Compensation

  • Quite often these are the most valuable assets to be divided between spouses in a divorce
  • Making the wrong move in dividing such assets can cause unnecessary taxes and fees
  • Certain assets must be divided pursuant to the appropriate court orders to avoid tax consequences.

Domestic Violence

  • Protection may be obtained from an abuser, who is a current or former spouse, cohabitants, relatives, or protection on behalf of your child.
  • Domestic violence and a protective order may seriously impact existing and/or future litigation of a family matter, especially divorce and child custody.
  • Types of relief that a Court is authorized to order including - refrain from contact; refrain from entering the residence; vacating the shared home; temporary custody of the minor children; payment of emergency family maintenance money; temporary use and possession of the shared home
  • Representation to protect your interests at all stages of the Protective Order process: Interim, Temporary, and Final Protective Orders.
  • Quick and effective action is necessary as the process is expedited and the time frame for court action is reduced.

International Family Law

  • Divorces involving Foreign Service and US Military Members:
    • Guide clients through the process of making custodial arrangements when one or both parents are assigned overseas;
    • Understanding of the Foreign Service and Military Retirement Pensions and former spouse entitlements  
  • International Divorces:
    • Unique issues that may arise in the division of real and personal property.
  • Custody of Children in International Cases:
    • Guide clients with children through the requirements of the Hague Convention and when necessary, assist clients with non-Hague Convention countries
    • Represent clients in International Child Abduction cases;
    • Represent clients who have been accused of bringing a child to the United States without the consent of the other parent under Hague Child  Abduction Convention;
    • Represent clients in international cases in working out Custody Settlement Agreements and Agreed Orders through negotiation and mediation.
  • Our attorneys have worked with local counsel in United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia on either property or custody – related issues in domestic relations cases

Leadership

K. Mitchell Kelling

Principal and Practice Group Leader Family Law (South)

View Bio

Marjorie Just

Principal and Practice Group Leader Family Law (Central)

View Bio

Rawan Hmoud

Principal and Practice Group Leader Family Law (North)

View Bio

Ready to learn more? Contact Offit Kurman today!

Related Posts

How to Pick the Right Child Custody Lawyer for Your Case

By J. Benjamin Stevens | September 22, 2022
Read More

Same-Sex Marriages – Is Obergfell v Hodges next on the Supreme Court Chopping Block?

By Elizabeth Hodges, Esq. | September 14, 2022
Read More

Marriage on the Rocks: Prenups- The Good, the Bad, the Funny

By Offit Kurman | September 9, 2022
Read More

13 Things You Need to Know About Parent Coordinators, Particularly If You Are Involved in a High Conflict Custody Case

By Elizabeth Hodges, Esq. | September 8, 2022
Read More

Divorce Papers: How to Serve Your Spouse Most Effectively

By J. Benjamin Stevens | September 1, 2022
Read More

How to Help a Friend Going through a Divorce: 5 Tips for BFFs

By J. Benjamin Stevens | August 30, 2022
Read More

Mental Health Myths in Child Custody Cases: Debunked!

By J. Benjamin Stevens | August 25, 2022
Read More

Separation? Where Do I Start?

By Cheryl Hepfer, Esq. | August 24, 2022
Read More

7 Stupid Mistakes People Make During Their Divorce

By J. Benjamin Stevens | August 23, 2022
Read More

Should I File a Joint Tax Return with My Separated Spouse?

By Sandra Brooks, Esq. | August 22, 2022
Read More

The Best Back-To-School Tips for Divorced Parents

By J. Benjamin Stevens | August 18, 2022
Read More

Marriage on the Rocks: How to (Not) Ruin Your Case

By Offit Kurman | August 18, 2022
Read More

Who Gets to Stay in the Marital Residence? Or is Possession Really 9/10’s of the Law?

By Elizabeth Hodges, Esq. | August 8, 2022
Read More

Understanding Burden of Proof for South Carolina Divorce Cases

By J. Benjamin Stevens | August 4, 2022
Read More

Can a Divorce Decree Be Modified in South Carolina?

By J. Benjamin Stevens | July 28, 2022
Read More

3 Lessons About Divorce You Can Learn from the Mrs. Doubtfire Movie

By J. Benjamin Stevens | July 26, 2022
Read More

What Judges Consider When Determining if Joint Custody is Right for Your Children

By J. Benjamin Stevens | July 19, 2022
Read More

Mediation Tips from A Mediator and Retired Judge Sandy Brooks’ interview with Retired Judge Michael Mason

By Sandra Brooks, Esq. | July 18, 2022
Read More

Alternatives To Court

By Cheryl Hepfer, Esq. | July 15, 2022
Read More

Is It Possible to Get a Divorce Without Fighting about Everything in Court?

By J. Benjamin Stevens | July 14, 2022
Read More