Divorce and Family Law

ashley-madison-divorce--e1440448187826Yours and your family’s well-being is my primary concern.  A divorce or custody dispute can be as stressful and upsetting as a death in the family.  Experience, preparation, and foresight can assist you in greatly reducing the potential financial and emotional costs of a disagreement, and just as importantly, help you avoid future problems.

I have 19 years of experience in all areas of family law, including divorce, child custody, child support and alimony cases, parental alienation cases, and extensive trial experience in a variety of complex matters.  The overwhelming majority of cases, frankly, should never reach trial, but an experienced trial attorney will always give you an advantage in negotiations, being able to anticipate the most likely outcomes if your case were to go to trial. 

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial (or premarital) agreement permits spouses to draft an insurance policy of sorts, to avoid the potential for a long, drawn out battle in the unfortunate event of a divorce.  It may not be a romantic topic to discuss in the midst of wedding plans, but a marriage is both a deeply personal matter and a financial partnership.  Like any significant financial matter, planning is key.  I have extensive experience in the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial agreements, zealously protecting the interests of my clients while being sensitive to the emotions that the issue of a ‘prenup’ may raise.  Prenuptial Agreements are a tricky area of the law, and can be ‘thrown out’ by a judge if not properly prepared, so there is high risk for do-it-yourselfers.  If a prenuptial agreement is important to you, have it done right and rest assured that you are protected.


Managing your spouse’s or a family member’s financial affairs after their death can be a complicated, daunting task.  My knowledge of the rules affecting your rights and responsibilities as the representative or beneficiary of an estate, and my experience navigating through an often complex court process will greatly simplify your responsibilities, and ensure that you receive what you are due.  When it appears that your rightful interests are not being satisfied, I have negotiation and trial experience in all aspects of estate disputes, to include will contests, investigation and litigation over the misappropriation of funds by representatives of the estate, and similar matters.


Click-through-service-mediationIn many cases, mediation or collaborative efforts can significantly reduce the emotional strain and cost of a divorce or other family disputes.  As your mediator, I am a neutral professional who will assist both you and your spouse or other relation resolve your differences without resort to court, beginning with the analysis of your case, review of financial statements and other documents, and negotiation and preparation of your agreement, to the final execution and presentation of your agreement.  I have heard judges ask the question countless times, ‘Do you want someone who hardly knows you and your family to make decisions about your life, or are you better equipped to make those decisions yourself?’  Mediation empowers you to make those decisions, while preserving precious resources to allow your family to achieve its future goals. 


Limited Assistance Representation

Due to the high cost of litigation, many clients wish to take advantage of the experience of an attorney, while limiting legal fees.  In those cases, Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) permits me to assist you without undertaking the high cost of full representation.  In many cases, the cost of an attorney’s appearance in court can be the most expensive part of representation, waiting for hours for a 15-minute hearing.  Let me help you prepare for your day in court, support you during negotiations, or simply explain in clear and concise terms your rights and obligations.

Legal Drafting

drafting-legalesBellerose Law Offices offers a wide range of drafting assistance, from powers of attorney, health care proxies and similar estate planning documents, incorporation documents, to helping landlords avoid the pitfalls of poorly drafted leases.  I can draft your documents at prices competitive with the large online services, with the personal attention you deserve.