Divorce and Family Law
We offer significant experience in the wide range of issues encompassed by family law: divorce, child custody, child support, grandparent visitation and guardianships. We are experienced in all types of general family law processes, including mediation, dispute resolution, collaborative divorce, arbitration and litigation. We counsel clients with respect to initiating and successfully completing private adoption proceedings. We handle every aspect of divorce proceedings, including pre-divorce planning, choosing the appropriate divorce process, the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial, postnuptial, and marital settlement and property agreements. We handle divorces involving complex, high-value assets, tracing of separate interests, valuing of businesses, and division of retirement assets. Our lawyers are experienced in litigating custody cases involving custody evaluators, establishing paternity, custody and time-sharing plans, litigating interstate custody and child support cases, relocation cases, international custody cases. We serve as court-appointed guardians ad litem to represent children in contested custody cases.
We represent domestic violence victims and we defend against domestic violence allegations. We assist clients needing to establish guardianship (including kinship guardianship) over relatives who are in need of protection.
- In a matter involving a long-term marriage, a family-owned business, and disputed complex financial assets, we used divorce forensic accountants and accountant-lawyer mediators to accurately value the company and transact a tax-advantaged buyout by one of the parties.
- We assisted a divorcing client in protecting significant assets separate from the family business, using the client’s family accountant and a forensic accountant to trace the assets and establish provenance, satisfactorily settling the matter.
- We successfully divided multiple retirement assets involving military, educational and federal defense contractor benefits in a divorce.
- At trial, we persuaded the court to award lifetime spousal support based on our client’s long-term marriage, chronic medical conditions and the spouse’s earning power.
- We reached amicable divorce settlement terms for a couple married five years with no children and short-term asset accumulation.
- We assisted a professional, celebrity-status couple in a collaborative divorce, providing a respectful, private atmosphere for them to settle issues outside of court. With the aid of neutral experts, they reached their own agreements on child custody, support, and asset valuation and division.
- We successfully navigated a client through a complicated, conflicting interstate custody and child support case in which one state had jurisdiction over custody and the other had jurisdiction over support.
- We represented a divorced, custodial parent who remarried and sought to relocate overseas. We successfully litigated the relocation (as well as child support issues) based on our choice of a custody evaluator who provides parent-child bonding studies.
- We successfully represented one parent seeking to prevent the other parent from moving the child to Texas. We obtained an emergency court order initially preventing the move and persuaded the court to appoint a custody evaluator, who advised that the child was closely bonded with our client and his extended family in New Mexico. The case settled in our client’s favor.
Maria Montoya Chavez