Family Law

Our attorneys represent clients in all types of family law situations.  In every case, we have two important goals—to provide our clients with excellent legal advice, and provide the care and attention they need to help them through some of most stressful times in their lives.

We handle virtually every type of family law matter, including:

Divorce, Civil Union Dissolution, and Separation

Our attorneys handle divorces at all levels of complexity. We have particular experience in divorces involving family businesses, complicated compensation arrangements, and inherited wealth. Many of our family law attorneys have broad experience in business law, real estate, estate planning and commercial litigation that gives us the ability to recognize and solve problems quickly and efficiently. We also help clients deal with parental rights and parent-child contact (visitation) disputes, child support issues, and spousal maintenance (alimony) issues. We are experienced advocates in mediation, and we have extensive training as mediators ourselves. We are experienced trial attorneys and fully prepared to present your case at trial in the event all reasonable efforts to collaborate, negotiate, and mediate cannot produce an agreement. Whatever the forum, our goal is to help our clients obtain as much financial and emotional security for themselves and their children as the circumstances allow, and to retain their dignity and self-respect throughout this difficult process.

Appeals

Our firm has extensive experience in the Vermont Supreme Court in the area of family law. We can handle any appeal to the Supreme Court, and can also advise about the likelihood of success on appeal.

Adoptions

We are experienced in the intricacies of all types of adoption cases, and can help clients with the various forms, documents and motions needed to obtain an adoption.

Guardianships

Our attorneys can help clients obtain a guardianship for an elderly or sick person and we can provide financial and health care powers of attorney if needed.

Parentage

We can help identify the biological parents of a child and deal with any custody, visitation or support issues that arise in these types of cases.

Grandparent Visitation

Our team works with grandparents who are being denied access to their grandchildren and need the court’s help to establish visitation with their grandchildren.

Surrogacy

We have experience in drafting donor and surrogacy agreements and can provide clients with the detailed advice they need in this new and uncharted area of the law.

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a process in which the parties focus on cooperative problem-solving without taking their case to court.  Each party hires a lawyer who is specially trained to use negotiation tools and methods designed to meet the interests and needs of the parties to the dispute.  In many cases, a licensed mental health practitioner works with the parties and their attorneys as a neutral facilitator to keep the process moving forward. 

The parties and their attorneys sign a Collaborative Law Agreement in which the goal is settlement.  The parties agree to share relevant information, maintain the confidentiality of the process, treat each other respectfully, and hire experts jointly if needed.  Through a series of meetings, the parties, with the help of their lawyers and professional advisors, find mutually acceptable resolutions to their issues in a structured environment.  The parties retain ultimate authority to approve or reject a proposed settlement.  If either party seeks court involvement, both attorneys agree to withdraw from representation. 

The collaborative process may be attractive to clients who wish to resolve their divorce fairly and respectfully so that, for example, they can continue to co-parent their children or manage a business together. For more information about collaborative divorce visit www.chittendencountycollaborativelaw.com.