See also: Areas of Practice
There are four types of services offered in all the practice areas we handle:
Representation. We can represent you during your family law proceeding, helping to resolve yourfamily law dispute through either cooperation and negotiation with the other side or, if necessary, resolution through the courts. When representing you, we can negotiate for you, appear as your attorney of record at court for hearings and trials, prepare documents, communicate with opposing counsel and others, gather information, and other legal services needed to bring your case to an efficient close.
Pro Se Assistance. Sometimes you don’t need full-blown representation. You may need to simply ask some questions about the law or help with a specific aspect of your dispute, such as drafting pleadings or agreements. You may only need help getting through a phase of the process or a specific hearing and for these we can appear as your attorney for the specific hearing, mediation, or negotiation. You also may have limited financial means and want to save money by doing as much of the work as possible yourself. When representing yourself pro se, you remain the person responsible for following your case schedule and handling your filings while still having an attorney to answer legal questions, work with you on strategy, and draft or review documents with you.
Collaborative Law. Also called Collaborative Divorce, Collaboration, or Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Law is an alternative dispute resolution process that takes your family’s conflicts out of the court and into reasoned and interest-based problem solving. The parties agree not to “roll the dice” by taking their disputes to court and then having to live with whatever the judge rules. Instead, you take control of the decisions in your dispute and commit to coming to agreed solutions. Unlike traditional divorce, the win-win approach behind Collaborative Law allows you to proceed reasonably, work with financial experts to assure the best possible financial outcome for both partners or spouse, and consult with parenting and child development specialists to help your children to healthily adjust to the changes in their lives.
Mediation. Whether you and the other party are working through the courts or outside of them, often times having a mediation can resolve any conflicts. Mediation is a voluntary, confidential process where you and the other side, with or without counsel, meet with a neutral person who helps the two of you talk about the issues and come to agreements. Susan Carroll can act as a mediator in family law cases. A mediator does not make decisions for you, but works with both you and the other side to help you both find common ground for agreement and to explore a variety of possible solutions. When acting as a mediator, she cannot give legal advice or advocate for either party, but she can help you and the other person work through all the issues that need to be resolved in your case, while helping you and the other side both remain in control of the resolutions. Mediation is not a substitute for legal advice and does not include the preparation of legal documents beyond documenting any agreements that are made.