Perhaps more than any other area of the law, family disputes call for dedicated lawyers capable of handling the most complex and sensitive of circumstances.
Our team of attorneys represents clients in a wide range of matters and is particularly adept at handling the most complex divorce matters involving complicated custody and financial issues. Our experienced attorneys handle divorce, custody and visitation, spousal and child support, alimony, property division, prenuptial agreements, protection from abuse matters, alternative family issues, and adoption.Meet Our Family Law Team
The members of the practice are leaders in state and national bar associations and community organizations. They frequently lecture throughout the state and the nation in areas related to family law. Chair Cheryl Young is a former President of the Montgomery County Bar Association and is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Board of Governors. Shareholder Helen Casale is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is known as an expert on issues that same sex couples face. Shareholder Jerry Shoemaker has recently been named one of the Greater Philadelphia Region’s Ten Leaders in Divorce Law, 45 & Under, by the Ten Leaders Cooperative and is a frequent lecturer on family law topics. Our associates are also extremely experienced and have been recognized as Rising Stars, published on numerous occasions, and lectured in various capacities.
Our practice group handles all phases of divorce law and our attorneys counsel clients on the most efficient and innovative ways to resolve their disputes. Our practice reaches out across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our office is located in Montgomery County where we practice regularly. We also have extensive experience in counties throughout the region including, but not limited to, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania and Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Mercer, Somerset, Cape May, Ocean, Salem, and Atlantic Counties in New Jersey.
Our focus is to serve our clients’ needs during a trying time in their lives by providing sound legal advice in the most efficient and expeditious way possible. From routine matters to complex litigation, we have a tremendous amount of experience in domestic relations at the trial and appellate court levels. We approach cases, when possible, in a collaborative manner, but are also adept litigators when necessary. In addition, we frequently use alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve matters in the most cost-effective manner.
Deep experience, from the routine to the complex
Ending a marriage is never easy. Our attorneys are experienced in helping clients resolve their divorce, property distribution, and alimony issues. Our attorneys routinely handle both routine and complex divorce cases. We have experience in working with experts in a wide range of fields including accounting, real estate, financial planning, and business valuation to obtain and analyze the information needed to resolve complex property disputes. We have been handling the dissolution of single sex couples for years, and have extensive experience in dissolving these marriages following the Whitewood v. Wolf decision, a case in which our firm represented the plaintiffs who successfully argued for marriage equality in Pennsylvania.
We understand the importance of obtaining a fair distribution of marital assets and liabilities, and we work with our clients to ensure that they understand their settlement options and possible litigation outcomes. While we explore settlement and resolution techniques with our clients, if an amicable settlement is not possible, our attorneys are prepared to litigate.
Representing payors and recipients
Our attorneys recognize that it is important to ensure the amount of support paid or received is fair and reasonable under the law because the determination of payments to support a spouse (whether spousal, alimony pendent lite (APL), or alimony) and/or child will directly impact the client’s ongoing finances. Our attorneys have vast experience in handling spousal and child support matters, and have represented both payors and recipients. We routinely litigate high-income support matters, earning capacity issues, and cases involving self-employed individuals or business owners. We have the knowledge and skill needed to present income and support issues in a comprehensive and persuasive manner.
Preparing clients for custody litigation and settlement
The pain and uncertainty of ending a relationship is even more difficult when children are involved. Our attorneys are experienced in all phases of custody litigation and settlement. Commencing with our initial consultation, we work with our clients to prepare them for the custody litigation process and help our clients to ensure that we can reach an outcome that serves their needs and benefits their children.
We are experienced in dealing with psychological experts in custody cases, as well as in litigating custody cases that involve parental requests to relocate, addiction issues, mental health issues, issues regarding children with special needs, and third party custody cases involving grandparents, partners, and step-parents.
Protecting assets and business interests
Clients who are getting married or moving in with a significant other should consider a Prenuptial Agreement or Cohabitation Agreement, which are highly personalized documents crafted to meet their individual needs. Since we have drafted, negotiated, and reviewed numerous such agreements, we can help clients understand the legal issues surrounding them, and we can also help define clients’ needs, which may include guarding premarital assets or business interests, protecting individual income streams, and carrying out divorce or estate planning.
Clients who are considering a Prenuptial Agreement should ideally consult with an attorney well in advance of the wedding date to ensure ample time to negotiate, draft, and execute it. Although we have worked with clients in the days leading up to the wedding, it is usually preferable to finalize the Prenuptial Agreement several weeks in advance of the wedding date.
Protecting relationships and families
It is necessary for unmarried partners to take the appropriate steps to best protect their relationships and their families. We represent gay and lesbian partners as well as unmarried heterosexual partners on a variety of issues including cohabitation agreements, second-parent adoptions, sperm donor agreements, estate planning, and requests for name changes. Nationwide, the law governing the rights of same sex couples and other unmarried partners changes frequently. It can be difficult to keep step with differences in the law from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and how they may impact families in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. We provide our clients with the advice and information they need to best protect themselves; we also help them understand how Pennsylvania and New Jersey will address civil unions, and/or domestic partnerships, and provide legal advice to help clients navigate the challenges facing nontraditional families and unmarried cohabitants.
Protecting clients’ rights, both plaintiffs and defendants
Unfortunately, family law matters frequently involve physical abuse or allegations of abuse. In dealing with abuse matters, our primary focus is to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected. Our attorneys have handled and tried numerous abuse cases, often on short notice, on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.
Representing clients as they build families
Our adoption practice includes experience in finalizing uncontested stepparent adoptions, international adoptions, second-parent adoptions for same sex couples, and assisted reproductive technologies, such as surrogacy, egg donation, and sperm donation. Our attorneys are well versed in adoption law and procedures in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.