FAMILY LAW 

 

Do I Need Legal Assistance with a Family Matter?

If you are considering filing for divorce or hope to modify a current child support order and would like to have your rights to custody or visitation recognized by the court you should consult with our attorneys at Shakhan & Wilkerson Law. We can help you with that.

 

Can the Shakhan & Wilkerson Firm Assist Me with Modification of My Support Payments? 

Yes, where a divorce or domestic decree was issued based on one set of circumstances (one parent out-earning the other, sole proprietorship, etc.) and the situations changes (job demotion, job loss, business folds, etc.), then the court may grant a payment modification.  If your circumstances change and we do not file for a modification the court will not automatically grant a modification and both parties will remain bound by the original decree regardless of the change.

 

Am I Eligible to File for a Modification to My Custody Order? 

When filing a custody modification, we will need to show that there has been a change in what is the “best interest of the child(ren)” regarding living arrangements OR that as of the child(ren) fourteenth birthday they elected to live with the other parent.

Can the Shakhan & Wilkerson Firm Assist Me with Adoption? 

Yes, our attorneys can help families seeking private or agency adoption AND family members, stepparents, or foster parents seeking to adopt a child(ren) living with you.

 

What are Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements? 

Prenuptial agreements are formed between two people prior to marriage, while postnuptial agreements are formed after marriage. Both forms of agreement set out the manner in which assets would be divided in the event of divorce. Neither form of agreement should be done “in contemplation of divorce.” All assets must be fully disclosed, and both parties must receive consideration (a benefit), or the agreement may be held to be invalid. The Shakhan and Wilkerson Firm can help you draft both.

 

Should I Pursue Legitimation? 

Are you obligated to make child support payments, but have no legal right to custody or visitation?  Were you unmarried when your child(ren) was born and desire to have legal standing as the father?  If this is the case, you may need to seek an Order of Legitimation establishing your parental rights over the child(ren).  You may be thinking “I’m on the birth certificate“ or “I know I’m the father, I took a paternity test” or even “I pay support for the child(ren) and it’s clear that I’m the father.”  Unfortunately, one or all of these things can be true, but because you and the child(ren)’s mother were not married at the time of the child(ren)’s birth, you will have to file a Petition for Legitimation in order to be legally recognized as the father and become entitled to custody/visitation. We can help.

 

What is an Uncontested Divorce? 

If you and your spouse have reached a complete agreement on terms regarding division of property, alimony/spousal support, and custody (in the case of minor children) prior to filing divorce with the court. If either party disagrees on any issue, the divorce is contested.  Our attorneys will draft the legal documents in accordance with the parties’ desires which were worked out in advance between the parties, however we can only represent and advise one spouse. The Shakhan & Wilkerson Firm can assist you in drafting such an agreement.

 

When Should I File for or Defend Against a Contempt Action?

If one of the parties violates the court’s judgement decree, then that party is in contempt of court.  Special situations may explain the failure to comply (job loss, etc.), but any failure to comply with the final decree provides grounds for a contempt action. Any violation of the court order (failure to sell a house, being one month or more late with payments, failure to divide assets, etc.) can provide grounds for a contempt action to be brought. 

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