What services should you expect from a San Francisco divorce lawyer?

At Laughlin Legal, we believe no two divorces are the same, therefore everyone should expect to be offered a variety of ways to resolve their divorce dispute. Our attorneys are skilled at the three primary approaches practiced to resolve a divorce dispute: mediation, litigation, and collaborative law.

  • Mediation is a strategy that’s rapidly growing in popularity because it is typically faster and less expensive than litigation provided both couples are willing to negotiate and compromise. Mediation provides couples with a neutral third-party mediator to help them resolve issues and reach a final settlement agreement. Laughlin Legal’s San Francisco divorce attorneys are also certified, skilled, and experienced mediators. Amy Laughlin also has a certification in Negotiation Mastery from Harvard Business School.
  • Litigation is the approach taken when a couple either won’t or can’t resolve their issues out of court. Each partner retains a divorce attorney to advise and represent them as they try to reach a final settlement agreement. If they cannot, they turn to a judge to resolve the dispute for them in court. Divorce lawyers in San Francisco must have highly skilled litigators in the event that an alternative method of resolution is untenable. At Laughlin Legal, our litigators are frankly second to none.
  • Collaborative law is a dispute resolution process where the parties and their attorneys agree to work together respectfully, honestly, and in good faith to resolve their divorce. Each partner hires a collaborative lawyer to represent them, help them resolve their issues, and reach a final settlement agreement. Both partners and both lawyers sign an agreement not pursue litigation during the collaborative process.

What other marital issues can a divorce attorney in San Francisco resolve?

A central element in most divorces is division of assets or the process of determining the status of the assets, then dividing them up equitably between the divorcing spouses. California is one of just nine states that operates on the community property principle when it comes to asset division: each spouse is entitled to half the marital property unless there’s a signed settlement agreement to the contrary. 50/50. Sounds simple. The two biggest challenges are identifying what qualifies as community property, then accurately assessing the value of that property.

Determining alimony or spousal support or maintenance is another central step in achieving a divorce. One spouse may be ordered to pay support or maintenance to the other spouse who is found to be incapable of self-support. Since this is often a contentious aspect of divorce, finding a divorce attorney in San Francisco who is an experienced spousal support lawyer is particularly helpful.

Child custody and child support are possibly the most emotional, most contentious aspects of a divorce. An experienced San Francisco divorce lawyer can often help negotiate a resolution that is not only in the best interests of the child, but also most likely to result in a more amicable family life post-divorce.

Can a San Francisco divorce attorney also help you with Adoption?

Absolutely. Whether you want to add a parent, change a parent, or appoint a parent, if it’s in the child’s best interest, it’s possible with the help of a divorce lawyer who is also a child custody lawyer, adoption lawyer, or guardianship lawyer.

Are divorce lawyers in San Francisco essentially all the same?

There are basically two kinds of divorce lawyers in San Francisco: those that run on volume and those that treat every case as one of a kind. A volume practice takes every case that comes their way, quickly turns them over to an associate, and runs them through a well worn sequencer of steps without taking the time to deeply think or strategize. It’s divorce by cookie cutter.

The other sort of San Francisco divorce law firm believes that no two cases are the same. They may be similar, but no two marriage partners are ever identical. And it’s only upon deeper consideration, discovery and questioning that a more productive approach can be found. This is the sort of San Francisco divorce law firm that Laughlin Legal has always been.