Our family law attorneys understand the difficult emotional and financial decisions that our clients are facing. We are attentive to each client’s immediate needs and build a strategy to reach a long-term solution for each client. We know that it is usually favorable to negotiate an amicable and practical solution for your family in order to avoid the stress and cost of litigation. If an agreement cannot be reached, we are ready to go to trial to protect our clients’ and their children’s interests.
Our practice areas include:
Cooch and Taylor family law attorneys have extensive experience working with a broad range of clients. Each person’s situation is unique and we strive to tailor our services to meet your needs efficiently and effectively. We recognize that divorce is an extremely difficult life transition, whether you are the party seeking the divorce or if you were served with a divorce petition.
- Separation Agreements and Property Division Stipulations: When parties are able to reach an agreement without going to trial, our attorneys will negotiate and prepare an agreement to divide property, address alimony, custody, visitation, life insurance, and any other issues that our clients are facing in their divorce.
- Division of Retirement Assets and Benefits: Often retirement assets are one of the largest assets that couples must divide in a divorce, but individuals frequently underestimate or overlook the importance of these assets which can grow tax-deferred for years until retirement. There are many different types of retirement assets including defined benefit pension plans, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, and thrift savings plans. The family law attorneys at Cooch and Taylor have experience in negotiating solutions and drafting orders to divide retirement assets and benefits in a divorce.
- Complex Assets and Business Valuations: Our attorneys are experienced in assisting clients with complex assets or ownership interests in privately held corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships. When needed, we work with a network of experts to identify and value the assets and to negotiate solutions to protect our clients’ interest in the division of the marital property.
- Alimony: Under Delaware law, a dependent spouse may be entitled to alimony based on a variety of statutory factors. The attorneys at Cooch and Taylor have extensive experience in the ins and outs of successfully obtaining or defending a claim for alimony or the modification or termination of alimony.
- Divorce Over 50: Our family law attorneys have extensive experience working with individuals who are going through a divorce in their fifties or later in life. We understand the unique needs and challenges facing individuals who have made the difficult decision to leave a long term marriage or who are facing the news that a long term partner is seeking divorce. Divorce after 50 often raises unique family law issues as clients face difficult financial and emotional decisions regarding the division or sale of the marital home, retirement assets, and life insurance.
Child Custody and Visitation
We work closely with our clients to obtain a custody and visitation agreement that best meets your children’s needs. We understand that your children’s safety, best interest and wellbeing are paramount. In Delaware, legal custody is the right to make decisions regarding the children, such as their schooling, religion, and medical care. Most couples have joint custody and are able to make joint decisions. However, in certain circumstances, a parent may obtain sole custody or final decision making authority when joint custody is not possible.
Visitation schedules can be tailored to meet each family’s individual needs. Often the children’s ages, schooling or activities and the parents’ work schedules need to be considered in reaching a schedule that will work for your family.
The family law attorneys at Cooch and Taylor work with clients who face daunting challenges at co-parenting due to the other parent’s mental health issues, drug addiction, or abuse. We are able to help clients consider the needs of the children and the functioning of the family to negotiate a custody and visitation schedule that works or to fight in court to protect your children’s best interests.
We work with clients to negotiate fair and reasonable child support agreements based on Delaware’s Melson formula and consider the children’s needs, including medical expenses, academic needs, and childcare.
Guardianship of Children
Frequently grandparents or other relatives must take guardianship of the children when a parent passes away or if the parents are unable to care for their children due to the drug abuse, mental health issues, or incarceration. We have experience representing guardians in these difficult transitions. In addition, our attorneys have experience in cases when the parents seek to rescind the guardianship order and resume custody of their children.
Enforcement of Court Orders and Modification/Termination of Alimony
We represent clients seeking to enforce court orders or to defend against an opposing party who is using the court system to harass a former partner. Often these cases are fraught with emotions as the parties had thought the disputes had been resolved only to find that themselves back in court because the other party is refusing to follow through on the terms. Issues also may arise with the enforcement, modification, or termination of an alimony obligation. The family law attorneys at Cooch and Taylor have the experience to help you assess whether there are grounds to terminate or modify an alimony obligation.
We assist clients in preparing and reviewing prenuptial agreements (also called premarital agreements or ante nuptial agreements). These agreements enable individuals to specify how assets should be divided and specify other terms or protections in case a marriage does not work out or if a spouse dies. At times our clients find that the laws of Delaware already provide the protections that they are seeking, but at other times, a prenuptial agreement is advantageous to protect property and clarify expectations. We assist our clients in determining their objectives and preparing or reviewing a prenuptial agreement that is able to satisfactorily meet the needs of both parties.
Grandparents and Third Party Visitation
We work with grandparents and other close family members to try to reach an amicable visitation schedule or to seek a court order when communication with the children’s parents has broken down.
Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders – Domestic Violence Issues
PFA Orders provide temporary civil protection for domestic violence victims and their children. We are prepared to represent you if you or a family member has been physically or verbally abused. We also represent individuals who are accused of abuse. We handle both sides (Plaintiff and Respondent). With PFAs, time is of the essence. The family law attorneys at Cooch and Taylor are responsive and work closely with clients to quickly identify the issues and prepare for trial.
Cooch and Taylor provides mediation services for couples and former partners that seek to resolve the issues related to their divorce, property division or child custody and visitation disputes through mediation. We provide skilled and compassionate mediation as a flexible alternative to litigation. If couples seek mediation, the mediator does not provide legal representation to either party, but rather, assists the parties in tailoring a solution that meets their needs.