1. To provide our family law clients with respectful, ethical and timely counsel that is thorough yet cost effective.
2. To zealously represent our family law clients in settlement and litigation while being compassionate to their needs.
3. To actively listen to our family law clients and provide them feedback that will empower them to take appropriate action and prioritize their needs and goals;and
4. To provide our family law clients with the respect that their private matters should have despite the public forum it is in.
Our practice areas include:
- Child Support
- Post-Divorce Maintenance Modifications
- Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights
- Contempt Matters
If you are thinking about filing for Divorce or a Legal Separation, here are some things you “Need to Know”
- YOU NEED TO KNOW that once you file for divorce or legal separation, if within one year of the filing date, you or your spouse had gifted an asset or transferred an asset without being paid its fair value, and if that gift or transfer was made without the consent of both of you, then that asset may still be considered a marital asset that is divided in the final property division. This is commonly called the “one year look back” rule.
- YOU NEED TO KNOW that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. If you are a victim of sexual assault, man or woman, and going through a divorce matter, it is important to talk to an attorney about your options for modifying existing orders or obtaining restraining orders to protect yourself and/or your children. Your family law attorney can also direct you to the proper criminal contacts if appropriate.
- YOU NEED TO KNOW that when you file for divorce that you should look at any Powers of Attorney that you have signed as part of your estate plan. You may want to designate someone other than your soon to be ex-spouse in important matters regarding your finances and your health care powers of attorney.
- YOU NEED TO KNOW that once you file for divorce that you cannot change beneficiaries on insurance policies, including health, life, disability, homeowners, etc. without permission from your spouse or an order of the Court.
- YOU NEED TO KNOW that all information displayed by you or others on your social networking accounts CAN be used against you in your divorce matter. You may want to temporarily delete your account or change the privacy settings to these accounts during your divorce process. You may also want to change passwords or log-in information to any online accounts or e-mail addresses you may have, to avoid your soon to be ex-spouse from accessing them.
- YOU NEED TO KNOW that after a divorce action is started, not all bills that you incur in only your name will be treated as marital debts for which your spouse will be liable in the final property division.
Divorce is an emotional time, and an experienced attorney can help alleviate the unnecessary stress resulting from the legal process. At O’Flaherty Heim Egan & Birnbaum, our family law department is dedicated to client service and efficiency.
Divorce proceedings incorporate all facets of family law: custody/placement of minor children, child support, maintenance, and property division. Throughout the process our experienced attorneys and staff work diligently to ensure that all assets are uncovered and appraised, and that the children’s best interests are considered. A good attorney considers all the issues in a case and knows when to settle, but is not afraid to take a case to trial.
On paper, child support may seem like a clear-cut issue; however, a skilled attorney knows how to evaluate income and assets in order to gain a complete financial picture. Our family law attorneys understand the essentials of a tax return, whether the client is a W-2 earner or a business owner. Whether you are involved in a divorce, a paternity action, or a post-divorce matter, child support can be a central issue. Our team has the experience and knowledge to assist you.
Determining what is in a child’s best interest is paramount to any divorce or post-divorce proceeding. Our attorneys have not only represented clients in custody and placement matters, but have served as Guardians ad Litem, an attorney appointed to represent the minor children’s best interest. Viewing these cases from both sides makes us better advocates for our clients facing these difficult matters. Additionally, the head of O’Flaherty Heim Egan & Birnbaum’s Family Law Department, Attorney Patricia Heim, has been instrumental in revamping the custody and placement procedure in La Crosse County to ensure that the issues are properly considered in a timely matter.
Navigating the paternity process can be difficult for all parties. It is imperative that parties understand how paternity can be adjudicated, as well as the post-adjudication custody/placement and child support issues that can arise. As in other aspects of family law, the best interests of the child must be paramount to any case. Our skilled legal team has experience drawing on a variety of specialists to ensure that the children’s needs are the highest priority for the parents.
Post-Divorce Maintenance Modifications
Maintenance, formerly known as “alimony” is not “one size fits all.” In fact, the statutes governing maintenance set forth a variety of factors to which the facts in each case must be applied. A good attorney can help you stress the facts of your case as they apply to the factors the court will consider in establishing a maintenance obligation, whether you are the payor or the payee. At O’Flaherty Heim Egan & Birnbaum, Ltd., our family law attorneys will work with you to get to know your individual case.
Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights
A voluntary termination of parental rights is an emotional time for both parents, as well as the minor child, and the family law department at O’Flaherty Heim Egan & Birnbaum is here to help alleviate the stress of the legal process. Most voluntary termination of parental rights proceedings incorporate a step-parent adoption as well. As such, many professionals are involved in a voluntary termination proceeding, and our team has experience working with the collateral professionals to ensure that the proper procedure is followed for a smooth transition during this sensitive time.
There is a presumption that individuals will abide by court orders. However, there are times when individuals fail to follow, or are accused of failing to follow, the court’s order. The facts of these cases are as individual as the parties themselves. Our family law team will work with you to analyze the facts of your case and determine whether a contempt action is appropriate. Contempt actions can carry a variety of sanctions, and it is important that you consult with an attorney to ensure that justice is served.