My adoption practice includes representing adoptive parents of children who have been in DFCS custody, stepparent adoptions, relative adoptions, and third party (non relative) adoptions, as well as domestication of foreign adoptions. I see the case through from the gathering of information, to the filing of a petition and preparation for final hearing. If the matter is contested–and I have successfully defended against such challenges–I handle the trial preparation and presentation. Finally, if the judge grants the adoption, I make certain that a Decree of Adoption, Certificate of Adoption, and amended birth certificate, are all correct.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM APPOINTMENTS
Many of you have heard the term “Guardian ad litem” and may NOT know that “ad litem” means for the suit or action. Thus, a Guardian ad litem is appointed for the purpose of a specific court case or proceeding, and is responsible for investigating the issues and arriving at recommendations as to what is in the child’s best interests. As a Guardian ad litem, I may be involved in a divorce case, a non-divorce custody case, an adoption, a Juvenile Court dependency proceeding, or a termination of parental rights proceeding.
DIVORCE AND CUSTODY CASES
I represent parties in uncontested divorce cases that do not involve children, and in uncontested and contested cases involving original and modification of custody and visitation cases, in addition to legitimation actions. I regularly seek expert opinions, including from psychologists and medical personnel, as well as from counselors, school personnel, and others. I speak with friends, neighbors, relatives, and experts as potential witnesses in support of my client’s position regarding the issues before the Court, and prepare for trial in collaboration with my client. I seek reasonable, responsible pre-trial resolution through negotiations and mediation, but am prepared to go to trial if there is no other means of reaching a resolution.
OTHER JUVENILE PRACTICE
In addition to appointments to represent the best interests of children in proceedings, I also continue to be appointed to represent the legal interests of parents, and of children in Juvenile Court dependency and termination of parental rights proceedings. I also am available to represent parties in private (non-DFCS) juvenile court cases