Beth Silverman & Associates has been in business exclusively practicing family law since 1984. Over the years, four attorneys have joined the law firm, each of whom has committed her law practice to family law since obtaining their law degrees. We handle all legal matters affecting people in family courts which includes divorce and dissolution, marital separations, child custody determinations, child support, stepparent adoptions, LGBT issues, grandparent rights and prenuptial agreements.
There are only a small number of law offices in the Greater Cincinnati area who dedicate themselves entirely to a family law practice. We are one of those offices. This is a deliberate decision, so we may bring the most experience and knowledge to our clients, who may be overwhelmed with complex problems. Although our lawyers happen to all be women, we represent both men and women in about equal numbers.
Our lawyers are experienced in all the various methods of a family law practice including collaboration, mediation and litigation, but in all cases we believe in the importance of intentional negotiation to attempt to resolve issues, even those pending in court. Whenever possible, the parties, rather than a judge, should make the decisions that impact their families and future. The focus from the very beginning of representation is to educate a client on all the available options and assist the client in choosing the path that makes the most sense for the issue at hand, given the priorities of the client. The process involves taking one step at a time with a continued focus on determining the most appropriate next steps.
We understand how confusing it can be to try to find an attorney, particularly in such an emotional and stressful time. If you are attempting to select an attorney to represent you, you may seek recommendations from others who have been satisfied with their counsel, or you may undertake internet research. If you find reviews helpful, you may access all of our attorneys’ reviews on their individual bio pages. It’s not a bad idea to consider meeting with more than one lawyer in different firms, or at least speaking with more than one lawyer by phone. This may be instructive in assessing the type of person that you would feel most comfortable working with. You will want to obtain information about an attorney’s fee structure, the amount of their practice dedicated to in family law, and the attorney’s approach to representation.
We are available to speak with you over the telephone to discuss your particular situation and determine whether we can assist you. In our community, family law attorneys commonly charge a retainer fee to cover a certain number of hours of representation. We will discuss an hourly rate and retainer fee with you at our first contact. Following a telephone conference, we schedule an initial meeting. At an initial meeting, we typically will ask a client to bring financial information (please visit our Resources page for a list of documents that may be needed). In the first meeting, we are able to discuss with a client their substantive rights, as well as their options in how to proceed. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict, in any given case, the length of time it will take, or the cost. The largest determining factor is not necessarily the complexity of the issues, but rather the cooperation of both parties as well as the attorneys.
In recognition of the significant cost of legal representation, our office has qualified paralegals and law clerks to assist the attorneys so that lower rates can be applied whenever possible.
It is our goal to understand our clients’ priorities and address those priorities. It is very important to us to be accessible to clients as issues develop. We almost always are able to return a phone call during the same day or, if not, within twenty-four hours. We provide every client with copies of all correspondence and pleadings that come from our office or to our office because of the importance of keeping a client well-informed of the progress in their case. We are more than happy to speak with you if you would like further information. Please feel free to contact our office.
In our practice, we do everything in our power to assist the client in coming to a negotiated settlement. One approach to arriving at a settlement is within a collaborative law model. This is where both parties agree to engage in a formal collaborative process, rather than an adversarial model, and agree to keep their case out of the court system. Each spouse signs a contract to maintain this commitment. For more information on collaborative law, please visit the Collaborative Law website at www.collaborativelaw.com.
If the parties do not want to sign a collaborative contract, their attorneys can attempt to reach a settlement through negotiation. In these cases, the clients must decide whether they wish to be directly involved in the negotiations, such as meeting with their spouse and his or her lawyer, or requesting that the attorneys handle the negotiation without the clients’ physical presence.
There are cases where a lawsuit must be filed. Normally, these are cases where there is some emergency-such as a need for financial support, a withholding of contact with children, a concern for one’s safety, or the fear of dissipation of assets. Even when litigation is initiated, it is quite common for a negotiated settlement to be reached on at least some, if not all, issues. Regrettably, there are cases where a settlement cannot be reached, and the Court must make the decisions.
Once you have decided that legal intervention is necessary, it is important to become educated about all of your options and legal rights. We can provide you with this information, and assist you in making decisions that will best serve your needs.