Practice Areas

Practice Areas

What Legal Services Do We Provide?

DeLacey, Riebel & Shindell, LLP are specialists in Matrimonial Law, often referred to as “Family Law.”  Our firm provides services to individuals contemplating a divorce, raising children outside of marriage (paternity actions), and enforcing or modifying existing family law court agreements.  Further, we also counsel clients seeking pre- or post-marital agreements and those seeking to redefine their marital rights. 

Divorce Planning and Dissolution Proceedings:

Divorce proceedings terminate a marriage and establish agreements and orders allowing former spouses to move forward with their lives separately. Individuals going through a divorce often must establish child custody arrangements, child and spousal support orders, value and divide assets and liabilities, and resolve other complicated issues.  In California, either spouse can seek a divorce when irreconcilable differences have caused the breakdown of a marriage.  Six months after a divorce proceeding is initiated, a couple’s marital status can be terminated, allowing each party to become legally single.  Other facets of the divorce may take more time to resolve, depending on the complexity of the issues presented. Our firm works closely with expert CPAs, economists, business appraisers, real estate appraisers, psychologists/psychotherapists, vocational evaluators, estate planners, financial planners, and other professionals to assess our client’s case, help determine preferred outcomes, and persuade judges, mediators and opposing parties of the merits of our client’s positions.  

Paternity Proceedings:

Paternity cases are initiated between non-married persons to identify the legal parents of a child, establish legal and physical custodial rights for each parent (including visitation rights), and to address child support and child expense issues.  Until children are 19 years old (or longer if parents are cooperating with college expenses), visitation and child custody orders may need to be revisited and enforced as the personal and financial lives of the parents and child change.  

Modification and Enforcement of Existing Court Orders:

Because the lives of clients and their children are always changing, orders obtained in a divorce or paternity proceeding may also need to be changed. People move.  Jobs change.  Children get older and have different needs.  A party may not comply with orders regarding the payment of support, child expenses or custodial arrangements.  

Our firm frequently assists clients with modifying or enforcing existing orders.  In many cases, these items will need to be revisited years after the underlying family law action was resolved.  Modifying and enforcing prior court orders may occur in mediation but may also require the initiation of new court proceedings if the parties involved do not agree to the proposed changes or if one party refuses to comply with existing court orders.  Often the party refusing to comply is later ordered to pay the resulting costs and attorney fees incurred by the complying party.  These disputes can become contentious and require talented attorneys to win the legal dispute while minimizing the damage to fragile post-divorce co-parenting relationships.

Pre-Marital / Post-Marital Agreements:

Premarital agreements alter the law which would otherwise govern a couple’s divorce proceeding even if the divorce occurs years after the premarital agreement was executed.  Couples have the right to negotiate, in advance, how spousal support, property division and other issues will be addressed in a divorce.  Negotiating a premarital agreement can streamline a later divorce by allowing that proceeding, if one were to occur, to be resolved more expeditiously.  However, parties considering a premarital agreement must do so carefully, with each party obtaining complete and equal disclosure of the assets and liabilities of the other party as well as a thorough understanding of the short- and long-term ramifications of signing the agreement. Unexpected and unfair consequences may arise if a premarital agreement is signed without such considerations and a divorce occurs even decades later.  Signing a premarital agreement may have a tremendous impact on the rights of a spouse.  Accordingly, each party is entitled to execute a premarital agreement fully informed of the potential short- and long-term consequences of the agreement.

Post-marital agreements are agreements entered into by parties while they are married.  These agreements alter how financial resources are to be treated during their marriage and how these assets are allocated should the parties divorce.  Post-marital agreements have grown in popularity as couples utilize this tool to provide predictability in the handling of inheritances or gifts received during a marriage, the allocation of new business interests, or as part of a couple's reconciliation process if they are resolving disputes but staying married.  Because these agreements are negotiated between married people, the negotiation process and agreement execution is complicated by the complex fiduciary obligations which exist between married people.  Post-marital agreements are frequently challenged in later divorce actions if the parties executing the agreement did not carefully consider the obligations incumbent upon them pursuant to the terms of the agreement.