Divorce

Putting the focus back where it belongs

The process of separating, dividing up the assets, and sharing custody often strains already tense relationships.  Attorney Julia A. Shalhoup puts the focus back where it belongs—on your family, on your future, and on your finances. 

Focusing on family

Attorney Julia B. Shalhoup encourages former couples to settle their cases amicably, outside of court, when possible.  Unlike litigation where a judge decides what happens to you and your family, mediation and collaborative law practice allow you and your former spouse to decide what happens after the divorce.  By opening the lines of communication, these litigation alternatives facilitate discussion and constructive solutions, even after the divorce is final.

These settlement-oriented approaches are especially beneficial where children are involved.  Child support and child custody agreements are often a core basis of dispute.  Parents understandably want the best for their children.  However, battling it out in court rarely serves the purpose of reinforcing your son's or daughter's sense of being loved.  Attorney Julia B. Shalhoup brings 17 years of experience to the table and offers innovative insights into many a potential crisis.  From custody agreements to child support and alimony issues, Attorney Shalhoup provides you with the advice you need to make the best possible decisions for the long-term.

When litigation is the only option, attorney Julia B. Shalhoup is a tough trial advocate who brings 17 years of experience to the courtroom.  She will inform you of your legal rights, counsel you about your legal options, and represent you before a judge.  For an initial consultation, call our office: (304) 345-4455.

Focusing on the future

A future plan can help you keep sight of what is important during divorce.  Attorney Julia B. Shalhoup helps clients prioritize disputes that arise during divorce to reach resolutions that work in the long term.  During client consultations, Attorney Shalhoup helps clients gain perspective about the financial and emotional aspects of separating.  She arms clients with the information they need to make the best possible choices for the long term.  When necessary, she can refer clients to counselors and other experts who can help you cope with the ensuing life changes.

When children are involved, parents need to be able to set aside their feelings and communicate far beyond the divorce.  Decisions about discipline, education, religious preference, child support, child custody, and visitation need to be discussed upfront.  Because of her mediation experience, Attorney Shalhoup gets couples talking about these sensitive topics to develop a solution for the long term.  Where litigation is necessary, Attorney Shalhoup effectively communicates your concerns to a judge, who will then decide your case.

In other cases, where one spouse has put his or her education or career on hold in order to raise the children, spousal support may be available.  In such cases, the alimony will often be temporary, providing income for a period of time to enable the recipient spouse to become self-supporting. This temporary, or rehabilitative, spousal support enables the recipient spouse to further his or her education, receive job training, reestablish himself or herself in a former career or complete childrearing responsibilities, after which time he or she can be self-sufficient.

Focusing on finances

Separating commingled assets may prove difficult for families in the process of divorce.  Through mediation, you and your spouse decide how to divide all marital or community property owned.  If you choose to litigate, the judge decides how marital property will be divided.

Marital property generally includes most of the property the couple acquired during the marriage. Examples include the marital home, second home, furnishings and appliances, artwork, vehicles, financial assets, investments, retirement accounts and privately owned businesses.  Intangible property may also be divided.  Examples of divisible intangible property include the value of a patent or an invention, the value of the celebrity status of a spouse's name, the goodwill value of a business owned by one spouse and the value of a professional degree earned by one spouse. The value of these intangible assets will generally only be divided when both spouses made a substantial contribution to that value, either directly or indirectly.

It is not always easy for a spouse to identify all of the assets that may be available for valuation and division.  If litigation is the only option available to you, Attorney Julia B. Shalhoup works with you to obtain the necessary documentation through the discovery stage of litigation.  During discovery, the parties' attorneys trade documents that disclose each party's income, assets and liabilities.  In addition, each spouse is usually deposed by the other spouse's attorney.  At the deposition, the questioned spouse will respond, under oath, to questions designed to gather all necessary information about his or her assets and income.  If necessary, additional parties may be deposed, such as employers, bankers or business partners to uncover hidden assets.  Mediation eliminates the need for discovery by enabling a mutual exchange of information, which often results in a faster, less-expensive resolution to conflict.

Experience the difference an experienced advocate can make

Talk to attorney Julia B. Shalhoup. From offices located in Charleston, our firm represents clients throughout West Virginia, including Charleston, Hurricane, Winfield, Madison, Elkview, Ripley, Beckley, Hamlin, and Spencer, and Putnam, Kanawha, Boone, Lincoln, Jackson, Roane, Cabell, Clay, and Raleigh counties.  Call today: (304) 345-4455.

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