Representation in Family Law Matters

Those seeking legal representation in a divorce or legal separation often assume "aggressive" representation is the best way to protect their interests. This is understandable, for divorcing couples are often hurt, confused and anxious about the future. Instead, we suggest the client is better served by effective legal representation which focuses on the careful selection of the approach most suitable to the client's particular circumstances, taking into account all of the client's needs and concerns—both short-term and long-term.

In family law matters, our creed is "First, do no harm." The "win at all costs" mentality all too often emphasizes short-term results, frequently at the expense of the client's long term and more important needs. For example, parents must work together raising their children for many years after the divorce is over and the lawyers long gone. Aggressive litigation rarely enhances the prospects of future cooperation and often leaves the children as its victims.

Helping clients develop a long-term perspective of their needs and those of their children is essential to a satisfactory outcome in their representation. We assist our clients in the quest for their best outcome by considering their divorce case in the context of their lives and not their lives in the context of the divorce case.

Divorce is a sensitive personal matter. Each client's situation is unique, and no single approach is right for everyone. We strive to guide the client in selecting the approach that will best meet both the client's particular interests and those of the children. These options include:

Traditional court-based litigation

Helon & Manfredo, L.L.P. has provided legal representation in family law matters in Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Kings Counties, California, including proceedings relating to marital dissolution (divorce), legal separation, domestic partnership dissolution, custody and visitation matters, restraining orders, child and spousal support issues, and hearings to modify family law court orders. John M. McDaniel also provides legal consultation and expert witness services to family law attorneys and forensic accounts on complex issues relating to marital property and related financial issues in family law litigation matters.

Self-representation

Couples or individuals sometimes chose to represent themselves in family law proceedings, often due to financial constraints. The Fresno County Superior Court currently offers assistance to self-represented parties at its website http://www.fresnosuperiorcourt.org/representing_yourself/ and through the Self-Help Center with the Family Law Facilitator's office.

Our firm often assists self-represented individuals by offering consultation services as to general legal principles relating to family law matters.

Consultation Services

Many individuals seek general guidance or information concerning marital and family law issues, whether contemplating the possibility of ending their relationship, domestic partnership marriage. Our goal is not only to assist the client to gain an understanding of their legal rights and obligations, but to carefully explore the alternative methods by which the issues relating to their relationship can be most effectively managed.

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