Charlottesville Divorce Attorneys
What We Do
Our firm focuses on family law cases, including divorce, division of assets and debts, spousal support, child custody and visitation, child support, adoption, collaborative law, mediation, agreements (premarital, marital, property settlement, etc.) and other domestic relations matters.
About Us and Our Approach
Initial telephone and email communications from potential clients are fielded by Nikki Smith. Initial telephone conferences, lasting approximately ten minutes, are conducted by Nikki Smith or Katie Fisher. Initial client meetings are scheduled with Steve Raynor or Kyle Farmer.
We respond promptly to initial inquiries from potential clients and schedule meetings as promptly as possible once we agree to represent a client. At the first meeting and throughout the representation, we discuss with clients – and provide explanation and advice regarding – the applicable law, the client’s goals and values, procedural options, strategy, and anticipated outcomes. We educate our clients about the issues they face so that, with our advice and support, they can make the best decisions given their options and preferences.
Process, Settlement, and Litigation
Nearly all clients come to us with the desire to settle their dispute. Steve Raynor and Kyle Farmer are very familiar with the various ways in which cases settle, and approximately 98% of our cases settle short of trial (though it is not uncommon for a divorce case to be filed, and even for trial to be scheduled, before settlement is reached). We advise our clients that attorney’s fees, stress, and delays can all be minimized by the early and cooperative exchange of necessary information followed by a negotiated, compromise settlement. We work closely with clients to explore reasonable settlement options.
Starting with the first meeting, we help educate each client regarding his or her substantive issues and procedural options, and we create a plan for working through the divorce or other issues in a manner and on a timeframe chosen by the client. That may involve the preparation of a proposed settlement agreement, and it may eventually involve the preparation and filing of a complaint for divorce (which must be filed in any event in order to obtain a divorce).
Unfortunately, there are some cases that seem destined for trial. In that situation we work closely with our clients to prepare for trial (while continuing to explore settlement if there is any hope for settlement). Charlottesville divorce attorneys Steve Raynor and Kyle Farmer have extensive experience preparing and trying cases. Though a trial outcome cannot be known with certainty in advance, we focus on establishing reasonable expectations based upon the evidence, the law, and the judge. We also focus on being fully prepared in order to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.
We sometimes are retained to represent a client who needs immediate action taken on his or her behalf. In that case we schedule an initial meeting as soon as possible and, if we are hired, we promptly take action as necessary to protect our client’s interests.
Family law disputes are often expensive. We use a cost-benefit approach to legal services. Steve and Kyle assign tasks to paralegals or to staff members whenever possible to reduce costs. We are also open to clients sharing in the work, if that is their preference, to minimize costs. That being said, we do not provide budget legal services, and we regularly decline cases if it appears that our expertise would be too expensive given the facts of the dispute.
Information and General Advice
We have extensive family law information available on this website, including an updated, electronic copy of Mr. Raynor’s book, Divorce in Virginia: The Legal Process, Your Rights, and What to Expect.
Background reading and study certainly helps, but please realize that reading is not a substitute for good legal advice. If you have a family law issue that is important to you, don’t jeopardize the outcome by failing to obtain early advice from a family law attorney regarding your situation, and what you should and should not be doing and saying. For a family law consultation, please contact us by telephone or e-mail.