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Family Law

Practicing Attorneys

Family ties are the most private and enduring relationships in society. However, these relationships are rarely free from conflict. When domestic issues cannot be solved within the home, family law seeks to provide a fair solution for all parties involved.

For many, family law is thought to be synonymous with divorce proceedings. In reality, divorce is just a small part of family law which covers a broad array of domestic issues in addition to divorce, including premarital agreements, paternity and child and custody and support issues.

When legal action is necessary to resolve familial matters, it is essential that you entrust your most private matters with a compassionate and knowledgeable family law attorney. At Shands, Elbert, Gianoulakis & Giljum, LLP, our dedicated attorneys serve as good listeners, confidants and advocates for our clients during their most difficult times.

Divorce

Divorce proceedings usually involve intense emotions, sometimes they also entail significant cost.  Our matrimonial attorneys can work with you throughout your divorce to minimize the emotional strain and cost normally associated with these proceedings. We handle complex contested and uncontested divorces.

During the divorce proceedings, we will assess all of the assets and debt involved and strive to attain the largest possible distribution of marital assets for our clients.  When appropriate, we will work closely with you to guarantee proper financial support through maintenance. If children are involved, we will work with you to obtain custody of your children, child support payments and help in the development of a parenting plan.

Child Custody

The dissolution of any marriage or partnership raises a plethora of issues. When children are involved, the resulting issues are even more complex as custody and child support issues come to the forefront.  Our attorneys will work with you to ensure that a fair arrangement, based upon the children’s best interests, is reached.

Child custody is dual faceted in that it encompasses both the physical and legal custody of the child. Physical custody is where the child resides while legal custody entails the decision making process for the parents including the right to decide education preferences, religious practices, medical treatments and activity involvement. Both of these aspects must be considered during child custody proceedings.

Our attorneys will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome preserving your parental rights and protecting the children’s best interests.

Paternity

Paternity lawsuits may be necessary to determine parental rights, custody and support when the identity of the biological father is in question. In these instances, the court will order a genetic test. The results of this test are then used to establish a legal relationship between the parent and child and determine the extent to which the father has an obligation to support the child. Even if the biological father does not wish to play an active role in the child’s upbringing, he still has the obligation to provide financial support to the minor.

These suits may be brought by the mother, the presumed father (in many instances the husband of the mother), the man alleged to be the father, a government agency or the child (if he or she is underage, a representative must act on his or her behalf). Our family law attorneys are available to offer you legal guidance, assist in filing a paternity suit with the appropriate court or defend you against paternity action.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an unfortunate aspect of some relationships and may include harassment, assault, sexual abuse, neglect or stalking.  If you or someone you love has been physically or emotionally abused by their spouse or another person, or if you have been stalked, you should contact the police and an experienced lawyer who can inform you of your rights.  Our dedicated attorneys will work to obtain an Order of Protection from the court to ensure your physical safety.  If an abuse or stalking action has been brought against you, we will vigorously defend your rights.

In the case of marital abuse, if you wish to pursue a legal separation or divorce in light of the events, our lawyers can advise you on the best steps to keep you safe and dissolve the marriage as fast as possible while keeping your best interests in mind.

Family law raises emotional and legal challenges for all parties involved. In such cases, it is essential that you surround yourself with trusted advisors and friends. Our Firm provides you with the legal support needed to get you back on your feet. We look forward to finding ways to help you through what is likely a transformational time in your life.



Shands, Elbert, Gianoulakis & Giljum, LLP assists clients with Commercial Litigation, Civil Litigation, Education Law, Business Law, Labor and Employment Law, Estate and Tax Planning, Real Estate Law and Professional Liability Defense in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis and St. Charles Counties and throughout Missouri and Central and Southern Illinois.



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