Family Law Firm For Women

Dedicated to Putting Mothers’ Rights & Children’s Interests First

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we are fully committed to serving women who need help with family law matters. Our attorneys specialize in representing women, which means we have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and needs that women face in these situations.

We understand many women are not fully aware of the powerful constitutional rights they have, and that can make it difficult for them to make informed choices. That is why we believe that empowering our clients with knowledge is the first step in helping them. We will be with you every step of the way, providing guidance and support whenever you need it.

A mom and baby in the park blowing bubbles.

Whether you are dealing with a high-conflict custody battle, a high-asset divorce, marital settlement agreements, missing child support payments, domestic violence, or any other family law issue, we are here to help. Our experienced family law attorneys will help you negotiate with your former spouse whenever possible, but we are also prepared to take your case to court and fight for your rights if necessary.

We know that every case is unique, and that is why we take the time to understand your specific circumstances and goals before developing a customized legal strategy for your case. You can trust us to provide you with compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated legal representation every step of the way.

Our ultimate goal is to help guide you toward a future that is both stable and secure.

If you need help with a family law matter, call us today at 380-212-3731 and arrange a free consultation with an experienced family lawyer.

We are proud to represent women throughout Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.

Domestic Abuse

If you or your children have suffered any type of abuse at the hands of your spouse, we know how difficult it is to take those first steps. Regardless of whether the abuse you have suffered has been emotional, physical, or financial, it is essential that you have the guidance of an experienced attorney.

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our dedication to women has resulted in many women who have suffered abuse feeling comfortable reaching out to us. We are committed to providing a safe space for women where they feel safe and heard.

If necessary, the first thing that we will help you do is to file a protection order. A protection order will place a legal obligation on your spouse to stay away from you and your children. This is usually a temporary order and gives you time and space to provide evidence of your experiences to the Judge.

We will work with you to ensure that you have a robust case so that the Judge considers your experiences when making important decisions, such as those involving child custody. If your case involves any form of abuse, your divorce will likely be a high-conflict one. But when you have the help of Woodford Sathappan McGee, we ensure that you have the support you need at every stage.

We understand how to set boundaries so that an abusive spouse cannot manipulate the situation to get what they want, and we will be your fiercest advocate from start to finish.

One of our founding attorneys, Natalie McGee, has a particular passion for helping women who have suffered abuse. She has been immersed in courtroom dynamics since her career began and is a passionate representative for women in the courtroom. She also serves as an Ohio Marsy’s Law Attorney to victims of domestic violence.

Guidance Through a Divorce Case or Legal Separation

Divorce is often one of the most difficult things that a woman experiences, which is why it is so important to have the help of an experienced attorney. The outcome of your divorce will place legal obligations on you that will have a big impact on your future. But when your rights are protected, you should be able to leave your marriage with the tools you need to become independent.

Our women’s divorce lawyers will fight for a fair outcome in all decisions related to your divorce, which could include matters such as child custody, property division, spousal support, and child support.

Some women do not want to get a divorce and opt for legal separation instead, which is known as separate maintenance in Michigan. Separate maintenance allows you to come to decisions on all the typical things that you would do in a divorce, such as custody arrangements. However, separate maintenance allows you to reconcile at any time. Many women opt for this option because of religious reasons or to maintain insurance benefits.

However, there are important implications to consider. For example, you cannot remarry during a legal separation, and any assets you acquire may still be considered part of your marital estate. Therefore, before you make a decision about your next steps, seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can advise you based on your specific circumstances.

a mom and her daughter hugging and smiling while holding a fresh baked pie.

Temporary Orders

Divorce is often a long and difficult process that can create a lot of hostility and tension. For that reason, it is often necessary for couples to have guidance on key issues while they wait for the outcome of their divorce decree. For example, when spouses have children together and they are struggling to get along, it can create a lot of tension over how parenting time is shared, which can negatively affect the children involved.

Temporary orders will place legal obligations on you and your spouse for a specified time period, usually until your divorce is finalized. You may seek temporary orders on a range of issues, such as who stays in the marital home, how debts and bills are paid, and how child custody is split. You can apply for these in the initial filing of your divorce or at a later date. The Judge may also issue temporary orders independently if they see a need for them.

Although temporary orders are not permanent, it is important to take them seriously, especially in matters involving children. Family law decisions must be made in children’s best interests, which often means fostering stability for the child. Therefore, the outcome that is reached in temporary orders could impact the Judge’s final decisions.

Dividing Your Property in Divorce

Property division is often one of the most complex issues in divorce. During a marriage, assets accumulate, such as pensions, bank accounts, debts, real estate, and more. These types of assets are likely to be considered marital property, which means they could be subject to equitable division.

How this property is divided will have a big impact on your financial stability after your divorce. Therefore, it is important to take great care when determining how your estate will be split.

The first thing your attorney will help you do is to determine what separate property you own. Your separate property could include any assets that you had before you were married, as well as inheritance and gifts. Separate property will continue to belong to you after your marriage has ended.

Everything else is marital property, which includes any assets that you or your spouse gained while you were married to each other. In an equitable distribution state, such as Michigan, marital property must be divided in a just and fair way. The court may consider many factors, such as:

  • The contributions of each spouse.
  • How much separate property each spouse owns.
  • Who has primary custody of the children.
  • The ability of each spouse to earn money.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • Whether one spouse was solely responsible for the marital debt.

Your attorney from Woodford Sathappan McGee will help you negotiate a property division that supports your future. We will learn what’s important to you and will fight to protect it.

Legal Issues Involving Child Custody

When children are involved in family law cases, child custody is often the parent’s biggest concern. All decisions regarding custody must be made in the child’s best interests, which usually means parents sharing custody while also fostering stability for the child.

A mom hiking with her two kids during fall.

Legal Custody

In Michigan, custody is divided between legal custody and physical custody. This is also known as rights and responsibilities in some other states. Legal custody is a parent’s right to make decisions for their child, such as decisions regarding education, medical and dental care, and religious practices. Legal custody could be given to one parent or it may be shared, and parents would need to cooperate to make decisions on their child’s behalf.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to how much time each parent spends with their child. Physical custody is usually shared. However, it is not always shared equally. If one parent has historically taken on most of the parental responsibilities, such as taking their child to school, feeding them, and putting them to bed, the court may look for this to continue.

That parent may become the custodial parent while the other parent, known as the non-custodial parent, would be granted visitation rights. This arrangement may create more stability for the child and help maintain close relationships with their community, such as neighbors, school friends, and other family members.

When determining what is in the child’s best interests, the court will also consider whether either parent poses a risk to their child’s well-being, as well as the ability of each parent to meet their child’s emotional and physical needs. If you believe that your child’s other parent poses a risk to their well-being, it is essential to have representation from an attorney who can help you prove your claims. The Judge will require firm evidence to grant sole custody. Even where one parent poses a risk to the child, supervised visitation may be awarded.

Child Support to Meet Your Child’s Needs

Both parents have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child’s needs are met. In order to make this more equal, the non-custodial parent is usually required to pay child support to the other. This helps ensure that the child’s primary caregiver can meet all their child’s needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and more.

Child support is based on state guidelines, which provide a formula that takes into consideration each parent’s income, how many children the couple has, and the child custody arrangement.

It is also possible for a child custody order to deviate from these guidelines if the amount awarded is insufficient to meet the child’s needs. For example, in a high-asset divorce, the standard child custody arrangement may not meet the child’s needs, especially if they attend private education.

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we understand the importance of a fair child support order. We can help you with all issues related to support, including establishing a new order, modifying an existing one, or recovering missing payments.

Spousal Support in Divorce

Spousal support is payments that one spouse, known as the obligor, is ordered to give another, known as the obligee. Payments could begin while the divorce process is ongoing or afterward.

Spousal support is not always awarded and is reserved for cases where the obligee requires support to maintain a standard of living. Spousal support is usually a temporary arrangement that gives the obligee an opportunity to become financially independent. For example, spousal support may be awarded to give the receiving spouse enough time to undergo training and find employment.

A Judge may also award a permanent spousal support order in some cases. However, this is reserved for cases involving a long-term marriage where the obligee cannot become self-sufficient due to age, illness, or disability. A permanent spousal support order could also be justified if the couple shares a child who has a mental or physical incapacity that prevents the obligee from working because of their caregiving responsibilities.

Modifying an Existing Court Order

If a court order is no longer working for you, then you cannot simply ignore its terms. Instead, you must seek a modification. For example, divorced parents cannot simply change their custody arrangement without going through the proper measures.

If you and your former spouse agree to a modification, you can apply for a joint modification. So long as it is in the best interests of your child, it should be approved and you may not need to go to court. However, if you cannot agree, you will need to apply for a contested modification, which is a little more complicated and usually requires the support of an attorney.

To successfully apply for a modification, you will need to show that there has been a substantial and material change in circumstances such as a new job, illness, or changing needs of the child. It is also possible to apply for a modification in your child support order if the amount that would be awarded under current guidelines differs from how much you are currently receiving.

Our family law firm can help you with all issues that could come up after your order has been established, including modifications or contempt proceedings.

Enforcing a Court Order

Once a court order is established, there is usually a deep sense of relief and a feeling that you can finally move forward with your life. Therefore, when someone ignores the terms, it is incredibly frustrating.

First, we will approach your former spouse to find out why they are ignoring a court order and give them an opportunity to make things right. This is important, as it helps protect family dynamics. For example, if your former spouse has missed child support payments, then although this is not acceptable, they will need to pay you what they owe eventually. It could be because they lost their job or had time off sick and need the opportunity to pay you back in a manageable way.

If they refuse to cooperate, then we can help you file contempt proceedings. A Judge may garnish wages or remove professional licenses in order to enforce compliance. If they are found to be in contempt of court, they could be issued fines and even a jail sentence.

We understand how frustrating it can be if your former spouse is ignoring the terms of a court order and we will help you take decisive action that serves the best interests of your family.

Family Law Firm For Women FAQ

In the United States in 2020, women were 47% of associates at law firms, but only 12% of Managing Partners. At Woodford Sathappan McGee, two of our three Managing Partners are female. We are proud to be female-led and believe that women offer a level of care and dedication that is unmatched.

The cost of representation varies and depends on the complexity of your case. However, in your free consultation, we can explain our fee structure so that you can make an informed choice. It is also important to note that if your former spouse earned significantly more than you or if they have been abusive, the court may order them to cover some of your fees.

How long it takes to finalize a divorce also varies between cases. However, it is common for a divorce case to take more than a year. We understand that divorcing spouses want their case to move forward quickly and we will strive to keep everything progressing at a steady pace while never compromising on your needs.

Our law firm, like many others, provides free consultations to help you determine whether we are the right fit for your case. This is an opportunity for you to decide if you feel comfortable speaking to your attorney, and whether they have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to support you. Some questions that may be helpful to ask include:

  • How much of your practice is dedicated to family law?
  • What would be considered a favorable outcome in my case and what is the plan to achieve it?
  • Can you provide reviews or testimonials from previous clients?
  • Do you have experience in litigation and court proceedings?
  • Have you represented clients in situations similar to mine before?
  • What is your availability to handle my case?
  • How will you provide support throughout the legal process?

Speak to a Family Law Attorney Dedicated to Women Today!

Navigating the emotional rollercoaster of family law issues calls for the support and dedication of an attorney, who genuinely understands and appreciates your needs as a woman.

At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our passionate attorneys are committed to the rights of women, guiding them toward a brighter future while ensuring their children’s needs remain front and center.

We strive to collaborate with you and your ex-spouse, crafting the terms of your court order through amicable negotiations. Yet, rest assured, our skilled team is always ready to present your case to a Judge if necessary.

Stay informed and engaged with your case from beginning to end, knowing that we are here to lend a sympathetic ear and offer unwavering support whenever you need it.

Do not wait another moment! Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney who is dedicated to empowering women.