Practice Areas

Our practice areas focus on family law, collaborative divorce and mediation

Representing individuals in contested divorce, collaborative divorce, child custody, child support, restraining orders, modifications, guardianship, adoption, non-taxable estate planning, wills, trust, durable power of attorney, living will, community property agreements, and more.  Sarah draws on her experience and training in collaborative law and mediation, Sarah listens to you story, answers your questions, assesses your situation, and helps you come up with strategies to reduce conflict to ultimately resolve your legal issues.

Collaborative Divorce

When a marriage or relationship ends, most people fear the legal process will take a long time, cost a lot of money and create bitterness. Most also worry about how harmful the breakup will be on their children. Collaborative family law offers another way.
Collaborative family law is a unique, reasonable approach to handling a divorce or other family law matter and is founded on three core principles:

  • a written pledge not to fight in court and withdrawal of the hired professionals if either party ultimately chooses to fight in court.
  • open communication between the parties with an honest and good faith exchange of information.
  • and negations that lead to a mutually acceptable settlement, taking into account the highest priorities of all family members.

When you engage in the collaborative process, you use specially trained lawyers as well as mental health and financial specialists to maximize the positive outcomes for every member of your family.

It’s a productive process for divorcing couples and those wanting legal separations, annulments, pre- or post-nuptial agreements, the dissolution of non-marital and same-sex relationships, and for paternity cases. The issues addressed in collaborative cases are the same ones addressed in traditionally litigated cases: child custody and placement, property valuation and division, child support, maintenance (alimony), taxes, and insurance.

More information about the collaborative divorce process

Family Law

Serving individuals throughout the Kitsap Peninsula, Sarah provides a comprehensive range of family law services. Sarah understands the emotional and financial impact a divorce, custody, or adoption can have on a client. As your attorney, Sarah will never loose sight of the issues important to your situation. Sarah will listen to your concerns, explain the legal aspects of your position, and represent and guide you through the difficult legal process.

Estate Planning

Sarah offers a variety of estate planning services. Every adult should have a will, health care directive, living will, physical directive, and durable power of attorney documents in place.
When assisting client’s in drafting a will, trust or handling probate and estate administration, Sarah is sensitive to the emotional and economic impact these services will have on her client’s well-being.

Sarah is committed to providing a high quality of counsel, which she achieves with thorough preparation, attention to detail and careful listening. When helping a client with estate planning, Sarah works to protect the client’s interests and ensures his or her intentions will be carried out.

Mediation

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which Sarah will assist both parties directly identify and negotiate a settlement on the final terms for all the issues in their Divorce.  As a mediator, Sarah acts a neutral professional and cannot give legal advice to either or both parties. She does not act as either parties’ attorney and thus does not “represent” either party.  One attorney cannot represent both spouses in a divorce.  She can refer both spouses to attorneys to provide them with legal advice during the mediation process as necessary and will always refer both parties to separate attorneys after an agreement is reached to review the agreement, provide each party with independent legal advise, and draft your final dissolution paperwork.

This process is beneficial to couples who do not have significant funds for legal fees and who can work amicably with one another to reach an agreement despite the stress of divorce.  Mediation, without separate attorneys present during the mediation, is effective when there is a balance of power in the relationship.  For example, it is not advisable that either party participate in mediation without an attorney present,  if there is a history of domestic violence, significant  mental health issues, and/or addiction issues.    You can schedule consultation and Sarah can review your case to determine whether this process is a good fit for your situation.