Family & Probate Law
The majority of our firm’s practice is focused on Probate and Family Law.
Domestic Relations Matters:
These cases range from the most simple, non-complex divorce case, to highly contentious divorce matters; modification actions; complaints for contempt; separate support actions; custody, support and visitation cases; petitions to remove children; drafting prenuptial agreements; plus cases involving the Department of Children and Families Services (DCF formerly known as DSS) and the Department of Revenue (DOR).
While our goal in virtually all cases is to achieve a settlement agreement, our philosophy is simple: You get better results if the opponent knows that you are prepared to try the case. Toward that end and with appropriate client interaction, we discover the information necessary to make a truly informed decision.
While every case is different, the goal is always to provide the best possible result for our Clients. This often includes the achievement of a global resolution or settlement to avoid unnecessary litigation and attorney’s fees. Our strategies are tailored specifically for each case. Despite the emotional component associated with these types of family matters, with unambiguous and detailed legal advice, our Clients are well-informed after having ample opportunities to provide input and ask questions about anything.
Probate Law and Estate Planning Matters:
Our firm handles all aspects of probate and estate administration. Probate is the legal process by which a will is allowed by the Probate Court. The provisions of the will dictate how the individual's debts are paid and assets are distributed upon death. Estate administration includes the probate process as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased's assets, such as life insurance, annuities, qualified plans, and trust assets and compliance with applicable estate tax requirements.
Will Contests and Probate Litigation:
In addition to administration, our firm handles contested matters including will contests, guardianships, and other equity matters. While often difficult, it is very important that fellow family members take action to protect the health and welfare of their loved ones if they are being controlled by other individuals or if they cannot speak for themselves. When faced with the incapacity of a family member, our firm provides assistance establishing Guardianships and Conservatorships.
Gestational Carrier Agreements:
It is very difficult and stressful for a woman or any couple to deal with the medical conclusion that they cannot conceive a child in the traditional manner. The Law Offices of Noah B. Goodman represents both genetic parents and gestational carriers to achieve a fair and equitable agreement and to see that agreement through towards the approval by a Probate and Family Court Judge. To this end, a judgment will be issued by the Court that the Hospital place the names of the biological parents on the birth certificate of the newborn(s) and for the Town or City Clerk to report this to the Department of Vital Statistics. Pre-birth orders can also be obtained if the intended parents also need the assistance of an egg or sperm donor. It is important that every Client understands the potential issues that can arise before, during and after a gestational carrier pregnancy.
Known and Anonymous Egg Donor Contracts – Aside from Gestational Carrier Agreements, intended parents and egg donors need representation in drafting and negotiation of known and anonymous egg donation agreements.
Adoptions - Step-parent adoptions are used not only when a parent is remarried and the new spouse wishes to adopt the child, but when intended parents are working with a gestational carrier in a state where a pre-birth order is not available. Our firm can also represent same-sex couples seeking the approval of a partner’s adoption of the biological child of his or her partner.
Our firm represents Clients in all Estate Planning matters, including the preparation of Wills and Trusts in order to provide for the disposition of an individual's property upon incapacity or death in a tax efficient manner. There are many non-tax issues to consider in implementing an estate plan. Clients have the opportunity to nominate a legal guardian for their minor children and the ability to preserve and provide management of family assets and protect such assets from creditors for the benefit of their children past the age of majority. Additional Estate Planning instruments that are appropriate for individuals and families are Durable Powers of Attorney, health care proxies, and Declarations of Homestead amongst other documents.
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