UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS
Family law issues usually come about in the midst of times of emotional crisis, times when it’s tough to make decisions or think about the future with any certainty.
At Amato Family Law, we work to keep the overall emotional health of families in mind during these transitions while coming to the best possible resolution for our clients.
Our family law firm offers 30 years of mediation and collaborative law experience in matters such as divorce, custody, modifications and paternity. We understand the situation you’re in and will assist you in understanding the issues and finding solutions that work for you and your family as we navigate the legal process.
Collaborative DivorceDivorce involves legal, financial, and strong emotional issues. If you are interested in a settlement process that provides professional assistance in each of these aspects of your divorce, with a commitment to working towards a resolution that works for you, your spouse, and your children, then collaborative divorce should be considered. Collaborative divorce can be effective in both simple and complex situations.
MediationIf you and your spouse are committed to resolving your divorce without litigation but need assistance in understanding the issues, communicating effectively, and structuring your negotiations, mediation may be a good option for you.
Non-ContestedThis method is most appropriate when there are few assets, a low level of conflict, an equal understanding of financial situation, ability to negotiate, and a strong desire to keep costs low.
If there is high conflict in your family or relationship or if you have no confidence in the integrity of your spouse, then litigation may be appropriate. While the adversarial process can be stressful and destructive to parenting relationships, it offers the availability of formal discovery processes and the option of a judge making decisions for you if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreed upon resolution.
FAMILY LAW ISSUES
The decision to dissolve your marriage is a difficult one, as is the path through this major life transition. We can assist you in evaluating and understanding your legal options, rights and responsibilities both as to the process you will use in the event of a dissolution of marriage and the range of possible outcomes.
Missouri law focuses heavily on the child’s best interests. The impact of divorce on children can be greatly reduced when parents cooperate in the custody agreements.
The term ‘Child Support’ encompasses far more than a simple payment arrangement for day-to-day expenses. College tuition, medical insurance and costs, and child care costs are among the many issues decided upon in child support arrangements.
Formalization of paternity is required in Missouri to establish parental rights for unmarried biological fathers. Collaboration between parents can eliminate many of the more complex, difficult aspects of establishing paternity and securing parental rights.
Post-divorce modifications are frequently sought when there is a substantial change in the circumstances of one of the involved parties or the children.
Prenuptial agreements can be difficult to enforce if not well-written and comprehensive. An attorney is an important part of this complex legal agreement.
MEET OUR ATTORNEYS
In 1992, after nearly a decade as a successful attorney and divorce mediator, Susan Amato founded her own practice with a focus on mediation and family law matters. Susan is a recognized trailblazer in mediation and collaborative law, on the forefront of introducing, developing and utilizing these methods in the St. Louis legal arena. She also has years of experience resolving complex family matters through litigation.
About Susan Amato
Susan has been named for many years by Saint Louis Magazine and by U.S. News as a “Best Lawyer” in the areas of Collaborative Family Law and Family Law Mediation. Susan holds the Martindale Hubbell “AV” Peer Review Rating for achieving the highest level of professional excellence.
A selection of the awards and recognition we have received:
- 2023 "Lawyer of the Year" in Collaborative Law: Family Law in St. Louis - Best Lawyers in America
- 2020 “Super Lawyer," Family Law - Thomson Reuters,
- Best Lawyers in St. Louis in areas of Collaborative Law: Family Law and Family Law Mediation 2008-2021
- Best Lawyers, Collaborative Family Law – US News & World Report, 2015
- Best Lawyers, Family Law Mediation-US News & World Report, 2015
- Washington University American Jurisprudence Family Law Award
- Martindale-Hubbell AV rating, 2003-2018
- Best Lawyers in America in areas of Collaborative Law: Family Law and Family Law Mediation, 2010-2021
- Missouri Lawyer’s Media 2009 Women in the Law Citizenship Award