Collaborative Family Law – Collaborative law is a settlement-focused alternative to the adversarial litigation/court-based process that is often used to resolve domestic disputes surrounding divorce, custody and child support. The Collaborative method allows the parties and their attorneys to work together (or collaborate) in reaching the best possible outcome regarding the children, property, finances or other needs of the individuals. The process takes place outside of the courthouse. Sarah Malik is collaboratively trained and can represent clients this process, which better protects the parties and their children from the rough aspects of a traditional family case. Ms. Malik is prepared to handle all of types of cases in the following areas in an effective and thorough manner:
See the Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information
Limited Scope Representation and Customized Consultations
– In some situations, an
individual may be able to handle the case on his or her own but simply
needs some guidance. The firm offers consultations to guide the client
through the process, which is tailored specific to the client's case.
Malik for more information about setting up a consultation and to
determine whether limited scope representation is right for you. Examples of limited scope representation includes:
Agreement Drafting - Divorces and family law cases do not have to be complicated and messy. You can avoid the typical litigation by negotiating a separation or marital separation agreement. Ms. Malik helps clients negotiate the terms of their case by negotiation or mediation. If you and the other party have reached an agreement on terms but need it prepared in a complete, written document, Malik Law LLC can help with this. Additionally, Ms. Malik can assist you in negotiating and preparing a premarital or prenuptial ("prenup") agreement.
Agreement Review – Perhaps you and the other party have reached an agreement regarding your divorce or custody. The firm can review the agreement to ensure that all of your concerns have been met and satisfied and the agreement is thorough and enforceable.
Coaching for Court Appearance - If you choose to appear in court yourself, Ms. Malik can help you in preparing for any hearing. We will discuss the types of issues to present to the court, evidence or other documentation to prepare and positions/arguments to make.
Ongoing Consultations - Check in with Ms. Malik as your case proceeds in court to ensure that you are on the right track.
Review and Drafting of Paperwork - Before filing a document in court and serving the other party, Ms. Malik can review or draft your paperwork to ensure you have captured all of the necessary pieces to the filing.
Prenuptial Agreements - Most couples anticipating marriage do not want to think about the possibility of their marriage ending in divorce. However, given the many unknowns that the couple may face during the marriage, the couple should consider a prenuptial agreement, especially if either party has significant assets when entering into the marriage. Prenuptial agreements can save the couple attorney's fees and suit costs down the road as the agreement can set forth how assets will be divided and alimony will be handled.
Mediation - Mediation allows individuals to resolve a family matter through a neutral third-party without the expense and stress of courtroom litigation. In most cases, mediation can be quicker, more cost effective, less adversarial and allows the parties to control the outcome. Mediation is most successful when both parties are ready, willing and able to listen and respect one another. See the mediation page for more information.
Appellate Advocacy – Maryland family law cases at the circuit court level are appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, and in some limited cases, taken on directly by Maryland's highest court - the Court of Appeals. If you believe that the decision by the trial court was incorrect for some legal reason, and not that you are simply unhappy with the result, Ms. Malik would be happy to help you determine your rights and whether it is worthy of an appeal. If you are seeking an appeal or the other party has filed an appeal, Ms. Malik has years of experience in appellate advocacy to guide you through the appellate process. If you are seeking an appeal of the trial court’s decision, remember that the Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days from the entry of judgment. See the appeals page for more information.
Basic Estate Planning - Planning for your estate and your children while you are alive and well is very important to consider at any age to ensure that your future is managed according to your wishes and not according to your state's laws. The elements of a basic estate plan can include a Will, Advance Directive, and Living Will. In preparing these documents, you must consider how you want your assets managed after your death, who will be the guardian for your minor children, and how your healthcare decisions should be managed if you are ever incapable of making those medical decisions.