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Family Law

The Family Law Department at Elkins Kalt is co-chaired by Anne Kiley, a Certified Family Law Specialist, and Thomas Paine Dunlap, a Certified Appellate Law Specialist whose practice is focused on Family Law Writs and Appeals.  Between them, Kiley and Dunlap have over 50 years of experience representing clients in Family Law matters, handling some of California’s most complex and notable cases.  No Family Law matter is “simple;” and no case is too big, too small, or too complex for our Family Law practice.  Unlike other family law practices, our broad range of resources and practice groups allow us instantly and efficiently to handle all aspects of the case for our clients.  Our Family Law expertise coupled with the knowledge of the attorneys in our corporate, business litigation, real estate, estate planning and tax departments enables us to represent clients in the most sophisticated and demanding family law cases, including cases involving complex business assets.  We are able to implement creative structures to accommodate situations involving limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, joint ventures, real estate, intellectual property and other business interests.  

As important as financial issues are, when custody is an issue it is paramount.  We understand and are sensitive to the stress accompanying any custody decision, and we work with our clients to ensure that their concerns are heard and addressed, and that they understand the process and their options.  We seek to reduce rather than escalate conflict, and pay meticulous attention to detail in developing the best course of action for each client.  Each case is unique, and we apply a thorough understanding of the overall circumstances with careful legal and factual analysis to advise each client.  And when it is necessary for the court to resolve a custody issue, we effectively present the evidence so that the court has the facts it needs to do so.  While we seek to use our experience and focus to achieve an agreement, we are skilled litigators who can and will try a case when settlement is unattainable.

We represent clients in proceedings for dissolution of marriage or legal separation involving all issues raised, including, as applicable, date of separation, child support, child custody, spousal support, and determination of character, value and division of property and debts and deferred compensation.

We also represent clients in parentage cases involving unmarried partners, and in civil restraining order (domestic violence) proceedings.

We are experienced in drafting Cohabitation Agreements, Premarital Agreements, Transmutation Agreements, and Marital Settlement Agreements, and in advising clients and litigating disputes over such agreements.

In addition to representing parties in dissolution and parentage proceedings, we represent third party companies and firms whose records are being sought in Family Law proceedings, including in the dissolution proceedings of their partners and shareholders.

And where an issue has been wrongly decided by the court, a writ or appeal may be necessary.  On behalf of clients whom we have represented at the trial court level, as well as those who have been represented by others, we have the unparalleled ability to analyze the advisability of appeal, and to use our proficiency and skill in legal analysis, persuasive argument and clear writing to succeed.

We strive to work with our clients continually to provide excellent representation through communication and knowledge.  We make sure that each client understands the process, the options, the costs and the benefits so he or she can best decide how to proceed.  To each case we bring not only our expertise but our practical approach to resolution through settlement or litigation.