Kendall Summers Law
May 15, 2017 02:53PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
*Special Advertising Section
Kendall Summers brings over 30 years of legal experience to her Annapolis practice in family law. Her approach, she describes, as “adaptable to the needs of my clients.” Excellence in family law practice involves many skills, including discerning with your clients the very best way forward for them, given their unique circumstances.
Where possible we seek settlement… Most family law cases, involving divorce and custody, for example, are best handled through processes of settlement and negotiation. We work to achieve our clients’ goals, using mediation, collaborative settlement techniques, and negotiation. The end result being to achieve a Marital Settlement Agreement and/or Child Custody/Co-Parenting Agreement that brings normalcy to relations while bringing about an end to conflict and achieving our clients’ goals. I listen to our clients’ situations, and together we explore the various approaches to protecting their rights as well as their relationships. Not every case needs to go to court for resolution. Settlement where possible is often an excellent option and can be much less expensive for clients.
When settlement is not forthcoming, we use litigation expertise where necessary. Settlement often occurs within the judicial process, as the courts help to facilitate couples to attend mediation and resolve their issues.
High Asset and Complex Cases require special care to ensure proper handling of assets identification and division, and we bring in tax consultants and others to assist our clients in understanding all options and to make knowledgeable decisions.
Finding the Right Approach for Your Case
Family separation and divorce is a complex and difficult process. Each case is different and has its own unique relationships and set of facts. An important part of successfully representing our clients is working with them to understand their priorities and to assist them in developing a new life plan.
MEDIATOR - Dispute Resolution
Kendall Summers is a Harvard University trained mediator who is on the mediation panel of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. She handles all kinds of matters, including family law for purposes of mediation and settlement, and helps couples to achieve settlement agreements.
ESTATE PLANNING & ADMINISTRATION
Estate planning and administration is another significant part of our practice. Estate planning, involves working with individuals and families to determine their goals, and then to translate those goals into the appropriate legal instruments, such as creating wills, trusts, and Powers of Attorney for our clients. Estate administration involves assisting clients with the process of probate of wills and similar instruments.
As part of our family law practice, we also handle guardianships for those families who need them.
- Harvard Law School, Advanced Mediation Training
- Washington College of Law, The American University
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst (BBA)
- Member in Good Standing: Maryland Bar Association; District of Columbia Bar Association; Massachusetts Bar Association;
- Trial Lawyers Association of Maryland (MD Association for Justice)
- Co-Chair Family Law Section, (MD Association for Justice)
- The Good Divorce Network, Director
- Collaborative Law Professional
- Anne Arundel County Bar Association, Family Law
- Rostered Leader, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
FAMILY LAW – TIPSDRAFTING MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS…
It is now possible to obtain a fairly immediate divorce under Maryland Law, if both parties have fully agreed to and executed a Marital Settlement Agreement that covers all issues of property and support (although these new rules do not apply to married couples with minor children). At Kendall Summers Law a substantial portion of our family law practice involves the drafting of Marital Settlement Agreements and Child Custody/Co-parenting Agreements for our clients. The complexity and detail of each agreement depends on the individual needs of each case. If everything is agreed to, preparing a Marital Settlement Agreement does not have to be time-consuming or an extremely costly matter. If matters are complex or they are not all agreed to, drafting a proposed Marital Settlement Agreement is often a good beginning to a dialogue that brings about eventual settlement.
IF CHILD CUSTODY IS AN ISSUE IN YOUR CASE….
If your family law case involves issues of child custody, how you approach resolution in your case can be very important for your children. Certainly, we do not live in a perfect or conflict-free world, but it is important to recognize that how you handle your separation and divorce can have long-lasting implications for your children. Recent studies have shown that children who are caught in the middle of high conflict for a sustained period, suffer severe damage which can be lifelong. Our approach to family law is one that tries to give you every option for protecting your children.
HIGH ASSET AND COMPLEX ASSET CASES…
High asset cases or cases involving very complex assets need special care. First is the forensic exercise of identifying and valuing all assets, as well as the marital portions of those assets and how they are titled. We have worked with a wide range of portfolios including foreign assets and complex investment assets. Each case is unique.
BUSINESS VALUATION FOR MARITAL DIVISION
Many cases of divorce involve one or more businesses owned by one or both partners or ownership shares in a business of some kind. A business owned by one partner during the marriage is likely to have some marital asset value, which would be recognized in Maryland law to be subject to equitable division.
If you earned retirement or pension during the time of your marriage, then the portion so earned during your marriage may be considered a Marital Asset subject to division between you and your spouse in divorce. In settlement discussions, you and your spouse may decide to equalize or otherwise trade retirement as the case may be. If retirement is to be divided, it usually requires what is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or like Order which is signed by a Judge. Basically, the institution managing the retirement or pension is obligated by the Court Order to make the divisions as set forth therein.
ESTATE PLANNING AND ADMINISTRATION
Maryland Law provides many ways to provide for the distribution of your Estate to take care of those who are close to you, to give to charities or causes of important to you, and to manage your assets and their distribution when you are gone. Maryland Law also provides various legal instruments that are helpful for you to manage your assets and health care while you are incapacitated or otherwise in need. Planning ahead and taking care of things is just a wise and responsible thing to do. We would like to help you to create the legal instruments you need to fulfill your plan.
Kendall Summers Law
7 Willow Street | Suite 101
Annapolis, MD 21401