14 x January 5 - 18, 2017 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com Attorney Richard West Longtime Bay Hill resident Richard West, named Orlando’s 2016 Family Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America, will be opening an office in Southwest Orlando at 7009 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 130, in February 2017. His new firm name is West Family Law Group. Richard has been practicing in Central Florida since 1986, specializing in marital and family law. In addition to being named Family Lawyer of the Year for the second time, Richard’s impressive credentials include being selected as one of New Year, New Name, New Location, Same Excellent Service! Attorney Richard West (right), joined by Shane Herbert, Esq., prepares to open West Family Law Group ṭonyrappa@capturevideo-photo.com the top 100 lawyers in the state by Florida’s Super Lawyers Magazine. He has been featured among Orlando Magazine’s Best Lawyers and Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” for many years. Richard is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and he has served as president of the Florida chapter. He is also a fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers. Richard is very excited about bringing a collaborative law practice to the Dr. Phillips community. He sees collaborative law as “the future of marital and family PROMOTIONAL FEATURE law.” Collaborative law is a new way to resolve disputes without litigation. As Richard explained, “both parties agree to engage in interestbased negotiations as opposed to positional bargaining. It serves to lessen the adversarial nature of divorce proceedings. The fundamental idea of the collaborative process is that the husband and wife take control of the outcome instead of turning it over to judges and lawyers. Everyone’s goal is to find the best possible result for that particular family.” A divorced father himself, Richard can relate to his clients. “Divorce is a very difficult and emotional time,” he said. “I certainly understand what my clients are experiencing, and I try to help them through that tough time. It’s rewarding to be able to help people restructure their families. Divorce, especially when there are children involved, does not mean the end of a family; the family just takes on a different form, a different look. For me, the key objective is to guide the parents to work with each other in order to raise healthy children, and the collaborative process greatly assists with that.” Other potential advantages to the collaborative law process are quicker resolution, less expense and more privacy than litigation. “Collaborative law is a good solution for most divorces but not for all,” Richard noted. While he always seeks a resolution without resorting to litigation, Richard has the skills and experience to litigate complex cases if trial is unavoidable. His compassion, dedication and experience help set West Family Law Group apart from other law firms. “Many people seeking a divorce deliberately avoid going to a lawyer, because they feel the lawyer is going to create unnecessary bitterness,” he said. “I handle things differently. I believe a lawyer should be a solver of problems, not a creator of issues.” West Family Law Group’s services include divorce, paternity, support enforcement, modification of support obligations, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and complex property distribution. Richard West; Shane Herbert, Esq.; and the professional team at West Family Law Group are prepared to handle all cases from the simplest to the most complex. For more information, call 407-425-8878 or visit www.westfamilylawgroup.com on the web.
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