Suzanne joined Vincent, Kantz, Pittman and Thompson, LLC in 2011 and focuses her practice on family law litigation. She serves clients in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc and Androscoggin Counties. In addition to representing clients in family matters, Suzanne serves as a Guardian ad litem in Title 19-A and Title 22 cases.
Suzanne is licensed in Maine and Massachusetts and recently argued the landmark case Dagget v. Sternick in front of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. She is a board member of the Maine Guardian Guardian ad Litem Institute, Member of the Family Bar section of the Maine Bar Association and frequent volunteer at Pine Tree Legal’s Courthouse Legal Assistance Program (CHAP) in Portland.
Maine Family Law
Divorce and child custody decisions are among the most difficult for families to make. Although navigating through a divorce or parental rights action is stressful, it can be done amicably in order to preserve respect between partners and protect children’s best interests. Suzanne Thompson is an experienced family law attorney in Maine who concentrates her law practice domestic relations and guardian ad litem work. When choosing an attorney it is important to balance strength, efficiency and compassion. Suzanne will advocate for your rights and work with you to develop a plan that meets your financial situation, long and short term goals and the best interests of your children and family.
Divorce in Maine
Divorce is never easy, particularly when children are involved. However, to have the best possible outcome it is wise to have an attorney who is experienced in divorce proceedings in Maine. Suzanne Thompson will guide you through each step of the process and advocate for your rights and needs, in and out of court.
There are many issues to consider during a divorce, including:
- Division of property, including personal property, real estate and retirement accounts
- Child custody and child support
- Parental rights and responsibilities
- Spousal support (Alimony)
- Division of assets and debt
Maine Courts use the term “Spousal Support” instead of “Alimony.” If you are seeking spousal support, generally you need to request it during your initial divorce, and cannot return to Court later if you fail to request it. There are different forms of spousal support in Maine, and multiple statutory factors a Court will consider when making a spousal support determination.
Suzanne Thompson is an experienced divorce lawyer, and a tough advocate for your rights. You can entrust Suzanne with the complicated issues in your situation she will guide you through the legal system and get the divorce behind you so you can move forward with your life.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities and Child Support
Non-married parents who needs to address legal matters pertaining to their joint children begin the process by initiating a Parental Rights and Responsibilities action.
As with divorce, there are many issues to consider during a parental rights action, including:
- Residency and contact
- Parental rights
- Child support
- Health insurance and extracurricular costs
- Child care expenses
- Tax exemptions
Modification, Enforcement, Contempt
When parents return to Court and request that their judgment or order be changed or enforced, is called a “Post Judgment Motion.”
Often times decisions regarding children, such as contact or child support, need to change as the children grow. A modification request might include:
- Altering a child contact schedule
- Changing decision making or parental right
- Changing primary residence (physical custody)
- Making adjustments to school designation
- Increasing or decreasing child support
If you think that circumstances exist to justify changes to your judgment or order, give Suzanne a call and she can give you an honest assessment of your case. In the event that you return to Court to request a change, trust Suzanne to guide you through the process and help create a plan that will last for you and your children.
Unfortunately, not all parents fulfill their Court ordered obligations, requiring parents to seek Court intervention to enforce a judgment or a contempt order. Whether it is collecting child support or requiring a parent to comply with a contact schedule, Suzanne will fight to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Legal Representation Options
Every family and marriage is different, as are individuals representation needs. Suzanne offers both traditional and limited representation which allows you to tailor the level of support and guidance you want.
Traditional representation allows Suzanne to stand by your side, and fight for your best interests throughout your litigation. Suzanne keeps her clients informed while guiding them through the process, and ensures that they are actively involved in the decisions that affect their lives. As a skilled litigator, Suzanne helps identify and prioritize your goals and then develops a strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Preparing for a hearing, whether by obtaining financial information from an opposing party, or retaining an expert to value a pension or real estate ensures that you are prepared for final hearing, and also have the necessary information to reach agreement. Families are often best served by reaching agreement and Suzanne will continue to strive for resolution throughout your case. When agreement can’t be reached, Suzanne will skillfully litigate your case with strength and respect.
For a variety of reasons, not every client requires an attorney by their side. Even when a client chooses to handle their own divorce or parental rights action, they still might benefit from legal advice “behind the scenes.” Typical “unbundled” legal services offered include:
- Education on the divorce process
- Developing a litigation strategy
- Preparing for mediation and hearings
- Preparing documents and requests for financial information
- Reviewing and advising on documents
- Drafting a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)
- Drafting Abstracts of Divorce Judgments and Quitclaim Deeds
- Calculating child support or spousal support
Limited representation allows clients to control the services they receive and the money they spend. Clients can represent their own interests in litigation while receiving sound and trusted advice from an skilled attorney.
Education and Experience
Suzanne received a BA, magna cum laude, in Political Science and English Literature from Saint Michael’s College and JD, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School. While at Suffolk, Suzanne was named Distinguished Oral Advocate and participated in the Clark Appellate Advocacy Competition (semi-finalist). While in law school, Suzanne worked as a student attorney for the Suffolk Juvenile Justice Clinic representing youth in the Suffolk County Juvenile Court and worked as a Law Clerk at Children’s Legal Services, Inc. conducting Guardian ad litem investigations and drafting reports.