Mitch is a State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist. Over the course of his thirty years practicing family law, the majority of his work has been in high conflict, complex domestic relations cases. He has helped high net worth clients address such issues as business and professional practice valuation, commingling of separate and community property, concealment of transactions either during the marriage or the divorce proceedings, attempted sales of businesses during dissolution and transfers of assets without consideration. Included in his area of expertise is presenting claims in determination or modification of spousal maintenance especially when the spouses do not have earning potential parity. In addition, Mitch has negotiated and drafted both pre and post marital agreements and has assisted clients in the enforcement of premarital agreements during divorce proceedings. He has represented parents when determining rights of decision-making, custody, and parenting time in cases involving complexities resulting from infidelity, substance abuse, sexual addiction, special needs and challenged children.
Mitch is a strong proponent of helping clients “opt out” of the judicial system by attempting resolution of issues through alternative means. Often opting out is the strategy that best suits his goal of maximizing the probability that each of his clients obtain a favorable outcome in his or her family law proceeding given their circumstances. Mitch is licensed to practice in Arizona and California.
- Finding hidden assets. Mitchell represented a woman whose husband of 30 years had left her, taken up with another woman, and secretly acquired a business that he concealed during the divorce. Mitchell discovered the existence of the business, obtained ex-parte relief-which included the appointment of a receiver who took control of the business-and ultimately was able to obtain a very favorable settlement for his client.
- Winning resolution on the eve of trial. Mitchell represented a man who had been married for several years. His wife suffered from a personality disorder which impacted both their marriage and children. Mitchell's persistence and patience ultimately brought it to conclusion just before trial.
- Saving the Company. During a divorce proceeding that had been pending for several years, husband and wife were negotiating the terms of husband's purchase of wife's interest in their multimillion dollar company. Unexpectedly, during those negotiations wife received an offer from a third party venture capitalist to buy her 50% interest in the business for significantly more than what husband had offered and on better terms. Mitchell was engaged and tasked with the goal of preventing the sale of wife's interest to the venture capitalist. After only a few months of high stakes litigation the work that Mitchell did and the advice he provided resulted in husband being given the opportunity by the Court to match the offer of the venture capitalist. Husband was able to do so and as a result he became the 100% owner of the company. At the conclusion of the acquisition, husband excitedly declared to Mitchell "you saved the company!"
- Obtained Reversal of Onerous Judgment. Husband was a successful businessman who had been married for a number of years. His wife's father was a lawyer. After wife filed for divorce, husband negotiated with wife's father in an effort to resolve all of the issues. While the negotiations were ongoing, husband did not pay particular attention to the litigation which he thought was being attended to by a lawyer he had engaged. Unfortunately, wife obtained a judgment against husband in the divorce which obligated him to pay her several million dollars based on her unchallenged testimony as to the value of the business and her request for spousal maintenance. The amount of the judgment and the obligations imposed on husband well exceeded his ability to pay them. Husband engaged Mitchell in the hope that he could have the judgment vacated. Mitchell was successful in convincing the Court to vacate the judgment and then after protracted litigation, Mitchell was able to successfully negotiate a resolution of all of the issues on much better terms for Husband than the judgment provided.
- Creative Resolution of Complex Custody Dispute. In highly acrimonious case involving a family that included two children, there were allegations of domestic violence, substance abuse, various mental health issues, parental alienation, infidelity and generally dishonest behavior. A Comprehensive Custody Evaluation was completed by a Court Appointed Psychologist over a period of months during the litigation. Following the completion of the Evaluation and before the trial, Mitchell worked cooperatively with the opposing counsel to fashion a unique Custody Agreement and Order for the Court to enter bringing a therapeutic approach to resolving the custody and parenting time issues. Components of the Agreement included creation of a treatment team of psychologists, one for each parent, one for the children and a psychologist to whom each of the others would report to in the role of a Parenting Coordinator. Each treatment provider was tasked with certain treatment goals and reporting requirements. Milestones were established within the Agreement that would allow a parent to progress from supervised therapeutic access, to unsupervised parenting time without overnights, to parenting time that included overnights and ultimately a more expanded parenting time schedule. The Agreement was accepted by the parties and adopted by the Court. In fact, the Judge in that case used the Agreement and the Order prepared by Mitchell and opposing counsel as a template that he used in other complex custody disputes put before him for decision during the remainder of his time on the Family Law bench. This Agreement was also presented as part of an educational seminar to other Family Law practitioners and Judges in the State of Arizona.
- Thinking Outside the Box. Our client and her husband owned a number of hotels. While she had been actively involved in running the business during the marriage, by the time she filed for divorce husband was in complete control of it. Husband could not be trusted to treat wife fairly with respect to the income he was receiving and the expenses he was paying out of the business during the divorce.
Generally most judges do not have sufficient time available on their calendars to hold hearings or the expertise to fashion the kind of detailed orders that are necessary to oversee and manage such a situation. For example, in Maricopa County, Arizona, as of June 2013, each family law judge had a caseload of approximately 800 active cases and 22,000 inactive ones. Judges set hearings for "temporary orders", which are orders that can be entered for purposes such as managing the community cash flow, for no more than one hour. You have to fight to get significantly more time in a courtroom for a temporary orders hearing. In a complex divorce which involves a business you simply cannot get enough time to present evidence and obtain temporary orders that will protect a client who is not in control of the family business during a divorce.
To protect our client's interest in this case and to preserve the value of the business, we petitioned the Judge to appoint a "Family Law Master." We asked that the Judge empower an experienced, highly knowledgeable lawyer that we had selected to hold hearings and make recommendations for orders to create complete transparency in the business and put controls in place with respect to what husband was permitted to do without our client's consent.
We were successful in this effort. The Family Law Master gave us the many hours of time we needed in order to present detailed financial information about the operation of the various hotels and to present and point out how husband was taking unfair advantage of his position of control by paying many of his personal expenses out of the business. As a result, we were ultimately able to obtain the kind of orders necessary to protect our client's interest. This result could not have been achieved if we had simply allowed the case to proceed through the usual channels of the court system. The resolution required thinking out of the box.
- Certified as a Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of Arizona
- Board Member of the Executive Council of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona
- Appointed to serve as Judge Pro Tempore in the Maricopa County Superior Courts
- Former Member of Domestic Relations Custody Study Group until the group disbanded
- Previously served on the Children's Behavioral Health Council by appointment from the President of the State Sentate
- Particularly adept at critically analyzing and persuasively presenting information concerning business valuations and the cross-examination of business valuation experts.
- Experienced in high-conflict divorces with substantial assets.
- Utilizes understanding of business, finances, accounting, and commercial litigation to assist high-income and high net-worth families divide large and often complex estates.
- Clients include business people, attorneys, dentists, doctors, retailers, real estate owners, and investors.
- Encourages clients to consider alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and other non-traditional methods.
- “Mitch recently represented me during my divorce. My situation was somewhat unique in that I married later in life and thus entered the marriage with substantial financial assets. Protecting these assets and achieving a fair settlement was of utmost importance to me. Mitch can not only “speak the language” of finance but easily understands complicated investment strategies and valuation techniques. That understanding, combined with a wealth of experience, clearly gave us the upper hand in negotiations as community vs. separate property was established. Ultimately a final settlement was reached which essentially achieved all of my initial goals. In addition to his business acumen I found Mitch to be a good friend through the entire process as well. I highly recommend him.” -JG
- "I recently had Mitch Reichman, of Jaburg and Wilk, as my lawyer during my divorce. He represented me extremely well in all the different aspects of my divorce, including mediation and the subsequent trial. As a self-made businessman who accumulated most of my wealth during a long marriage, I would strongly recommend him to anyone who needs a lawyer who is very knowledgeable in business valuations, sole and separate property issues, spousal support (maintenance), and child custody issues. In particular, his experience in working with expert witnesses concerning the valuations of my multiple business and property holdings was extremely helpful in my case. His knowledge and understanding of the different valuation methods and all facets of valuing a business was the key to successfully ensuring that the court accepted our expert's testimony and values while disregarding the opposing expert's flawed information. Mitch was responsive, proactive, timely and "spot on" providing legal advice to me. -John P
- "I have worked with Mitch Reichman for the last 7 years through my divorce as well as post divorce disputes. Mitch continually demonstrates expertise, thoroughness and always listens to my concerns rather than treating me like just another divorce. He took the lead to minimize damage to the future working relationship with my ex-spouse while representing me with strength. Unlike many attorneys Mitch worked to finish the process and not drive up the costs to both parties. I have recommended him to several close friends who were equally thrilled with his expertise and responsiveness." -GR
- "Mitch is an attorney you want on your side when you are going through a divorce like mine which involved substantial assets and was complex. Mitch is a very detailed and understanding attorney. He understood my emotions and problems and worked with me explaining the legality of how things work in family law. I was able to get a fair and amicable settlement as a result of Mitch's dedication and hard work. Mitch negotiated hard with the opposing counsel until the eve of the trial and was able to get the settlement signed and completed before trial. He was also ready for trial if the settlement did not occur which helped create the leverage necessary to achieve the results. People often have settler's remorse, however I can say with all certainty that I do not and will not." -RP
- "The worst in all of us can emerge when fear and anger are triggered by divorce, issues around money, custody and the sense of loss that accompany the end of a marital relationship. What is so desperately needed during this process is the quiet knowing and the voice of reason that only comes from thirty years of direct experience. The value of having someone who can speak in practical terms about what is truly reasonable, but also likely to be acceptable cannot be calculated in dollars alone. Mitch Reichman is the best person and the best attorney to have in your corner."
- -Brent Gwisdalla