Areas of Practice
Underwood Law Office specializes in Family Law, Mediation, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, Estate Planning, Probate, and Traffic Violations. Brandi currently represents her clients in Dallas County, Denton County, Collin County and Cooke County.
Brandi Michaelis Underwood strives to navigate clients through the emotional and financial hardship of engaging in litigation with compassion. Her clients frequently turn to her for assistance with other legal needs or compliment her by referring their friends and family members.
“I’m Trusting In The Lord And A Good Lawyer” – Oliver North
The decision to file for divorce is a complicated and challenging one, involving emotional, financial and deeply personal issues. I care about my clients and their concerns. I strive to resolve all matters amicably, expeditiously, and economically. In order to do so, I recommend resolving contested issues through settlement negotiations or mediation. When all efforts to resolve your case amicably fail, I am ready and capable of presenting your case to the court in the light most favorable to you.
While I endeavor to construct settlements and draft documents that provide for permanency, when the circumstances of the parents or children change, I can guide you through the legal parameters to modify the previous orders entered. A petition for modification requires a substantial or material change in circumstances. The court regularly considers a “substantial change” to include high parental conflict, alienation, a large increase or decrease in income, educational or medical issues, unemployment, or relocation. When your circumstances require a lifestyle change, contact me for assistance in modifying your legal documents to fit your needs.
Custody and Child Support
At Underwood Law, we believe that the best outcome for children involved in divorce is made possible when the parents agree on a thorough and straightforward parenting plan that leaves as little as possible in question. When parents are unable to reach an agreement, we advocate for our client’s position at trial. Because children have complex and unique needs, it is vitally important to address the concerns regarding their care and support through thoughtful, respectful negotiation, mediation and litigation
Once an order is entered with the court those orders must be followed unless the violating party can establish a qualified reason why the current order is no longer appropriate or establish that the complaining party actually contributed to or created the default. Together we will explore creative options for defending the enforcement action against you. If you are the party seeking enforcement, we will discuss those specific requirements that establish the basis for an effective petition for enforcement.
The establishment of paternity creates both rights and duties with respect to your child. Confirmation of paternity typically results in the non-custodial parent receiving the right to visit with the child at specific dates and times and in the non-custodial parent being required to provide support for the child on a monthly basis. The requirements for and consequences of establishing paternity are delicate issues that require the knowledge of a competent attorney. I can assist you in establishing your legal rights to custody, visitation and child support.
Termination and Adoption
Adoption is a wonderful and joyous experience wherein a child in need finds a permanent home with a new family. It is an honor and a privilege to guide my clients through the process of legally establishing a child as their own.
However, the adoption of a child often requires the termination of one or both of their biological parent’s rights. There are very specific requirements that must be met by the parties requesting termination of the biological parent’s rights and establishment of parental rights in the adopting parties.
I am familiar with those requirements and am capable of providing you with step by step guidance through the process of securing a termination and adoption. Please allow me to participate in one of the most exciting experiences in your life by assisting you with your adoption suit.
Criminal accusations have the potential to affect the rest of your life. When you retain me to represent you I immediately begin evaluate options to allow you to avoid formal charges, obtain a dismissal or secure the least restrictive punishment possible. When it is not possible to avoid a formal charge or secure a dismissal, I will attempt to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge, pre-trial diversion program or deferred probation. I endeavor to prevent my clients from receiving convictions and extended jail sentences.
Juvenile Criminal Defense
While juveniles can be charged with the same or similar charges that adults commonly receive, the process for dealing with those charges is very different. As a parent, I do everything possible to protect my child, even from himself. If your child has made a mistake that resulted in a juvenile charge, I will do everything that I can to protect them from the harsh consequences of the mistakes that they make as well.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal contracts that provide for security the assets acquired individually by the parties prior to or during the marriage. These agreements are generally prepared in anticipation of the necessity of dividing assets and debts upon the dissolution of marriage. While it may be difficult to discuss these issues with your future or current spouse, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should be considered if one or both of the parties have a child outside the pending or current relationship, have high value assets or debts, own a family or personal business or have received large inheritance.
In order to prepare these documents both parties must prepare and provide documentation of each of their assets and debts prior to executing the agreement. Parties interested in executing these contracts should be aware that gathering and reviewing the required documentation and prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does take time. I suggest contacting an attorney to assist you with the process of preparing your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement at least two months prior to the date you intend to execute them if possible.
Mediation is a process that allows parties to a lawsuit to negotiate settlement options for their case in a controlled and comfortable setting. This process involves a neutral third party serving as the mediator who facilitates communication between the parties, assists in identifying all issues in the case, and encourages unique and creative approaches to resolve disputes. During the mediation process each party is allowed the opportunity to express their feelings, identify their requests and concerns and propose their preferences for settlement.
Mediation provides an alternative to the emotional and economic hardship of trial and may provide for a more expeditious resolution to the case. This process truly allows the parties to participate in structuring their own terms for settlement in a way that benefits the parties and the children rather than allowing a third party to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives based on the evidence presented at trial.
Brandi Michaelis Underwood has successfully guided numerous individuals to resolution of their suit while serving as a mediator. She is accepting mediations in Denton, Collin, Dallas, and Cooke counties. Brandi Michaelis Underwood offers half day or full-day sessions at a competitive rate.
The death of a family member or close friend is often one of the most emotional times of a person’s life. The grieving process should not be disrupted by the frustration and confusion of dealing with the complicated legal process of probating the estate. Probate is the process for legally establishing an executor to manage the deceased’s estate and to ensure that their assets are distributed as provided in their Will. I approach probate matters with compassion and strive to maintain honest communication throughout the process.
Preparation of Willis Living Will and Powers of Attorney
Avoiding the pitfalls of contested probate dispute often depends on the careful and detailed approach to estate planning documents that establish specific requirements for the testator’s medical care, financial management and distribution of assets after death. I will work with you to determine those concerns and desires that are important to you and will provide options for creative document preparation.
Citations for simple traffic violations can have serious consequences, including increases in your insurance rates, driver’s license suspensions, and effects on your employment. I can negotiate an agreement that prevents your traffic violations from those consequences and reduces the amount you are required to pay in fines and fees