Channe Gallagher Coles
A Family Law Attorney with Experience, Knowledge, Compassion, and Skill.
“My parents divorced when I was 18 months old. My mother essentially raised five children by herself. My Dad didn’t always pay child support. I know what it’s like to watch your electricity turned off because you can’t pay the bill, or to be late paying your rent, or to open your refrigerator and see only bare shelves. Somehow my mother managed to raise us and even do it with a smile. It was a struggle for her, and she worked constantly. Thanks to her I understand single mothers and I understand the stressors that people go through raising a child without the financial support necessary to do it. That’s part of the reason why I get such fulfillment practicing Family Law. Helping people move on with their lives and build new beginnings filled with hope while protecting their children is very rewarding.”
One of the issues Channe cares deeply about is fathers’ rights. She believes the equal involvement of both parents is essential to the emotional and spiritual development of a child, and too often she has watched courts unfairly favor mothers in custody decisions. Though there are certainly circumstances where a mother should have primary custody, all things being equal – fathers are just as important to a child’s life as a mother; at the very least kids need both their parents (whatever gender) equally involved in their lives.
“I'm very protective of my clients who are good dads and who simply want to be involved in their children's lives as an equal influence and equally involved person. I always wish that I’d had that same thing, so I know how important it is to children to have both loving parents. California’s family code framework says on paper that parents are to be treated equally. There is to be no discrimination based upon gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, what have you. It is only about best interests. Unfortunately, too often on the ground reality is very different. Many judges still believe that a mother can always raise a baby better than a father, and there is simply no scientific or psychological evidence proving that.
“Too many fathers must fight tooth and nail to get 50/50, while women presumptively walk into court--especially when they have a very young child—and demand off the bat, ‘Well, I should get more time. I'm the mom. I gave birth. I'm breastfeeding.’ No, it should be more difficult, statutorily speaking, for courts to deviate from 50/50. 50/50 should be presumptively the starting point.”
Channe handles many custody litigation cases, as well as complex, high value, high net-value asset divorces with no minor children. “These are the cases that usually involve people who are really, really wealthy. Their kids are older. They've grown their wealth over time. Their marriages ended 20, 30 years later, and now they needed to divide their assets.”
Whatever Family Law cases the California native accepts, her values system remains the same.
“I want to be known as somebody who is principled and ethical, first and foremost. But, also, as someone who is going to fight for you in an expeditious manner. One of the things that irritates me with some Family Law attorneys and some judges, too, is the dragging on of cases and not resolving matters. For people going through family law litigation, whatever nature it is—divorce, custody, or both—they want to be done with it. They want to have resolution and move on.
“The most stressful time anybody will ever experience is being in front of a judge who is going to decide your financial future, your future as a parent, and as an influence in your child's life. I don't overpromise clients. I don't want clients who think that I'm going to be able to correct every wrong. It's not possible. But I am somebody who will do my best to resolve a client’s case in the shortest amount of time possible.”