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What You Should Know Before Contacting a Divorce Attorney

What You Should Know Before Contacting a Divorce Attorney

Divorce, the big D word, is the second most feared word, only behind Cancer, the Big C word, in the United States. What created this terrible fear, which ranked so closely to a word associated with death? Let’s exam possibilities.

The divorce rate in 1991 was 47% of all marriages, nearly half of all blissful matrimonies ended in a contested divorce. However, by 2005 the divorce rate plunged a substantial amount to 38% of marriages.

What occurred to substantiate such a large decrease in divorces in only a 14 year span? One would like to think Americans had finally grown up and realized you can’t divorce someone every time you disagree with them, or perhaps the country went through a religious revival which raised moral character, that saw divorce frowned upon.

Unfortunately, government statistics don’t support either of those two possible reasons, nor any other possible Positive outside influence which could account for the reduction. However, what the numbers did reveal was Americans were foregoing getting married and were instead, living together, no marriage – no divorce.

Apparently moral character had not increased, but in actuality, decreased. What could have happened to plunge America’s moral fiber to such depths and what role, if any, did divorce play in the event?

In reality there was nothing wrong with America’s moral fiber and when pushed to the point, Americans respond as America always had, helping the unfortunate and protecting the weak. People were no more, or no less in love than any other time in history. So what happened?!

To sum it up in two words, Divorce Lawyer. The percentages of marriages resulting in divorce and the lucrative amount of fees available to be extracted from vindictive spouses produced a glut of lawyers specializing in divorce.

A once despised type of attorney known as “Ambulance Chasers”, because they preyed on the vulnerability of people in an exceptional mental and emotional stressful state of mind, were replaced by divorce lawyers as the most hated people in the legal society.

Because there was such a glut of attorneys the supply out stripped the demand, more divorce lawyers than divorces, which created competition for clients. The only way lawyers could stay fat with fees was to obtain a reputation of extracting every last dime possible from an estranged spouse, which was usually the husband.

There are thousands of horror stories of the two divorcees, the plaintiff and defendant as they are called, who were left with nothing except broken dreams, no assets and in most cases owing outstanding balances to the two lawyers involved. Divorces began to resemble shark feeding frenzies.

A couple does not have to retain lawyers in order to get a divorce. All the legal procedure and documentation can be processed with the help of the Court Clerk. In reality this applies to probably 1% of divorce cases, because rarely is a divorce amicable. So if one spouse hires an attorney, the other one is forced to and the feeding frenzy begins.

If faced with a divorce, which you and your spouse can not come to a financial agreement, which is always the best avenue, and you’re forced to hire an attorney, be very careful in choosing.

The best way to choose one is through word of mouth. Ask around, there’s no doubt someone at work, or church, or the gym who has had or knows of someone who has been divorced. See who they retained and their recommendation.

If you have to get one out of the Yellow Pages, interview them and don’t be bashful about asking questions. I have found lawyers will stick it to you and not blink an eye, don’t blink an eye when asking direct questions about their fees.

I had a very close friend pay a lawyer $3000 to represent him in his divorce, assuming and rightfully so, that was the fee for a finalized divorce. Two months later he received a bill for an additional $2000. When he inquired as to what the bill was for, he was told the $3000 was just for the lawyer to take the case, any legal work he did was extra.

My friend fired the attorney, who in turn sued for friend.

When dealing with divorce lawyers the old saying “Buyer Beware” applies very strongly.…

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Divorce – 5 First Steps Of Divorce

Divorce – 5 First Steps Of Divorce

There are a lot of steps to follow in the divorce process. Below is a list of the 5 first steps that you can in mind, the whole purpose of the divorce process is to get husband and wife together face to face enough times that they are able to negotiate a full settlement outside of court:

Step #1 – The first step in the divorce process is for you to make up your mind that you are ready to let go of the marriage and move forward with a divorce. Once you know you are ready, call a divorce lawyer. If you do not know a divorce lawyer, just ask a close friend or family member for a referral. Chances are, you know someone who knows of a reputable divorce lawyer. When you call the divorce lawyer, be prepared to provide him with a short summary about the facts of your case and be prepared to schedule an initial interview.

Step #2 – The initial interview will last 30 minutes to 1 hour. At it, you and the divorce lawyer will discuss the facts of your case in detail – you will also discuss the options, short-term strategy for getting the divorce process started, and long-term strategy for resolving each one of the issues either by settlement or by trial. You will be given a copy of an intake sheet (every divorce lawyer has one). The intake sheet will ask you questions about you, your spouse, your children, each item of marital property, and each account that is marital debt. You will take the intake sheet home, fill it out thoroughly and legibly, and then return it to the lawyer’s office.

Step #3 – Once the lawyer has received the completed intake sheet from you, he will begin drafting the initial paperwork. Once the initial paperwork is drafted, the lawyer will then file it at the county court house and ask the judge to schedule the initial court divorce will officially be underway at this point.

Step #4 – The initial court appearance is usually just an informal conference. At the conference, you and your spouse will either sit down together and watch a video about helping your children cope with the rigors of divorce or you will meet with the judge and hold an informal conference with the judge about the status of your case. Either way, at the initial court appearance, you and your lawyer will have ample opportunity to meet with your spouse and your spouse’s lawyer to discuss settlement.

Step #5 – If a tentative settlement cannot be reached at the initial court appearance, the matter will be set for hearing in front of the Judge – at the hearing, the judge will resolve the unsettled issues for you.…

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Choosing a Divorce Attorney: How To Best Make Your Selection

Choosing a Divorce Attorney: How To Best Make Your Selection

Going through the dissolution of your marriage can be one of the most stressful, confusing times in a person’s life. It is hard on any kinds that you might have, it is hard on both the husband and the wife, and it is hard on the family structure as a whole. During this time of crisis, it’s difficult to think about such precise matters as choosing a divorce attorney, but it is a decision that must be made. If there are assets and custody in dispute, you will need someone to be your advocate in mediation and possibly in court. Here are some of the factors you should weigh when making your choice.

First, you want to find a divorce attorney who has gone a few rounds in the ring, so to speak. Some of the brightest minds are coming out of law schools around the country every year. They will join up with firms, start their own practices, and focus on the type of law they are best at. You don’t, however, want one of these individuals representing you. You want the guy (or gal) with some calluses built up on their knuckles. The more experience, the better. In all likelihood, this is your first time through such a proceeding, so you want to have someone by your side who has seen it all before.

You’ll want someone who can speak to you in a way that you can understand. It’s not that you need a friend as your divorce attorney, but, in a sense, that’s exactly what you need. If it comes down to choosing between an experienced soldier and a shoulder to cry on, by all means go with the soldier. But it really shouldn’t have to come down to such a choice. You should be able to depend on your lawyer as something of a therapist in this time. You will be telling them some deeply personal aspects of your life, so it goes without saying that they should make you feel comfortable.

Finally, of course, you’ll have to consider pricing. A divorce attorney is not likely to come cheap and you certainly shouldn’t put yourself in a position where you’re shopping for bargain basement legal advice sales. All the same, the most expensive guy in town isn’t necessarily the best, either. Find someone who is reasonably within your budget, while still exhibiting the kinds of traits you want to see in your legal representation.…

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3 Steps to Finding the Perfect Lawyer

3 Steps to Finding the Perfect Lawyer

Recent surveys show that almost all Americans know someone who has gone through a painful separation. While no one wishes to find themselves in such a stressful situation, it is important to be prepared to address all the legal matters that come with the dissolution of a marriage. For instance, how does one go about selecting a Georgia divorce attorney to help them wade through the process? Open a phone book in any state and one can see page after page of listings advertising the services of various firms. Truly, how does one go about selecting just the right Georgia divorce lawyer? The following ideas should definitely be considered:

– Interview some candidates. No matter how skilled or well respected a professional may be, one must be comfortable interacting on a personal level. Consider the example of a woman who contacted one of the most respected oncologists in her area. Naturally, she wanted the best care possible for the treatment of her illness. What she found was this busy oncologist, while considered by many to be unequalled in skill, was missing many of the conditions she was looking for in a doctor. His patient load was massive, his attention to his research took him away from his patients, and his gruff demeanor was a turn-off on those rare occasions where she was able to speak with him. She soon was able to receive care from another oncologist in the area, one not as popular, but attentive and available to meet her needs. Had she been able to interview both of these doctors prior to entering a course of treatment, chances are, her decision would have been clear from the start. When seeking legal representation, don’t be afraid to interview several. Perhaps all are known for their skill and success, but who is most attentive? Who is most approachable? Who inspires trust?

– Consult with family and friends. A trusted opinion is so important. Who better to advise than one who has already been through a similar experience. Talk to your best friend. Talk to your cousin. Talk to friends on the PTA. Who has a story to share? Who can recommend that wonderful representative? Professionals often know that word of mouth can sometimes be their most trusted advertisement. Rely on those testimonials. Often they can save a great deal of time and trouble.

– Spend some time on the Web. In this age of technology, any reputable firm will have a website detailing their services. Arguably, the best marketing a company can invest in is a clear, concise, and easy to navigate website. Firms know that a website can be the first impression someone will have of them. Typically, the information contained on a site will be designed to impress the potential client. The information will probably have been selected to be just what a browser is interested in knowing. If one is impressed by what is seen, the next logical step can be setting up an interview.

No one wants to see a marriage end, but there are skilled professionals ready to help one navigate the waters of legal separation. If a marriage is ending, one owes it to oneself to get the right professionals working on one’s behalf. When deciding how to select the right legal representation think about the steps and then get started.…

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Are Divorce Attorneys Still Sold on Marriage?

Are Divorce Attorneys Still Sold on Marriage?

It’s amazing how one Time Magazine story can get so much attention, but any news magazine is bound to grab headlines when it proclaims that “Marriage is Dead”, and backs that up with a reputable survey. The big takeaway from this article was that 44 percent of Americans under 30 consider marriage to be obsolete, and according to the same Pew poll, only 5 percent of under-30 set wants to get married; a number that is difficult to fathom when the wedding industry is now $40 billion plus. It is hard not to question the methodology behind this study, but it definitely raised eyebrows among divorce attorneys.

In the same week that this story hit the stands, the world was once again delighted by the prospect of watching Prince William and his fianc?� Kate walk down the aisle this spring. Meanwhile, several states are reporting unprecedented support for same-sex marriage; and divorce attorneys are seeing more requests for prenuptial agreements that ever. So what’s up with the people who responded to the Pew survey? Were they having a collective “bad day” or are they just pondering a future utopian world without the legality and consequences of a marriage contract?

Ever since this story broke, divorce attorneys have been asked how they feel about the “death of marriage”, and if they are worried how it will affect their practice, but looking at the current statistics there is no need to be concerned. According to the article, Americans still have the highest rate of marriage – and remarriage in the Western world. Even though the divorce rate is still higher than most Western nations, Americans still have a propensity to marry one another and, unfortunately, get divorced.

Summary

According to the Pew Poll which was published in one Time Magazine issue that only 44% of Americans under 30 years old considered that marriage is dead and that only 5% of this same group want to get married. Divorce attorneys are not a bit concerned about it. They believe that statistics show otherwise in that even though divorce rate is higher in most Western countries, America still has the highest rate of marriage – and remarriage.…

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5 Factors Considered for Relocation in Child Custody

5 Factors Considered for Relocation in Child Custody

Relocating to another state or more than 100 miles from the current address of your children current address is referred to as change of domicile in the courts. It can be a very complex and emotionally charged issue especially if parents have difficulty agreeing to the custody and parenting time of their children.

People value the time they spend with their children. The thought that their children will move can be overwhelming. Whether you are the parent who wants to

move away with your children, or you are the parent trying to prevent the relocation, you need an experienced attorney working for you.

If you have custody and parenting time order in place, you cannot move out of state with your children without a court order or the agreement of the other parent. These are the same requirements if you want to move within Michigan but to another state that is more than 100 miles from the current residence of the children.

It is crucial that you comply with Michigan law if you want to relocate. Below are the factors that the court considers before permitting a legal residence change. As always, the child is the primary focus in the court’s deliberations:

1. Whether the legal residence change has the capacity to improve the quality of life for both the child and the relocating parent.

2. The degree to which each parent has complied with, and utilized his or her time under a court order governing parenting time with the child. They also want to know whether the plan of the parent to change the legal residence of the child is inspired because he or she wants to defeat or frustrate the parenting time schedule.

Questions asked include:

Have both parents complied to the orders of the court regarding the time they spend with their child?

Is either parent disagreeing with the relocation for personal reasons rather than considering what is best for the child?

3. The degree to which the court is satisfied that, if the court permits the legal residence change, it is possible to order a modification of the parenting time schedule and other arrangements governing the schedule of the child in a manner that can provide an adequate basis for preserving and fostering the parental relationship between the child and each parent; and whether each parent is likely to comply with the modification. For instance, once the child has moved, the court wants to know will both parents willingly reschedule their parenting time and make the effort to preserve the relationship the child has with both parents.

4. The extent to which the parent opposing the legal residence change is motivated by a desire to secure a financial advantage with respect to a support obligation. In other words, is the parent who opposes the relocation doing so to require more financial support?

5. Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child. The court will find out if there are there any reports of domestic violence about either parent.

In those cases when the court does approve a change of domicile, the continuing relationship between the parents and the child can easily become more difficult. That is not to say that it is possible to sustain the relationship with the parent left behind as long as that parent has substantial parenting time. It does require an effort for both parents to make the adjustment.

If the parents agree to a change of domicile they can sign a written agreement that becomes a court order. This eliminates a need for court intervention and court hearings. On the other hand, if one spouse does not agree to a spouse relocating with their children to another state or somewhere in Michigan that is more than 100 miles from the current residence of their children, it is likely that both parents will need the counsel of a competent and respected family law attorney to represent their best interests especially if you are the one who wants the children to stay in Michigan.…

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How to Pick a Divorce Lawyer

The objective of your divorce ought to be to go to a reasonable settlement while staying away from court. A few lawyers like to battle things out in trial, however that strategy hauls out the case and is substantially more costly, mediation is a smart thought. However, here and there, regardless of how great of an arbitrator you have, going to trial is the last alternative to settle questioned matters. Your Kennewick wa divorce lawyers for men ought to have a lot of understanding and not be threatened by the possibility of trial. 

While picking a divorce lawyer, you need somebody simple to work with, who knows the process and can keep up their demonstrable skill in the court. In this way, take as much time as necessary before employing a lawyer, and rundown at any rate three applicants dependent on their history and professional foundations. 

Additionally, don’t be reluctant to connect with your shortlisted Kennewick wa divorce lawyers for men for a speedy talk and any underlying inquiries regarding the cycle, for example, charging or recording timetables. This allows you to encounter your compatibility with your divorce lawyer. 

It isn’t unprecedented for divorce legal counselors to offer a free beginning interview. Start with an underlying call. Get some information about their experience and specialization inside family law. For them, it is a promotion and case evaluation procedure. For you, it is an extraordinary opening to discover more about expected lawyers. In this meeting, attorneys mean to diagram your alternatives without diving into an excess of detail. Regularly, it involves you illustrating your case for a divorce to a legal advisor and getting counsel on how they would move toward the case regarding monetary repayments or care. Get some information about their rates. Most divorce legal advisors charge an hourly expense and require a retainer — a charge charged ahead of time. A few attorneys will likewise arrange expenses dependent on foreseen settlements. Try not to burn through your time or theirs on a gathering in the event that they’re out of your budget. 

Utilize this chance to get some information about their experience managing comparable cases previously or network of support resources, for example, middle people, child rearing mentors, or even therapists. Ask them about what sort of customer they normally speak to.  In the event that a lawyer discusses prominent customers or unveils classified data dependent on different cases, it’s almost certain they’ll do likewise to you. On the off chance that they aren’t conscious of other divorce lawyers you’re talking with, it’s an indication that they won’t be to you either. 

Sadly, numerous lawyers will say to you what you want to hear just to settle the negotiation. While this is your life, it’s a business for them. There are no guarantees in this process, so if a lawyer is making promises, don’t trust it. Also, if during your counsel, they’re continually occupied by calls and messages and can’t concentrate on you, they probably won’t during your divorce case. Ensure the attorney you pick acts as indicated by the professional ethics of the business and treats you with the regard and consideration you deserve. 

Numerous lawyers are authorized to rehearse in several distinct states; nonetheless, laws can vary radically, even at the local level. You need a Kennewick wa divorce lawyers for men knowledgeable with the guidelines in your general vicinity, just as a comfortable relationship with local judges and authorities in this way you should pick a lawyer from your nearby jurisdiction.

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Family Law – What to Do If You’ve Been Served

Family Law – What to Do If You’ve Been Served

Being served is an uncomfortable experience. Depending on what state you live in, you will immediately be under some time constraints and you will need to take some action. The following are some basics that can get you started.

1) Take a deep breath.

Having someone unexpectedly show up at your home or worse your place of employment, hand you some documents, and say “you’ve been served” is simultaneously upsetting and embarrassing. Depending on your personality, your first reaction may be to lash out, cry, laugh, or lock yourself in a room. The latter may be the best option, because you do not want to react on emotion and do something you will regret. Stop and take a deep breath. Everything you do from this point forward could have consequences in the case that has been filed against you.

2) Assess the situation.

Immediately go to a quiet place where you can thoroughly review what the process server handed to you. If you cannot do this immediately, then do it as soon as possible. There may be upcoming court dates you need to be aware of, and everything contained in the documents will provide important information to you. Make mental notes of the allegations contained in the complaint – remember they are only allegations at this point. Think about why they were made and whether any of them are true.

3) Do NOT talk to anyone yet.

You will want to tell someone what has occurred. You have close friends and family members with whom you regularly confide information about your life. Resist the urge to talk to anyone at this point. For one thing, they may not want to be involved at all. But more importantly, in speaking to them about the facts of the case may instantly make them a material witness. If they are called to testify, they can tell the court what you said to them. This falls under an exception to the hearsay rule, allowing testimony pertaining to party admissions.

4) Consult an attorney.

The exception to point 3 is an attorney. Do some research and find a knowledgeable family law attorney quickly. A family law attorney will be well-versed in the law, the court system, any local intricacies, and will know how to protect you. Additionally, the lawyer will be bound by the attorney-client privilege. It is imperative that you find an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

5) Create a plan.

You will need to respond in some fashion to the lawsuit that has been filed against you. Work with your attorney and figure out what that response is going to be.…

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Where Can You Turn When Your Marriage is Falling Apart?

Where Can You Turn When Your Marriage is Falling Apart?

The dissolution of a marriage is often a major personal, family and financial crisis. It is a decision no married couple or individual partner takes lightly, particularly if children are involved. It frequently represents the end of a way of life for all concerned. There is much confusion regarding where to turn when a marriage is falling apart but there are many excellent resources to help a struggling couple resolve their marital issues.

Many pastors are trained marriage counselors and most communities offer professional counseling services. Both options may be low cost or free. A trusted family attorney may also provide those services and many marriages have been saved through marriage retreats hosted by professional couple’s counselors. However, some marriages cannot or should not remain intact, as in the case of physical, mental or emotional abuse.

Indeed, divorce is sometimes the only option and the ensuing arbitration can become extremely confusing. A couple will suddenly be faced with a bewildering array of life changing decisions that must be addressed in time frames dictated by the courts. Therefore, it is seldom wise for individuals in the divorce process to attempt to represent themselves. A reputable divorce attorney not only acts as a buffer between their client and the opposing party, they expertly advocate on behalf of their client before the courts.

A divorce lawyer skillfully guides the client toward a successful resolution of such complex matters as custody and child support for couples with minor children, alimony and property distribution. Familiar with all legal technicalities, the divorce attorney helps create the best possible fair and just marital dissolution for their client. It is vital that each divorcing party obtain their own legal counsel, a divorce attorney representing their interests only. Under no circumstances should a couple, even those pursuing what they consider an amicable divorce, share an attorney.

It is vital to obtain the services of a divorce lawyer when minor or dependent children are involved. Ascertaining the best interests of the children while protecting parental rights can become an arduous legal conflict. A skilled attorney representing the parent and his or her minor or dependent children can present the court with the best argument for custody, child support and visitation rights.

Today’s courts are unbiased regarding parental gender when assigning custody. They seek to place minor children in the most stable, nurturing environment. Sometimes, as in the case of neglect, abuse or parental addiction issues the best option is placement in a non-parental home or facility. The court also makes the custody decision when minor children are too young to advocate for themselves and the parents cannot agree.

The importance of having expert legal representation before the court throughout every phase of a divorce proceeding cannot be overstressed. A skilled divorce attorney assures a client that their legal rights are being protected and that they are getting everything that is rightfully theirs. Having such an advocate provides peace of mind at a particularly stressful time.…

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How A Divorce Attorney Can Help You Avoid A Contested Divorce

How A Divorce Attorney Can Help You Avoid A Contested Divorce

Although surprising, most couples in the United States sort through their problems on their own and ride through the court process with few difficulties. It may seem shocking that so many people can put their differences aside and work together without the aid of a divorce attorney, but just because they were able to come to an agreement doesn’t mean they did it without legal aid. Many uncontested cases are the result of a collaborative or mediated effort with the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney. Having professional legal aid greatly eases personal tensions and gives an outside perspective on the situation to help both parties come to satisfactory compromises and solutions.

Collaborative

Many former couples can successfully work together, if they are aided by a divorce attorney to provide legal as well as emotional support during the process. By having another outlet to speak through, often times more logically and of course emotionally detached, parties come to an amicable conclusion sooner and often with less financial strain if they were to duke it out in court. These cases often end quite well with both parties feeling confident about their decisions and resentment is minimized than if the court forced one or both parties into a decision.

The problem that lies with the collaborative method is if the situation dissolves and becomes a contested situation. In these cases, the attorney used during the collaborative process cannot be involved with the new case, nor can any documents used during the process be brought to the new trial. This can be extremely stressful and involves both parties starting the entire negotiation process over from scratch. It can also be expensive and time consuming to hire a new attorney and go to trial.

Mediation

Somewhat similar to the collaborative process, mediation involves both parties working through negotiations together with the aid of legal professionals such as a divorce attorney or professional mediator trained to deal with family court legalities. During this course of action, a contract is created between the two parties detailing how assets and finances shall be divided, as well as child issues such as custody, support, and visitation rights. If an agreement is met, the documents are submitted to the court with a high likelihood of acceptance.

Although each of these methods can seem difficult for those dealing with the stress of separation, learning how to cope and communicate with a former partner leads to greater success in the future, especially if there will remain a long-term bond such as children or a shared business. The key to keeping these meetings civil is having a quality divorce attorney to help maintain your perspective and keep you on track. Former couples that find they continually fall into disagreement or arguments can still manage to avoid a lengthy and often dissatisfying trial (or several) by using mediation or collaborative efforts. So before you resign yourself to spending a small fortune, consider working together with your former partner one last time.…