The importance of depositions in some cases Reply

Deposition in divorceMost parties want their divorce or family law case to settle short of trial.  A trial can be expensive from a financial and emotional standpoint.  It also does not make sense for many to put their lives in the hands of a judge to decide what is best for their family.

For various reasons, however, many parties just cannot settle their case.  For one reason or another, the parties have different viewpoints in terms of what is fair and reasonable.  Despite settlement offers between exchanged, settlement conferences taking place in court or mediation, some parties just cannot settle.


Will a divorce make it better? Reply

Children and divorceUnfortunately, in many marriages, things are not always good.  In some marriages, fighting, bickering and animosity can raise to high levels.  In marriages with children, the children can feel as if they are in the middle of a bad situation between their parents.

The thought process of many is that when things get this bad, it is often better to separate and divorce.  By separating and divorcing, the view is that both parties can move on with their life separately.  They can each go their own way.  They can each live their own life.  The hope is that this will fix the situation.


How a paternity test can sometimes complicate a custody case Reply

Paternity test in family courtThe reality is that the paternity of a child can be a real issue in some child custody or support cases between unmarried parents.  These cases are commonly referred to as paternity cases.

Truth be told, there are certainly some cases where the person who is thought to be the father may not be the father.  There are also cases out there where a man has raised a child to be his own later to find out that the child is not his biological child.

Situations like this can cause some fathers to seek a paternity test in court just to be sure they are the father.  Realistically, they believe they are the father.  The birth of the child generally adds up to a time-period where sexual relations were taking place.  But just to ease any concerns or doubts, no matter small they are, they seek to request a formal paternity case in court.


Paying child support before the entry of an order Reply

fathers and child supportIn many child custody and support matters between unmarried parents, it can be some time before the parties are able to get their matter before a judge to enter an order as to custody and child support.

This can be tough for parties on multiple levels.  For many unmarried mothers, they might be concerned about having the financial ability to care for their child.

For many unmarried fathers, they might be concerned about getting visitation with their child.  They might be concerned about financial issues as well.


In settlement negotiations, you often have to give to get Reply

Give to get in family and divorce lawIn divorce and family law matters, there can often be many substantive issues in play for the parties.  In a divorce for example, parties have issues like custody, support and property and debt division to work through to resolve their case.
These can be tough issues to work through.  And, in a lot of levels, all of these issues can be critically important to the parties.
At the same time, to settle a divorce or family law matter, an agreement on all these substantive issues has to be reached for a case to conclude.  This can be tough for lots of parties because everything can seem important to them as it relates to the ability of them to move on with their life.


If you don’t have anything nice to say, better to say nothing Reply

Family law and kind wordsIn the midst of a family law matter, there can often be lots of opportunities for discourse between the parties to a case.  No matter whether it’s a divorce, child custody or other family law matter, there are lots of opportunities for interaction.

Opportunities for interaction can occur in the courthouse hallways.  It can take place while sitting in the back of a courtroom.  It can take place at child custody exchanges.  It might take place on the telephone.  Or, perhaps it takes place at an important family event or an event involving the children.


Annulments due to fraudulent inducement Reply

Annulment for fraud Getting married is a happy time for most.  The hope is that for most they are entering a life time relationship with the person they love in order to share a life together.

In some instances, however, one person might have held back critical details of their life prior to getting into the marriage.  They might have said or done things in order to help induce somebody into marrying that were not true.  Or, in some instances, it might be what they didn’t tell the person they were about to marry.


Parenting time versus custody Reply

Parenting time or custodySome states are dropping the term “custody” in favor of “parenting time.”  One view on this is that the term “custody” can have negative implications.

In other words, if at the conclusion of a divorce or child custody matter, one party is giving “sole” or “joint” custody, the thought is that these labels can be counter-productive.  For example, a parent who is on the short end of a “sole” physical and/or legal custody award might be put off by this designation.


New shared parenting bill signed by Governor Nixon Reply

Shared parenting bill in MissouriIn a previous blog entry, we discussed that HB1550 passed the Missouri House and Senate.  This was a shared parenting bill that had various important components.

Just this week, this legislation was signed by Governor Nixon.  For those who supported this bill, the hope was that this would make fifty-fifty, or equal custody, much more likely in the State of Missouri.  Along with various other components, the other notable hope was that parents who are being denied their custody time will be able to get quick relief by highlighting the already existing Family Access Motion relief available in Missouri statutes — through the requirement of a new disclaimer being added to all custody judgments.


Collaborative family lawyers are educated Reply

Collaborative divorce and family lawIf you are interested in a collaborative divorce, it is important to know that collaborative family lawyers have received training in collaborative practice.  To be trained in collaborative practice, an attorney has to first become a mediator, which entitles 40-hours of training in Missouri.  Afterwards, an attorney has to go through two more days of interdisciplinary training in collaborative practice.

Once an attorney has completed all of this training, they then join an organization called the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  The attorney also joins a local practice group.