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Should I Text My Lawyer?

Text messages (also known as SMS, short message service) are a common way of communicating. Instead of picking up the phone or drafting an email, many like the ease and quickness of sending a text. For this reason, many clients text their lawyer in a divorce or family law matter. Text communications can be short and to the point. Clients can also attach photos and videos to texts. Because texting is so easy, many are looking to text their lawyer about their divorce or family law matter. Is texting an effective form of communication for clients going through a divorce

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Body Language Matters in the Family Court

In the family court, there are a lot of moving parts. This includes worrying about the witnesses who will be called, the evidence presented, and how the judge will rule. It may involve the emotions and stress involved with having to be in court. For many, it takes a long time to get a trial or court date. Even if it is merely a motion date, or a pretrial or settlement conference, these court dates can be stressful. Stress can cause parties to become nervous, anxious, or even frustrated. These feelings can sometimes bring out bad body language in the courtroom. The

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Why You Should Listen To Your Attorney And Tune Others Out

Parties going through a divorce or contested family law matter are ordinarily going to be going through a range of emotions.  When everything you hold near and dear to you suddenly is put in the balance, this can cause emotional turmoil. This emotional turmoil can cause a party to reach out to third parties to ease their pain and insecurities.  In other words, versus being confident and secure that they are taking the right action, people often seek the advice from multiple different sources. However, the reality is a party has to communicate effectively with that attorney.  It is vital

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Staying calm when reading court documents

Are legal pleadings filed by the other side upsetting you? When a divorce or family law case begins, it usually starts with the filing of the initial pleadings, including a petition or motion. After the petition or motion is served, the other party files with the court an answer or response to the initial pleadings. A counter-petition can often be submitted to the court as well. Certainly, the preciseness of the pleadings can vary by state and county. Regardless, where pleadings are filed and served, the other party often reads all the language in the initial pleadings. For those who

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Child custody in Missouri over the holidays: A primer

Parents may need to review child custody arrangements before making holiday plans. The holidays are often a time to focus on family and celebrate a joyous occasion. For those who are divorced, the holidays can bring more than just joy and celebration, they can bring stress over which parent gets to share the holiday traditions with their children. Parents in this situation can reduce the stress and focus on the joy by having a basic understanding of how child custody laws in their state impact the holidays. How does Missouri law impact child custody over the holidays? In Missouri, the

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Dealing With Therapy Privilege

Therapy and Mental Health Records Often Important in Custody Proceedings Communications with therapists and other health professionals can be a heavily litigated issue in a custody case. One party might feel that these records are crucial to making their custody case. As a result, they might spend lots of time and money trying to obtain these records. As an aside, a party might simply opt for a custody evaluation because a thorough custody evaluation might provide an easier path to obtaining the same information. A custody evaluator will likely want to see prior therapy, mental health and medical records in

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DAD SERVING OVERSEAS MAY LOSE CUSTODY BECAUSE OF INABILITY TO APPEAR IN MICHIGAN COURTROOM

Matthew Hindes is a sailor stationed in a submarine somewhere in the Pacific. Four years after he was granted permanent custody of his child, 6-year-old-Kaylee, from his ex-wife, a circuit court judge has ordered him to appear in court over his ex-wife’s custody petition filed last year. “At this point, I don’t think I have any alternative but to enter a bench warrant for his arrest,” Judge Margaret Noe stated Monday according to the Daily Telegram, despite reviewing a letter authenticating his service overseas. Candidly, it is very hard to understand the rationale behind this ruling just based on what

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A New Spin on Blended Families

The scenario of two families harmoniously melding into one new entity, just like the Brady Bunch, usually differs from the reality most step and non-traditional families experience. Family therapists have long recognized the unrealistic idea the term “blended family” puts forward and the term has mostly fallen out of favor. It conjures up the vision of unrelated children seamlessly coming together into a family headed by two parents, one of whom is often largely unknown to the children. The reality is that life in a blended family is not always rosy. Demographers have found that individuals who remarry have a

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Common Mental Health Conditions Affecting Custody & Asset Division

In resolving child-custody issues, the primary consideration is the best interests and welfare of the child. The mental health of the parents is one of the many factors which courts consider in determining an award of custody. The following are a list of some of the mental health disorders which have been relevant in determining custody. As always, consult your local jurisprudence for applicability. Schizophrenia: It is a psychotic disorder per the DSM-IV characterized by altered mental processes and emotional responses. Typical symptoms are auditory hallucinations, paranoid or abnormal delusions, and seemingly disorganized speech. It often results in social and

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Changes in military retirement will have major impact on divorces

The new military retirement system began on January 1, 2018. The question of how retirement benefits will be divided in divorce is always important to both parties, but it just got more complicated for military divorces. On January 1, 2018, a new military retirement program began called the Uniformed Services Blended Retirement System or BRS. New features These are the key changes from the new plan: The introduction of a 401(k)-like component, called a defined contribution plan An optional bonus in exchange for a longer service commitment An optional lump sum payout at the beginning of retirement pay in exchange

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A Child Custody Case: Is it Mitochondrial Disorder or Medical Child Abuse?

Justina Pelletier, a Connecticut teenager caught in the middle of a year-long custody battle between her parents and the Massachusetts child-protection agency, won a minor victory on Friday when the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced plans to return 15-year-old Justina Pelletier back to her home state of Connecticut. This came as the result of heightened media attention triggering 16 state legislators to draft a resolution in an attempt to strip Justina’s custodial rights from the Massachusetts DCF. According to Keith Mason, President of Personhood USA and advocate for the Pelletier family, “This is a situation where a

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Can character witnesses be needed in family law issues?

Expert witnesses are very important in a family law issue or a divorce case. Naturally, this lead to a discussion about character witnesses. Do character witnesses help in a divorce? Child custody? Family Law matter? Or the question arises, “do they even make a difference?” These are all very important questions in need of a discussion. Parties often come to their divorce and/or family law attorney with the proposal that they call character witnesses. Typically, the most common character witnessed that are presented by a party are friends and family members. Parties often think it might be helpful to have

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Prenuptial Agreements Line by Line

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw
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Strategies For Family Law Illinois

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw
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Strategies For Military Family Law

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

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Legal Separation FAQs

Ending a marriage is never easy, and the thought of divorce can be incredibly distressing. However, if you and your spouse are having severe problems

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