Divorce Case Intake and Pre-Litigation Tactics

DIVORCE CASE INTAKE AND PRE-LITIGATION TACTICS Client Interview Questions and Documents to Obtain In any type of legal interaction between a family law attorney and client, the first interview is perhaps the most important. To advise the client properly, it is important to have a checklist of information from the client at the first interview.1 Many important questions will have to be asked. A document like a domestic information sheet will answer many of these questions. This form will help answer many fundamental questions about the two parties in the divorce.2 What of the two parties in the divorce?3 What


Legal Summary: Family Law Ethics

IV. ETHICS Fee Agreements-Review a Sample Agreement Practical Tip: All family law attorneys should have a written fee agreement with their client before undertaking any representation in a divorce matter. The Missouri Bar has published Model Fee Agreements and many state bars have done the same. Using a fee agreement from the state bar is often advisable. The Bar Plan also has fee agreements that lawyers can download that mirrors what the Missouri Bar had previously published: https://www.thebarplan.com/missouri-sample-hourly-fee-agreement/ Fee agreements should include clauses such as: Scope of Services; Hourly Rates; Advances Fee Amount (Initial Deposit); Litigation Expenses; Frequency of Billing


How Attorneys Can Guide Distraught Clients Through Difficult Divorces

Divorce can be an incredibly draining and stressful experience. Whether it’s a mutual decision, contested, or involves minimal shared property, divorce always holds the potential of forcing you to upend and restructure your life, seemingly in a very short amount of time. Some individuals weather the stress of divorce more easily than others. For the emotionally distraught client, the right divorce lawyer can make a world of difference in their experience. Good Attorneys Build Trust With Clients Through Honest Conversations The attorney-client relationship is a complicated one. Despite this, there are limits to what an attorney can offer. Unfortunately, many


Missouri Law Summary on Guardianships

Below is some Missouri law involving guardianships. This summary includes some relevant statutes and applicable case law. These are just some examples of reported cases on this topic.Because the facts of every circumstance is different, it is important to consult with an attorney regarding any particular circumstance. However, this summary does help provide some important information on this topic. A guardian is a person appointed by the Probate Court to have the custody of a minor or of an incapacitated person. A limited guardian is a person whose powers as guardian are limited by the court to certain specified functions.


Vocational and Lifestyle Experts: Getting to Court to See Your Side on Support Issues

I. Employability Assessments in Divorce – What You Need to Know The purpose of evaluation is to assess current and/or future employability and wage earning capacity for the court. It can include the presentation of a vocational plan outlining specific details as to how the person will return to the job market (e.g., training time, cost, appropriate programs, entry/ceiling earnings upon plan completion, and job availability). What are the limitations of this process? This procedure is not a method for the diagnosis or treatment of psychological problems nor does it allow for career counseling over a period of time (i.e.,


Missouri Law Summary on Name Changes for Minor Children

Parents are allowed to change their child’s name. Both parents must give written consent in order for a court to grant the name change. Missouri courts will consider a name change to be proper by applying a best interest of the child test. According to Missouri case law, the court looks at three factors: (1) the child’s age; (2) the potential embarrassment or discomfort the child would experience when his or her surname is different from the custodial parent’s name; (3) and how the name change will affect the child’s relationship with their parents.1 A. Adoption After the adoption proceedings,


Legal Summary: Family Law Mediation Bootcamp

BASIC MEDIATION SKILLS Understanding Conflict Conflict, or more specifically, interpersonal conflict, is a fact of life. It often emerges when people are stressed. It is said that people are the most stressed during major life events, including death, marriage, imprisonment, and divorce. Understanding conflict during the divorce process is crucial to a successful family law mediation because it will help the mediator understand each person’s feelings, actions, desires to take a position and it will guide the mediator to work through those issues and assist the participants in working towards an amicable, workable agreement. Conflict Definitions and Alternatives Conflict is


Facebook Evidence Used in More Divorces

A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) revealed that social networking sites have become a hot source for evidence. Over eighty percent of family law attorneys surveyed found that they have seen an increase in the amount of divorces using social networking evidence over the past five years. Facebook was found to be the biggest online source, followed by MySpace and Twitter. Without thinking, many people have given clues about their infidelity, habits, and lifestyle on their Facebook profile. This can be in the form of public postings, chats, and most frequently through photos. Online activities


Facebook Evidence and Divorce

I. Introduction Technology is advancing every day. The affect it has on family law has been growing just as fast. From before the case, to discovery, during the case and even after, technology can both positively and negatively affect the outcome of any case. These new sources can be used to target pieces of information beyond those found in the traditional sources of information. A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) revealed that social networking sites have become a hot source for evidence. Over eighty percent of family law attorneys surveyed found that they have seen


Missouri Legal Summary on Adoptions

I. OVERVIEW – WHO CAN BE ADOPTED AND WHO CAN ADOPT?Adoption is the legal process that constructs a parent/child relationship between an adult and child, who might not be related by blood. “There are three sets of participants in an adoption: the petitioners (the adoptive parents, who are seeking to adopt the child); the child to be adopted; and the birth parents (the biological parents of the child to be adopted).”1 The adoption process serves to create a legal relationship between the adoptive parent and child and sever any legal right of the biological parents.2 There may be several reasons


Legal Ethics in Family Law

A. Confidentiality Concerns A Lawyers’ duty of confidentiality is one of the profession’s “core values.” The ethics duty of confidentiality extends far beyond the evidentiary attorney-client privilege. The duty generally covers any information learned during the attorney-client relationship (not just communications to or from a client). Even information in the public record can be subject to this ethical duty of confidentiality. Lawyers must assure that paralegals under their supervision comply with this ethics duty of confidentiality. ABA Model Rule 5.3(a)(b) – “With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer: a partner, and a lawyer


Dividing Stock Options in Divorce

I. Community vs. Separate Property A stock option is a contractual right to purchase stock during a specified period at a predetermined price. Increasingly, corporations are granting stock options to employees as compensation for services that have been, or will, be performed. The increasing use of employee stock options has translated into expanding litigation concerning whether stock options are marital property, and if so, how they should be valued and divided Most states are equitable division states. However, analyzing how community property and equitable distribution work, and the differences, is helpful for parties going through a divorce with stock options.


Prenuptial Agreements Line by Line

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

Strategies For Family Law Illinois

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

Strategies For Military Family Law

Aspatore Books from Thomson Reuters Westlaw

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