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Mistakes in Valuing and Dividing Real Property

Top Mistakes in Valuing and Dividing Real Property: A. Farmland and Divorce Traditionally, farms are acquired by gift or inheritance by or through family members. These family farms tend to be owned by multi-generational farming families that may or may not have formal or informal agreements regarding the allocation of operating expenses and the division of profits. This means that, while the younger generations may have ownership interests in the growing crops or livestock, the older generations may actually own the land. Traditionally, legal title is protected and, even in long term marriages, the non-owning spouse may not acquire any

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Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Overview In Child Custody Litigation

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?A definition of alienation is a child who expresses, freely and persistently, unreasonable negative feelings and beliefs (such as anger, hatred, rejection and/or fear) toward a parent that are significantly disproportionate to the child’s actual experience with that parent.[1] This can happen when two parents are divorcing, or when the parents are fighting over custody.[2] Parents may try to alienate the children for various motives, including revenge, power, fear, jealousy, or due to mental disability.[3] Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) has three main elements: (1) rejection or denigration of a parent that reaches the level of

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Key Strategies to Get Your Evidence Admitted & Keeping Theirs Out

1. Strategies for Getting Evidence Authenticated Beyond Set Criteria GuideThere are multiple methods for getting your evidence authenticated for your case. The conventional methods consist of interrogatories, requests for production or admission, and depositions. Normally, any evidence that is presented in the course of any of these aforementioned discovery methods is presented to the court as being authenticated because the opposing counsel included it in their responses or production of evidentiary material. There are also multiple other methods of authenticating your evidence. These methods include judicial notice, accumulation of evidence, stipulations negotiated with opposing counsel, and using motions in Limine.

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Imputed Income in Divorce

A. What is “Imputed” Income? Imputed income is income that a court assigns or credits to a party for the purpose of child support and / or spousal support. Income is typically imputed in situations where a party is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. However, in some cases, courts have imputed income in situations where the evidence suggests a party has the potential to earn higher income, but has simply not taken a position or searched for a position that would permit that party to maximize his / her earnings. Additionally, some courts have imputed income to the property held by

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How to Modify Custody and Visitation Orders

Many parents who go through a divorce and child custody dispute are left feeling defeated when everything has been finalized. This is especially true for parents who did not receive primary custody. But it’s important to remember that a finalized child custody agreement is not necessarily a permanent one. As time goes on and circumstances change, child custody orders can be modified. This can occur either as the result of a consent order or a motion filed with the courts. The consent order is essentially an agreement to change the current agreement. Say, for instance, that a child has been

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Key Strategies to Get Your Evidence Admitted & Keeping Theirs Out of it

1. Strategies for Getting Evidence Authenticated Beyond Set Criteria Guide There are multiple methods for getting your evidence authenticated for your case. The conventional methods consist of interrogatories, requests for production or admission, and depositions. Normally, any evidence that is presented in the course of any of these aforementioned discovery methods is presented to the court as being authenticated because the opposing counsel included it in their responses or production of evidentiary material. There are also multiple other methods of authenticating your evidence. These methods include judicial notice, accumulation of evidence, stipulations negotiated with opposing counsel, and using motions in

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Settlement Negotiation, Trial Strategies, and Drafting Final Orders

1. Settlement Negotiations In negotiations, there are multiple strategic goals that need to be met in order to be successful. They include: Determining whether a bargaining zone exists – that is, whether a mutually beneficial agreement is possible – and identifying the range of possible agreements; Changing the scope or emphasis of the negotiation in a way that makes a transaction mutually beneficial when otherwise there would be no possibility of finding a mutually beneficial agreement, or in a way that makes an agreement even more mutually beneficial than it otherwise would be; Exercising negotiating power to capture some or

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Valuing and Dividing Complex Assets: Stock, Retirement Plans and More

III. Valuing and Dividing Complex Assets: Stock, Retirement Plans and More A. Stock Options: How to Value, How to Distribute and When 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. In evaluating whether an employee stock option constitutes a “property” interest, the standard

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Preparing for Mediation

1. What is mediation? During mediation, a qualified mediator assists both parties to come to an agreement by discussing different options for settlement and helping each party to better understand the viewpoints of one another. Mediation sessions can be joint sessions where both parties are present or private caucuses where the mediator meets with each party individually. Unlike arbitration where the ultimate decision is outside of the parties’ hands, mediation allows the parties to come to an agreement together which leads to a more amicable situation. 2. Selecting the Mediator First things first, when a client is deciding on participating

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Missouri Summary on Divorce Procedures, Initial Steps and Motions

A. Recouping Attorneys’ Fees All attorneys should have a written fee agreement with their client before undertaking any representation in a divorce or family law matter. Sample fee agreements can often be obtained through your local bar. The Missouri Bar has sample fee agreements here: http://members.mobar.org/pdfs/fdr/fdrsamples.pdf. (Sample Form 1 is a good example for divorce litigation.) Fee agreements should include clauses such as Scope of Services, Hourly Rates, Advances Fee Amount (Initial Deposit), Litigation Expenses, Frequency of Billing Statements, Discharge and Withdrawal, how long file will kept after case ends, and a disclaimer against estimates and guarantees. RULE 4-1.5: Fees

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Legal Summary: Handling Ethical Issues in Family Law Practice for Paralegals

A. AVOIDING CONFLICTS OF INTERESTConflicts of interest can pose a serious problem if not properly handled from the start of a lawyer-client relationship in divorce and family law matters. A conflicts search is a necessary part of any practice. All attorneys need to have conflict of interest software that screens whether the firm has a conflict of interest. If your firm does not have conflict software, or other appropriate safety measures in place, they are playing with fire. There are several kinds of inexpensive conflict of interest software available that any lawyer can purchase and implement. The process of checking

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Paternity Actions

Paternity is a legal term that means fatherhood. In many states, if parents are married, the husband is automatically considered to be the father of a child born during the marriage. But, children whose parents are not married have no legal father unless the parents establish paternity. Around 40 percent of children in the United States are born out-of-wedlock, and in most cases these children are just as loved, well adjusted and healthy as those born to married parents. Yet, they do face one challenge that children with married parents do not: there are significant disadvantages to lacking an official

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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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