Find a Divorce Lawyer – How to Find the Best Family Law Attorney

November 23rd, 2020 by admin No comments »

Make an Informed Decision When Retaining a Divorce Lawyer

Finding the right family law attorney (or divorce lawyer) is a process that many people are not entirely comfortable with. People often don’t know what qualifications to look for. Often the only information people have to go on is a recommendation from a friend, or listings in a phone book. But retaining legal representation for your divorce is a process that warrants some extra due diligence on your part. Here are some tips to help you find the best divorce attorney for you:

Create a list:
You could open the phone book to ‘divorce lawyers’ and just point to see which you see first. But there is a better way. If you feel comfortable asking friends to recommend a divorce lawyer that may be a good place to start. You can also check one of several reputable family law yellow pages on the internet. Those directories will help you find qualified divorce lawyers in your area. Make sure you only consider family law attorneys who practice in the county where you live. The details of family law can vary significantly from one county to another.

Narrow the list:
Whittle your list into a “short list” of lawyers who are actually worth interviewing.

Look for lawyers who have devoted their entire practice to the area of family law. Several states offer certifications in family law legal specialization.
Ensure that the divorce attorneys on your list are in good standing with your state bar.
Also, while there is no single label that universally identifies good divorce lawyers, a generally respected lebel is the Martindale Hubbell peer review rating. Attorneys only qualify for this rating after they have been admitted to the bar for five years or more.

Meet face-to-face:
Once you have narrowed the field to a manageable number of candidates, schedule in-person meetings with each of the divorce lawyers on your list.

Be aware of the responsiveness of each firm or attorney to your meeting request. You want to be sure that the family law attorney you retain is able to devote an adequate amount of time to your case; if it takes 3 business days or more to get a call back it may be an indication that they are too busy to give your case the attention it deserves.
When you do meet with your short-list candidates, ask about their experience with cases like yours. For example, if you expect a contentious custody battle, ask them to talk about their experience with such cases.
Realize that the attorney you interview may not be the one who is actually assigned to your case. Ask which associate will be working on your case, and meet that individual as well. He or she will likely be your day-to-day point of contact and it is important that you feel comfortable working with him/her.

If it’s worth hiring a divorce lawyer for your case, it’s worth this extra homework up front. Take the time to create a qualified list of candidates and have a better chance of finding the best divorce attorney for you.

Improving American Education Requires Family Law Reform

November 5th, 2020 by admin No comments »

The recent release of Davis Guggenheim’s film Waiting for Superman has contributed to a flurry of discussion over how to fix failing American schools. But nearly nobody mentions that American kids are often underperforming because of the conflict and insecurity created by the broken divorce courts and family policies of the United States. While some progress on education reform is possible by firing bad teachers and hiring new ones, it is clear that much of the potential improvement in educational performance of American children cannot be fully realized without fixing the broken family policies, laws, and courts in this country.

America’s academic performance has been on a steady downward slope for decades. This decline parallels the destruction of families via no-fault divorce that has made divorce far more common as well as the laws and court behaviors that create conflict and place children into traumatic and contentious custody battles. Often these children are stripped of most or all contact with one of their parents due to wrongful sole custody decisions and the courts enabling and encouraging parental alienation child abuse. The two phenomena of poor school performance and poor family life are directly related. While parents do make their own share of mistakes, failed government policies are the glue that binds together these interconnected disasters into a destructive spiral.

Divorce Hurts School Performance And Graduation Rates

Studies show that divorce has a major negative impact on student performance. This impact has grown as divorces have become more common and contentious. In 1920, a divorce cost a student about 3.6 months of educational progress. By 1970, with the rise of no-fault divorce, the impact was 12 months of lost progress.

Divorces impact high school graduation rates severely. Students whose parents stay together average a high school completion rate of 78.4% by age 20. One divorce drops the rate to 60%. Two or more divorces drop it to 40%. The drop in high school completion roughly matches that related to the death of a parent.

While divorce is damaging, that damage can be mitigated. Kids who have experienced one divorce followed by a parental remarriage have a similar rate of high school completion as those kids whose parents didn’t split up. But if the parents divorce yet again, the damage increases.

Parental Behaviors Affect Children’s School Performance

In their book NutureShock, writers Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman describe research that shows that even small changes in the way parents praise and correct their children have huge impact on their achievement.

Psychologist Carol Dweck found that parents who praise their children’s intelligence, rather than their effort, induce their children to take fewer risks at stretching their learning and experiences. The kids fear that they may fail doing something new and will not be praised. But children who are praised for their good effort are more willing to try new things, be it a new hobby, sport, or area of study.

Other research shows that variations in corrective style also have huge impact on kids. Bronson describes research that shows what happens when mothers are told their children did not do well on a test and take differing approaches to help their children cope. Psychologist Florrie Ng did an experiment with American kids in Illinois and Chinese kids in Hong Kong. She found that after telling mothers their children didn’t do well on a test, American moms don’t bother to try to help their children do better, unlike Chinese moms. The Americans ignore reported poor performance and talked about anything but the test, as if to shield their children from failure. The Chinese instead try to encourage their children to do better. The results? On a retest, Chinese students improved their performance by 33%, more than twice as large a performance improvement as their American counterparts. The American kids seem to get the message that it doesn’t matter how they do, the Chinese get the message that they are loved but can do better.

From this research, it is clear that minor differences in how children are praised or corrected can create enormous differences in outcome as measured by academic performance.

Given this, how do you think big differences like having two loving cooperative parents versus two warring parents will affect academic performance?

Custody Battles and Missing Parents Hurt Kids

Parents are often being driven to fail their children by failed government policies. The government and its “child protection” agencies and family law courts pit parents against each other in custody wars, sapping the family’s resources that could have been better allocated to education and raising children.

The parental warfare often results in children learning that being emotional manipulators is a path to success as parents cave in and reward these behaviors due to the fear their children will turn against them and the courts will strip them of their roles as parents if they do not. A parent in a custody battle may shy away from telling little Johnny and Jane that they need to work harder in school because that parent might never see them again as a result. All it takes for that to happen is the other parent making false accusations of emotional abuse or using the corrective comments as propaganda in a parental alienation brainwashing campaign.

Most of our readers know people who have lost their children to parental alienation, false child abuse allegations, or bribery by a selfish parent. Many of them have had it happen to them.

High-conflict parents driven by high-conflict courts create narcissistic children who will engage in their own selfish and high-conflict behaviors in the future. Such children are often emotionally immature, suffer from increased insecurities, and are frequently exposed to damaging conflicts between parents that teaches them severe conflict is normal and they can’t count on the people who supposedly love them. Their troubled lives mean they cannot effectively focus on education, taking reasonable risks, and “just being kids” like most children used to be able to do.

The parental warfare also means that educational enrichment opportunities are fewer for them as their parents are paying their life savings to the divorce industry that is destroying their families and are so busy writing declarations, testifying, scheming, and/or defending against false allegations that they pay much less attention to their children.

Family Conflict Impedes Academic Achievement

The connection between divorce and poor school performance is not a new discovery. A 1991 study entitled Academic performance in children of divorce: psychological resilience and vulnerability found children of divorce suffered lower academic performance compared to children of intact families. Yet the researchers noted that not all children of divorce fared equally poorly. There appeared to be two subgroups of children of divorce, those who were not far different from their peers in intact families and those who performed drastically worse. I call the second subgroup the “children of conflict” to emphasize that it is not merely a divorce that is causing the trouble, it is a conflict-prone family life that leaves children feeling very insecure.

Why do the children of conflict fare so much more poorly? There is more than one answer to this.

First, the level of conflict they experience hurts their emotions and mental health, leaving them less able to focus on schooling. If you’re being taught to hate your other parent and don’t know when you’ll see dad or mom or grandma and grandpa next, a lot of your attention and mental energy is being wasted on conflicts and feelings of insecurity rather than learning.

Second, the economic resources sucked out of their families into the greedy hands of the divorce industry and the government probably would have been spent in part on enrichment activities. Some parents might choose camps, others may choose educational vacations, others arts and crafts or fix-it projects, and still others might work part-time to spend more time with their kids. But American style divorce means that all of these options are largely lost except for the very wealthy.

Third, even if somehow the money wasted doesn’t preclude opportunities, the wasteful court process causes many parents to spend countless hours hiring and consulting with lawyers, writing court papers, testifying, and attending hearings and mediations. The courts often pile on mandatory counseling and parenting classes in a deceitful attempt to make it look like they are trying to pour water on the conflict when in reality they are doing all they can to light a fire under both parents to scare them to death and motivate them to pour their time and money into the war. After all of this, there is a lot less time remaining for the children and a lot less energy for them, too. Parents are emotionally burned out by the warfare and it drastically worsens the quality of time many of them have with their children. Some parents no longer see their children at all despite all their efforts. The children suffer badly from this.

Family Law Attorney Q&A

October 22nd, 2020 by admin No comments »

When should I consult with a divorce attorney?

It is never too early in the process to consult with an attorney. Engaging with legal counsel early allows you to make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls – increasing your ability to achieve your goals. Remember, consulting with an Austin divorce attorney does not mean that you will be divorced; you may need information about the family law legal process. A common problem that I see is clients wait too long to contact an attorney to obtain legal advice and could have ended up with a better result if they had been informed about their options earlier.

What should I bring with me to the initial consultation?

Because family law matters can be very stressful, it is a good idea to write down any questions you have and bring them with you to the first meeting so nothing important is forgotten. You may also want to bring any documents relevant to your case if available – such as federal income tax returns, or documents concerning your assets and debts. If you signed a pre-marital agreement or any other kind of property agreement prior to or during your marriage, bring a copy to the consultation.

I was just served with divorce papers. What should I do?

You should retain a divorce attorney as soon as possible so they may provide legal advice regarding what has been requested and any hearings that have been scheduled. Once retained, your divorce attorney will file an answer on your behalf.

My spouse and I would like to only hire one attorney for our divorce. Is that possible?

In Texas, one attorney may not represent both spouses. Nor may a divorce attorney retained by one spouse give legal advice to the opposing party. Do some research to find out if your state allows representation by one attorney.

I understand that I have to go through mediation for my divorce. Is that true?

In Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties, mediation is required before a final hearing will be held in a family law case. In mediation, a trained, neutral third-party acts a facilitator for the settlement discussions between the parties and their respective attorneys. If an agreement cannot be reached during the mediation process, the parties may decide to resolve their issues via litigation.

How long will it take to get a divorce?

The time required to develop the final terms of your divorce is highly dependent on the number of issues to be resolved and the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement. In Texas, there is a statutory waiting period of 60 days after the Petition is filed before the divorce may be finalized.

Do both spouses have to consent to the divorce? What if one of us does not want the divorce?

Texas has a “no-fault” divorce statue. This means that a divorce can be obtained, even if only one spouse desires it. You do not need the agreement of your spouse to file the Original Petition for Divorce or to pursue a divorce.

What does it mean when an attorney is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization?

A family law attorney who wants to be Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization applies to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization to take a day long written exam to become Board Certified in Family Law. Of the 78,032 attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas, only 691 are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, or less than one percent of the lawyers in the state of Texas.

Five Common Types of Family Law Issues

October 15th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Individuals and families may experience a variety of different legal issues that fall under the heading of family law. Some personal situations may necessitate the assistance of an attorney to resolve. Navigating property division or child custody due to divorce would be examples of interconnected issues in one family’s situation. Here are five broad categories that fall under the domain of family law.

Divorce

When contemplating the dissolution of a marriage, a divorce lawyer can help you navigate the many potential issues involved in this process. The division of assets can be complicated, especially if one party tries to conceal assets from the other party. Charged emotions can be a common factor in divorce proceedings, making the process even more challenging for everyone. For this reason, the assistance of an impartial professional may make the proceedings easier. The professional also has a thorough understanding of the laws in your state, enabling effective and efficient representation.

Child Custody

When two parents dissolve their marriage, or they opt to parent their children separately, child custody becomes an issue. With child custody, the parents must work out an agreement regarding the amount of time children will spend with each parent and where the children will live. Parents must also agree about how they will make decisions about the children’s welfare and upbringing. If parents have difficulty agreeing to terms, they may need to involve the court system to help them create a binding arrangement.

Child Support

Parents have the responsibility of monetarily supporting their children until the children reach adulthood. In cases where parents do not live together, and the children spend more time living with one parent, the other parent usually pays child support to help contribute to the expenses incurred by raising the child. Generally, individual states set a specific amount of child support due from the noncustodial parent, which is dependent on the earnings of this parent. The state will enforce payment of child support to the custodial parent.

Spousal Support

Upon the dissolution of a marriage, one party may petition to have the other party continue to provide financial support. The court may require the party earning a higher income to provide spousal support for the other party. The terms of spousal support can vary depending on the financial situation of the party receiving the support and the party providing it.

Property Division

Dividing up the property from a marriage can be a laborious task. Generally, two parties will share any property or financial increase that occurred during their marriage. Both parties also have the right to continue living in their mutually owned property. An attorney can help navigate the process of calculating any property or financial increase and dividing property equally between the two parties.

Knowing Your Judge in a Family Law Case in Essex County, New Jersey

September 25th, 2020 by admin No comments »

New Jersey Superior Court, Family Division of Essex County is the busiest family law courthouse in New Jersey. The diverse county of Essex includes wealthy areas like Short Hills and Livingston and poorer areas in Irvington and Newark. The courthouse is located at 212 Washington Street in Newark, NJ. While there are many different types of family law cases in a family law courthouse, this article will focus on the Judges of the Matrimonial Division which handles divorces and post divorce actions.

Judge Nancy Sivilli is one of the longest standing family law/divorce judges in Essex County. Judge Sivilli was a civil court judge prior to being transferred to the family division where she handles a very heavy docket. Judge Sivilli is a neutral judge that understands both sides of the story as she is married and has children. While it is not critical for a family law judge to have kids, I believe having kids gives you a different persepective than someone that does not. Judge Sivilli make the speech at the early settlement panel to inform litigants of their chance to resolve their matters before having a trial.

The next judge is the Honorable Judge Donald Kessler who has also been on the family law bench of Essex County for a long time. Judge Kessler is a stickler to the rules of the court, but is a very kind and patient person. He does not tolerate yelling or other unruly behavior in his court. He permits people to make their arguments one at a time as a court should be like and not like the Maury Show that some judges permit. Judge Kessler is a family man who really watches out for the needs of the children in each case over anything else.

Judge Michael Casale is the next judge that focuses on matrimonial cases and is a judge that I believe understands the rules of equitable distribution more than most judges. In a recent case, he ruled that the party who invested pre-marital funds into the marital home should retrieve that portion of the equity before dividing anything that may be left. While other judges rule that once you invest money together, the money is “commingled” and the division of the money is lost. This latter argument to me does not make sense in a court of equity. I agree to Judge Casale’s methods and theory.

Whether you have a case before Judge Sivilli, Judge Casale or Judge Kessler, Judge Neil Jasey, Judge Russell, Judge Adobato, the divorce process in Essex can be very long because of the “war between Trenton and Essex” and the lack of judges allotted to Essex which has caused a family court trial backlog. While there is a backlog, the good news is that these judges are very wise and do manage their calendars quite well.

Family Law, Divorce and Custody

September 6th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Divorce and separation is a stressful and upsetting time for every child involved no matter how old they are. Even adults whose parents decide to separate after a number of years can still be traumatised by the events. And what makes matters worse is that the legal system in this country is not set up properly to deal with custody battle in a number of situations. When one parent decides that they want to move far away from the family home and take the child with them, the justice system is more commonly than not on the side of the mother. The child’s wishes and emotional health play little part.

During the Victorian era, men were always granted custody whenever a marriage dissolved, no matter what the reason and the competence of the mother to look after their child. Now, we see that women are more often than not granted custody of their children when a marriage or partnership ends, often with a harsh settlement deal for the father.

Campaigners are now trying to find a middle point between these two extremes by making the child’s life easier during this time and continuing their access to both parents, unless of course there has been violence or mental damage done by one party.

A report has been published recently which criticises the court’s reluctance to give custody rights to fathers over mothers, and allows a mother to move far with the child so that the father is unable to see their child. It has called this action ’state-sanctioned kidnap’ because the courts do not prevent one party taking their child a long distance away from their former partner.

Forcing a child to leave one of their parents, their other relatives, friends and the school which they have grown up in causes children emotional harm, stress and damage in the long-term. Judges have sometimes seemed to totally ignore the wishes of the child and granted custody to a parent when they showed a greater wish to stay with the other parent.

If you are going through a separation at the moment and children are involved, speak to a family lawyer like Raleys Solicitors who will be able to talk through your situation and help you decide on the best course of action for you and your child.

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Finding the Best Family Law Divorce Lawyer & Attorney

March 13th, 2020 by admin No comments »

Family law disputes range from complex legal battles to the unchallenged officiating of circumstances. Though aspects may be very simple, and be included in all legal service, others can become heated and highly disputed legal battles lasting many months. While the former may be delivered by any qualified lawyer, it’s best to invest in the best family law attorney if you are expecting a fight.

Finding one isn’t just a matter of establishing a big budget for your legal battle. In fact, the first step to finding a strong attorney is to take money out of the equation.

Firstly, it’s generally not legal or advisable to use your usual family solicitor if they have previously represented any party that you will be fighting against. In the case of family law, this typically represents the other half of a marriage or a child’s second custodian. You may, however, ask your solicitor for advice in selecting a strong person to represent you.

Secondly: Choose experience and specialization. Family law encompasses a vast and varied knowledge base. Lawyers will use substantial reference material to help them pursue complex cases, but their overall knowledge and experience with the subject will substantially affect research time and the quality of their results. A lawyer charging an hourly rate which initially seems quite cheap may in fact take many more hours to accomplish the same as a more experienced attorney. Look for experience, specialization and then price, with an aim to balance the three factors.

Budget with your attorney. Most attorneys will be flexible when it comes to formulating payment plans, they are aware that their services can be costly and are sensitive to a clients constraints. Just because you are on a budget does not mean you can’t afford an excellent attorney, in fact it may be to your advantage to spend that little bit more. An experienced attorney will prioritize workload based upon your budget and will be able to establish a far more accurate overview of case costs.

To get in touch with an excellent family law divorce lawyer attorney, seek out your local or regional law society or guiding body. These institutions exist, in one form or another, in most western countries and aim to document and accredit genuinely excellent lawyers. That said, you should be wary of false accreditations and ask any prospective lawyers how you might verify their record.

It should be clear by now that finding the best family law attorney does not necessarily mean spending a fortune. In fact, you may find cheaper attorneys ultimately cost more due to extended research time and protracted cases. Ensure that they have a good understanding of the areas of law he may be required to fight, and ask them for an estimation as to the length and complexity of the case they are undertaking.

If you’re looking for an experienced divorce attorney check out Charles M. Green, APLC.

Marketing, Promoting and Advertising Your Business

February 28th, 2020 by admin No comments »

One thing that goes without saying in today’s business world, is that regardless of the nature of your home based business, a website is an absolute MUST. Whether you have a product or service to sell, whether local or global, your business will go nowhere fast if you don’t have an online presence. If you need internet marketing help, you’ve landed on the right article. I’ll give you some home based business marketing ideas that will help you promote your business successfully.

The first step is choosing a domain name and getting it registered. You can build your own website (if you have the time) and host it yourself or you can have everything done by another company (if you have the money). Either way, you have many options and tools at your disposal that can align with your business plan and budget. Also note that you can still start your own home based business even if you don’t have a product or service to sell. There are thousands of individuals and companies that have products you can sell for them while earning a commission, called affiliate marketing.

Of the many business marketing strategies known to man, internet marketing is, hands down, the best strategy to use for promoting a home based business as it is the cheapest method and has the potential for reaching millions of people all over the globe. Driving traffic to your site through online resources is like killing two birds with one stone. You can tackle print advertising by writing articles and publishing them to directories and ezines and by submitting ads to the many available (and most of them free) classified ad sites. Online media advertising encompasses writing press releases and distributing them to press release sites. One of the biggest and most popular online advertising trends today is via social media advertising through sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn where you build relationships with your customers. Forums and communities are also great ways to build relationships which helps promote your home based business in the long run. Simply Google your market or industry with the word ‘forum’ or ‘community’ behind it and search for one or two that seem to be the best fit for you.

All of these methods of online advertising contribute to search engine optimization (SEO), which is to say improving your online visibility and escalating in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Your goal is to claim the #1 spot in the organic search results (the results on the left, not the right side which are paid ads). This is where your traffic will come from. If you are 800 in the list of search results, no one is ever going to see your site because very few people have the time or patience to scroll through 800 search results. Research shows that people typically won’t even scroll past 4 or 5 search results, let alone 800.

Can you grasp the importance of internet marketing for any business? If you are new to the internet marketing phenomenon and don’t know exactly where to start, there are many great programs or systems online that walk you through every aspect of marketing your online business. A lot of these systems were created by online entrepreneurs who have spent thousands of their own dollars trying to figure it all out over the years and finally DID. Their sacrifices have made it easier for newbies to become successful at their own online home based business. If you are new to running your own home based business, I recommend you find a great system (do your research, read reviews, ask questions in forums) and start marketing your home business from there. Don’t waste the time and money that so many of us have in going it alone, without a proven system, as it will just set you back further and hinder your progress.