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Family Law and Divorce Options

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Finding a family law or divorce attorney can be difficult. I care about being straight with you and taking a problem-solving approach to stand up for your interests.Take a look at the questions below to better understand my background and the services I can help you with.

1. What are my options?
There are several options I can offer our clients, including the traditional divorce, mediation services and collaborative practice:
Here, each party is represented by its own attorney who attempts to resolve their differences. If both parties cannot settle, the issues will be decided by a judge or commissioner.
Mediation is where a trained, experienced, neutral professional helps the parties settle their differences out of court.
Collaborative Practice
This is where two parties and their specially-trained lawyers resolve their differences out of court through interest-based negotiation.

2. Can you represent both me and my spouse?
No. Because of the conflict of interest between divorcing spouses (even those that maintain a cordial relationship), a lawyer cannot represent both parties. If you are asking this question, you may want to consider Divorce Mediation. If you and your spouse have already reached agreement on all aspects of your divorce, I recommend that one party retain an attorney to draft the settlement papers and other documents. The other spouse, at his or her option, can retain an attorney simply to review the agreement.

3. How long does it take to get a divorce?
Generally, a divorce can take as little as 31 days or as long as 1 year, depending upon how complicated and contentious the case is.

4. Can I get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want it?
Yes. Although an uncooperative spouse can make the divorce process longer and more expensive for you, he or she generally cannot prevent a divorce.

5. What about child support?
In most cases, child support is calculated according to the Missouri Child Support Guidelines. These Guidelines may not apply if both parents share custody for equal amounts of time(50-50) and have equal or relatively equal income.

6. What should I look for in choosing a divorce attorney? 
First, you need an attorney who is experienced in this complex area of the law. Your attorney should have real experience in the courtroom to be familiar with the procedure and with the individual judges who will be involved in the case. Second, you should feel comfortable working with your attorney. He or she should be responsive to your questions and concerns and return your phone calls promptly. Finally, you should choose a skilled negotiator who can aggressively litigate when necessary and appropriate to protect your rights.


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