In Divorce cases where children are involved it's sometimes
appropriate to ask for a Psychological Evaluation or a Child Custody
Evaluation. Generally these are not done in cases where children are not
involved. The reason for this is that generally there is a concern that a
parent may not have the psychological aptitude to nurture a child in a way that
is appropriate for the child. A generally conscientious parent without any
mental health history usually doesn't have to worry about this kind of testing.
In every Divorce where children are involved, a parenting
plan is required by the court. A parenting plan lays out the basic perimeters
of the custody of the child as well as the support of the child. Part A of the
Parenting Plan deals with the legal and physical custody of the child. Part B
deals with the monetary issues that arise when parenting a child (for instance
health insurance costs, extracurricular costs and child support itself).
Unfortunately, when Children are involved in a divorce, there's always a good
chance that you are going to have to go back to court some day to modify the
agreement that you have made in your initial divorce.
Mediation can be a good tool for certain sets of people in
family law cases. In some jurisdictions, a certain amount of mediation is
required before you delve too deeply into your court case. Mediation can help
facilitate settlement. However, if the two parties are too far apart or have
poor communication skills with each other, mediation can be an expensive detour
from the process. Some cases are made for mediation and some are not. A good
attorney can tell the difference. Some might be in a grey area. A good attorney
can tell you that as well. In my experience, a lot of people look to mediation
to keep costs down. Also in my experience, it rarely does that. If money is
truly an issue, I would probably suggest to a client that each party talk to an
attorney to see if this case is right for mediation. If both say yes, then try
mediation. In this way, you will only have a consult fee for an attorney (one
for you and one for spouse or ex-spouse in the case of modifications) and then
also pay a mediator for his or her time. On the other hand, without at least
doing a consult first, you may think your case is ripe for mediation and find
out that it is not and that you cannot come to an agreement. At that point, you
have to do everything you would have had to do in the court system and you've
already spent a great deal of money in mediation, perhaps as much or more than
you would have spent on a retainer. And
additionally, no progress has been made. A consult might also give you an idea
of the range of what you can reasonably expect if the case went to trial so you
know that you are not agreeing to a bad deal for yourself.
No. The courts will not work the court dates around your
schedule. One of the things I tell my clients to prepare for is losing vacation
days. You will have to take time off work. Your work likely doesn't have
vacation days for this particular purpose. There are a few that do, but most do
not. If you schedule a vacation, get insurance on it so that you can move your
dates around. Also, it is probably best not to take a vacation if you can. If
you have limited days off, don't make it so that you have to take unpaid days
or so that potentially you could get fired.
There are a few reasons why it is important to hire someone
who practices family law for a family law case. I know that a lot of people
rely on their social network of friends and family to get a lawyer. I know a
lot of people feel more comfortable with this. If you find an attorney you are
comfortable with, that is great. That's important. However, if that attorney doesn't
practice certain family law the majority of the time, they probably won't be
able to spot all of the issues in your case that need to be addressed as well
as they might otherwise have.
It is important to get an attorney to take care of a simple
ticket like speeding or improper driving because if you do not have an attorney
handle the ticket, you will get points on your license. These points are going
to be visible on your record for multiple years to come. Insurance companies
can see these points. They will increase your insurance rate accordingly. The
price of hiring an attorney to handle the ticket (between $75 and $150 usually)
will vastly be outweighed by the extra money you pay in insurance over the next
few years that this offense shows on your driving record in almost every case.
This is because in many cases, an attorney can compromise for you so that no
points (beyond what you already have) appear on your license. You will likely
have to pay a fine as well as the attorney fee the fine is typically similar to
what you would have paid for the ticket in the first place, so that comes out
to no loss or gain.
As an attorney, I think a lot of people think that their
assets aren't big enough and their life isn't interesting enough to warrant an
estate plan. To the first issue: you would be surprised. You don't have to be
"wealthy" to make an estate plan a smart move for you. As I have
mentioned before for instance, having a small business (or any business) would
make estate planning a must for you. You don't have to be wealthy to have a
small business. Most people who have kids, a decent job, some savings, some
retirement savings, a house, a spouse, a car or two, even someone with a
special collection of collectibles—anyone with any one or any combination of
these is a great candidate for an estate plan.
Recently I handled a case in which Grandparent Rights were
at issue. As I have written before on this blog, Grandparent Rights are not as
strong as a Grandparent might hope for or expect. There are only special
circumstances in which a grandparent may ask for rights. Many times this is in
a divorce case or a modification of the order from that previous divorce case
in regards to the child custody portion of that divorce case.
The law allows for Grandparents to Intervene in Divorce
cases and Modification of Child Custody cases.
The answer to this question is going to depend on a few
things, but first and foremost, you need to respond within the timeline written
on your notice and request a hearing. First of all, do you believe you are the
father of the child? If not, then you will need to contest the paternity of the
child. This does not mean that you need to run out and do your own testing then
give that to the court. This is a bad idea for a few reasons: One, the test you
choose may not even be admissible to prove or disprove paternity so the court
will not even look at the results, and second, you might be wasting money if
the child turns out not to be yours.
A paternity action filed in the Circuit Courts. A lot of
people confuse this with the administrative process. Sometimes, when the mother
is not married to the father, she can have him paying into child support for
the child but the father does not have any enforceable custody rights.
Additionally, it being dealt with this way may not only deprive a father of
custody rights, but also has a very good chance of making the child support too
high. Why? Because there are factors that administrative child support is not
equipped to take into account as well as a Circuit Court might.