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October 8, 2020

So you made it through your divorce and even though there’s still a lot of healing and adjustments on the horizon, you feel relieved that you no longer have to deal with any legal issues. I mean, why wouldn’t you feel like this? It’s over. It’s done. Goodbye divorce attorney!!


Or is it really over and is it really time to say “see ya” to your attorney?


Unless you’re one of the fortunate ones, probably not.


One common misconception about divorce is that once the decree is finalized, you no longer need an attorney. Oh, how I wish this were true for everyone. Sadly, this isn’t the norm so before you throw away your attorney’s number, realize that the probability of issues arising after the judge declares you a free agent is pretty high.


The facts are that life and people change. Changes in lifestyle due to employment, residence, or new relationships can greatly alter agreements made during the divorce and create issues that necessitate the help of your divorce attorney. Not only that but sometimes one or both parties fail to comply with the agreement established in the divorce which can force the parties back into court citing contempt, once again necessitating the help of an attorney.


In other words, just because the divorce is final doesn’t mean you’re completely done with the legalities of the situation.


Although there are a multitude of reasons why you may need additional advice from your attorney after the divorce, here’s a brief list of common reasons that may send you back into a litigious arena:


  • Remarriage or a significant change in income can justify spousal support modification. If you want to modify a spousal agreement, you’re going to need legal help and who better than the attorney who negotiated the terms to begin with?

  • A change of circumstances impacting children can alter previous custody agreements. Don’t forget these agreements are made under the strict adage that they adhere to what is in the best interest of the child(ren). If a life change compromises the best interest of the child(ren), then it’s time to contact your divorce attorney.

  • Moving to another state greatly affects child custody and visitation agreements. Even moving to a different town can sometimes be enough to modify these aspects of the divorce agreement. If you foresee a residence change, it’s best to let your divorce attorney handle negotiating an agreement that satisfies all parties.

  • Child support is a major issue that crops up after the divorce is final. In most cases, it can be modified every three (3) years or modified based on a change of financial circumstances usually due to an increase or decrease in income of 20% or more. Don’t make the mistake of trying to “work it out” without the proper legal guidance.

  • Kids are expensive and they get more expensive as they age. Often times agreements made on the division of expenses incurred on behalf of children don’t consider rising costs of education, medical expenses, and recreational endeavors as compared to the income of the parties at the time of the original divorce settlement. This much-overlooked aspect along with not keeping thorough records of reimbursement requests can lead to financial disputes and only the court can adjust any prior agreements to accommodate these instances which means you need the help of your divorce attorney.

  • Sometimes the distribution of joint assets acquired during the marriage, such as real estate and retirement accounts, can’t be fully settled until after the divorce decree is signed. When this happens, you definitely need to keep your divorce attorney in the loop to make sure these agreements are adhered to and satisfied in a timely manner.

The bottom line is this: Keep your divorce attorney's number handy and keep them aware of any changes that might prevent you or your ex-spouse from complying with the terms of your divorce. You never know when you may need additional legal counsel even after the divorce has been finalized so you can...


Rock On Because I Sure Am.


Rachel J. Henley

Legal Liaisons, LLC


Disclaimer: The contents of this article along with the information provided on the Legal Liaisons, LLC, website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The opinions expressed through this article and our website are the opinions of the individual author.


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October 3, 2020

Divorce …. it’s complicated and the number one question that the team at Legal Liaisons, LLC, consistently receives from divorce clients is:


What can I expect during my divorce?


The truth is that there’s no clear-cut answer to this question.


I mean, let’s face it. No two divorces are the same. The process consists of an emotional roll-a-coaster ride full of dynamic highs and lows that can leave you full of anxiety and fear, all depending on your unique situation. And because each divorce is so different, nobody can tell you exactly what to expect to the fullest extent.


I know.  It sounds vague, yet the one thing I can guarantee you with all certainty is that ALL divorces involve emotional turbulence, grief from the loss of a relationship, financial considerations, and legal aspects. And even though these factors entail varying degrees of urgency, the one element that you must deal with immediately is the legal aspect.


Divorce can be daunting and, quite honestly, scary as hell. It’s bad enough that you’re having to deal with emotions, grief, and potential financial burdens but when the unclear legalities involved start to surface, you can begin to feel as though the flames of hell couldn’t be as bad as the “D” word.


But before you get too frightened, keep reading. I’ve compiled a brief rundown of what to expect when you’re expecting that anxiety-ridden legal component within the divorce process to help calm some of your fears.


Let’s cut to the chase and address the most important issue of the entire divorce process, the one that can make or break how the divorce proceeds: Expectations.


And here’s the shocker...


The main thing to expect throughout the divorce process is…


Nothing.


That’s right. Don’t expect one thing.


Don’t expect the worst, don’t expect the best, don’t expect your divorce to go like anybody else’s (so don’t even listen to those who want to counsel you from the sidelines), and most importantly, don’t expect to “win” your divorce case.


What many people fail to realize is that most divorces never proceed to the point of being heard before a judge in a courtroom. And guess what? This is EXACTLY what you want! You want to negotiate and come to agreements outside of a court of law. Your chances of receiving a reasonable divorce settlement increase dramatically when you keep your head about you and avoid the additional stress (and unnecessary drama) of a courtroom. The best way to achieve this great feat is to go into the legal process with zero expectations without any ill-willed notion of “beating” your spouse because there’s never a true winner when it comes to child custody, child support, and the division of property when you’re in the “win-lose” mindset. Instead, consider the consequences of a full-blown court battle, both emotionally and financially, and drop all expectations before it goes too far.


Now that expectations have been eliminated, just know that the process generally involves these main steps: making the decision to move forward with a divorce, finding the right attorney, filing for divorce, negotiations, the division of marital assets, negotiations, distribution of marital debt, negotiations, decisions involving child custody and support, more negotiations, the possibility of a mediator, even more negotiations, and eventually the final decree.


Did you notice the repetitive concept of negotiating? Well, there’s a reason why.


Negotiating is a key factor in reaching a fair and equitable divorce settlement without going to court. And remember, staying out of a courtroom is essential to a streamlined divorce process as well as securing a peaceful future. To ensure all of this, don’t hold on to past or present grievances. Don’t drop the negotiations without good cause. Don’t continually threaten a courtroom confrontation and don’t let the desire to “win” your divorce case leave you vulnerable to the uncertainty of a judge ruling. Be reasonable and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.


Understanding what to expect during a divorce doesn’t guarantee an amicable or quick process; however, it can help you get a grasp of the reality of the situation. And if you need additional help with any part of the divorce process, let the team at Legal Liaisons, LLC, help guide you away from expectations and lead you to negotiating a divorce that will allow you to…


Rock On Because I Sure Am.


Rachel J. Henley

Legal Liaisons, LLC


Disclaimer: The contents of this article along with the information provided on the Legal Liaisons, LLC, website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The opinions expressed through this article and our website are the opinions of the individual author.


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MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

February 12, 2020

“One step closer and feeling fine, getting better one day at a time…

I have faced my fears, now I can move in the right direction”

~ Beth Ditto, Gossip – Move in the Right Direction


I can honestly say that when I was going through my divorce, this song was a staple in my daily blast of motivation and inspiration. If you’re in the divorce frame of mind, listen to the song and let the lyrics move you. Let them, along with the upbeat jamming music, get you geared up for moving in the right direction.


Now that you’ve listened, think about it. Just like the song says, you’ve faced your fears and now you’re one step closer since you’ve chosen to move forward.  And in your case, with a divorce.


You’re ready…or are you?


Yeah, you know it’s time. You’ve made the decision and you know that’s the only option now. You have all the right reasons, but do you have a plan? Do you have your ducks in a row? Are you really prepared to move in the right direction?


I know you’re thinking: “What? I already know what I’m going to do so, of course, I’m ready to move in the right direction!”


Well, let me tell you: Before you do anything else, there are steps you absolutely must take to secure your emotional and financial stability and, as Beth Ditto says, you have to take it one day at a time so you won’t lose your mind.


But you have to get something in your head and keep it there.


As the song tells us, motivation may be a powerful strength but, unlike the song, hesitation cannot be your first instinct. Instead, your first instinct should be to establish a plan and you have to do it without hesitation.  Let me explain.


The first step involves building yourself a solid support system of friends and family. You’re going to need it more than you know.


Second, assess your financial situation and figure out what you can reasonably do to provide for yourself while you are going through the divorce. Ask yourself these questions:


  • Who is going to pay our joint bills during the process?
  • Are we going to maintain separate households or continue living together in the same place?              How are we going to pay for either situation?
  • Where are the kids going to live if we don’t continue living together?
  • Where will I get the money for an attorney?


Next up is something that a lot of people never even consider. At the moment, you just want a way out and you aren’t thinking clearly, but I promise you, the next five moves are an absolute must and you need to do it immediately if not sooner. Don’t wait until you talk to an attorney or until the actual divorce process has started.  No, these are things you MUST do to keep moving in the right direction.


  • I don’t care what else you’ve got going on, take the time to get copies of important financial documents for at least the past three years and put them in a location outside of the marital home. MAKE COPIES!! Only remove the originals from the home to make the copies then put them back.
  • Make a list of your assets and liabilities. Know what you own and what you owe. Make sure you know who is listed as the beneficiary of life insurance policies. Be aware of any retirement plans, money market accounts, etc, and find out the balances, who has access to the funds, and if penalties apply for withdrawal of funds.
  • Request copies of your credit report and go over it meticulously to look for discrepancies, errors, and things that you aren’t aware of that might exist. Do what you have to do to correct any errors or at least get it in the works.
  • Make a list of sentimental items or things that can’t be replaced. In fact, don’t just make a list, take pictures of the items and label the pictures with a description of what it is, where it came from, and why it holds a special place in your heart. It’s not uncommon for these items to come up missing or be destroyed the minute you mention the word divorce so get to it!
  • And finally, do your research. Learn about the divorce process. Know what to expect, learn about finances after a divorce, and when the time is right, get yourself a rock star lawyer.


Of course, this is just a small sampling of what you need to do to keep moving in the right direction. There is so much more involved, and it is imperative that you understand the pre-divorce preparation before you ever even talk to an attorney.


If all this seems too much and you feel overwhelmed, hold back your tears like Beth Ditto and don’t worry. The experts at Legal Liaisons, LLC, are here to help you with the divorce process from start to finish. Let us keep you from losing your mind and help you…


Move In The Right Direction

And as always….

Rock On Because I Sure Am.

** Be on the lookout for next week's blog in our divorce series where

we give you a brief lesson on what to expect during the divorce process.**

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

February 6, 2020

Ah, The Clash. I always loved the song "Should I Stay or Should I Go". I love the slower vibe intermixed with the high-paced frenzy that I've heard called punkabilly that makes me want to morph into Joey Ramone (another all-time favorite). I love the way Joe Strummer's voice dives into the heart of the song. But I mostly love the title of the song and the all too real lyrics. I don't know why, but I just do. And even though I know the song isn't really about divorce, I somehow find it fitting to the subject.


As the song asks should I stay or should I go, it makes you ask the question: Do we ever really know if it's time to go? Probably not at first, but eventually yeah, you know. You know deep down in your heart but there a few things to consider before you make the big leap into the world of divorce. Taking a cue from The Clash, you have to decide:  If you go will it be trouble or if you stay will it be double?


No matter, you have to make a choice and the process, much like the song wails, is like a tease that will have you on your knees with one day being fine and the next day being black. The only way to get this monkey off your back is to take the time to figure it out and then you have to develop a plan.


The first step of the plan is to get over the fear of the unknown. Yes, it's scary to think you might be strapped financially. It's heart-breaking to consider how it might affect your kids. And it's terrifying to face the fact that you might be lonely and alone for an indefinite period of time.


But you have to get over the fear.


Look at it like this:


If you're not happy in your current situation and you don't see it getting any better, wouldn't it be horrific if you continued in a farce of a marriage?


Wouldn't it be like throwing away any hope of personal growth and potential opportunities if you never take a chance and find out what it feels like to be financially and emotionally independent?


Wouldn't it be worse for your kids to see their parents in a loveless relationship?


Wouldn't it be better to be alone where you can focus on yourself and your goals in spite of the loneliness than to suffer the same lonely feeling being stuck in a situation that feels like hell?


Answer these questions with pure honesty and do it now! Don't wait until you explode like a hand grenade. No, go ahead and face these questions head-on. If you wait, you're not only jeopardizing your sanity but also prolonging finding the happiness and joy you deserve.


But this is just the first step. Unfortunately, there's more to consider before deciding to move forward with a divorce.


Confused? Frustrated? Still don't know what to expect regardless of your decision? Do you need help and want to know all the steps in deciding if divorce is the right answer for you?


If so, Legal Liaisons, LLC, is here to help. Let us guide you through the process from start to finish so you can feel confident when you answer the question:


Should I Stay or Should I Go?

And as always….

Rock On Because I Sure Am.

** Be on the lookout for next week's blog in our divorce series

where we talk about what you need to prepare for divorce.**

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January 19, 2020

Sometimes life throws you a curveball, one that you just don't know how to handle, and you have to seek the advice of an attorney. Whether you think you might be headed toward divorce, you had a little too much fun at the bar and got yourself that dreaded DUI, or you just have some general questions on a potential legal matter, you find yourself in need of legal counsel. That legal counsel needs to be someone you can trust to represent you and one who has the right expertise in the specific area of law you are concerned about.


So how do you find the perfect attorney for your unique situation? No worries! Rockin' Rach, the top Liaison, is here to give you the Lowdown on finding an attorney that will rock your case on out.


The most important factor in getting started is knowing what area of law you're dealing with. Is it family law, a criminal issue, an estate matter or perhaps a disability claim? It's important to understand what type of law your issue pertains to in order to find the right attorney. Not only does the attorney need to have a niche in that area of law, but they also need to have a working knowledge of the courts and laws of your issue as well as the courts and laws of the region where you have a potential complaint or legal matter.


Next, do your research. Yeah, it's a hassle and takes a lot of time but if you don't, you'll be sorry! You can always do a Google search to get started or look at lawyer review websites, but many times these strategies aren't giving you the full story on an attorney. No, your best bet is to ask around: friends, family, neighbors, etc.  Also, pay attention to billboards and an attorney's website. Ask people you know if they've ever used the attorney who is advertising for a particular area of law. Word of mouth can tell you a lot that lawyer reviews and Google searches can't.


Once you think you've zoned in on the right attorney, make an appointment for a consultation. Be sure to find out if there is a consultation fee first and find out what documents you may need for the attorney to review. You might even want to forward any documents they request prior to the consultation to give the attorney time to look it over.


Now that you've done all that, it's time to actually show up for the appointment. Do everybody a favor: Show up ON TIME (preferably a little early) WITHOUT an entourage. You're not a celebrity so don't bring all your peeps with you and leave your kids at home or with a babysitter. The attorney's staff is not a freebie daycare.


Once you're in that one-on-one with the prospective attorney, ask questions. Ask them about their experience in the area of law in which you have an issue. Find out how they intend to communicate with you and how available they will be to speak with you when you have questions about your case. Look around the office. Notice things such as an organized, clean environment. Pay attention to the professionalism of the staff and the attorney. Make sure you understand the fee structure. In other words, know how you're going to be charged. And most importantly, determine if the attorney seems interested in listening to you, schedules enough time to hear you out, and if you feel comfortable with them. If any of these things don't agree with your standards, find somebody else.


Lastly, don't talk to just one attorney. Make appointments with a few and compare what you've learned about each one. Ask yourself which one you feel the most comfortable with, if you felt the staff was approachable and friendly, if you felt the attorney had the right knowledge and skills and if they acted as though they wanted to work with you.


Although it's a daunting task, finding the right attorney could make or break your case and it's worth taking the time to do your homework before you hire one. But here's the best option of all: Let the experts at Legal Liaisons, LLC, take the stress out of finding an attorney for your case. With our extensive knowledge of practicing attorneys in several jurisdictions and venues, we can recommend the most rockin' attorney, one that will work hard for you.  Just use the Contact page to connect with a Liaison and find out more about how we can help.


And as always….

Rock On Because I Sure Am.

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