What can you expect when you're getting a divorce?

Over the last 14 years, we have learned that going through a divorce usually is one of the most painful, confusing and frustrating periods in our clients’ lives. There is a rush of emotions ranging from feeling completely at ease one moment, giving way to a shot of panic running through you the next; and from feeling sad or betrayed in the morning to confident and excited about a new beginning at lunch. 

This can be true even if it is you that wants or initiated the divorce. But, that doesn't change the fact that you have questions like the ones below . . . 

Do I even need an attorney?

Do you have kids?  Is there any property or debts to be divided?  You can do a divorce pro se, i.e. without an attorney.  However, if there are kids, property or debts that need to be addressed, you should speak with a Blue Springs, Independence or Kansas City Divorce Attorney.  

If you choose to represent yourself, you will be held to the same standard as an attorney.  This includes the Court presuming you know and understand the rules of presenting evidence at court or the particular statutes that mandate what is necessary to obtain a dissolution of marriage.

Call us now to speak with an attorney to see what your options are. If you don't need an attorney, we offer pro se packages where we can draft your documents for you to ensure they are what you want and need - you just file them and handle the hearing!

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My Spouse wants me out of the house, do I need to leave?

Unless there is an order from a Judge, no, you do not have to leave the house while you are going through the divorce. There are plenty of reasons to not leave the marital residence during the divorce litigation ranging from the financial impact to the family, spending time with the children, protecting assets and numerous others.  

If you are facing this situation, you should speak with an experienced Kansas City or Blue Springs Divorce Attorney to discuss whether it is appropriate or advisable to remain in the house.

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I don't know where to begin . . .

The good news is you already have begun. You are looking for information on the process and, at least, reviewing family law attorneys in the Kansas City area.  

The right attorney can be your key to a smoother divorce than some of the horror stories you have likely heard about.  And when we say the right attorney, it may not be us. Choosing an attorney you feel comfortable with; i.e. knowledgable, experienced, compassionate, available, honest and that you "click" with, can be the difference between a good (relatively speaking) experience or the horror stories you think of, even if the results are the same.

We do not take offense if you feel another attorney may be better suited for you.  In fact, we can even refer you to some other qualified attorneys you may click with better. We are more concerned with your satisfaction and wellbeing during this time of need.

Contact us now to schedule an appointment to find out if we are the right click.  We are confident that you will find we are or we can find someone that is.

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I want to make sure parenting time is equal.

The good news: the law and the courts are moving towards this direction, if possible and in the children's best interest.  The bad news: even when the parties desire an equal time parenting plan, it may not be what is best for the child.  The Judge has to consider the following factors:

(1) The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody and the proposed parenting plan submitted by both parties;

(2) The needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child;

(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;

(4) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent;

(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;

(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of any individuals involved. If the court finds that a pattern of domestic violence as defined in section 455.010 has occurred, and, if the court also finds that awarding custody to the abusive parent is in the best interest of the child, then the court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law. Custody and visitation rights shall be ordered in a manner that best protects the child and any other child or children for whom the parent has custodial or visitation rights, and the parent or other family or household member who is the victim of domestic violence from any further harm;

(7) The intention of either parent to relocate the principal residence of the child; and

(8) The wishes of a child as to the child’s custodian. The fact that a parent sends his or her child or children to a home school, as defined in section 167.031, shall not be the sole factor that a court considers in determining custody of such child or children.

Which factors play more into the decision of the Judge generally depends upon the facts of the case. It is very important for your case that you discuss all the facts, even the bad facts, with your attorney so that you both can be fully informed and prepared for a settlement or trial in your case. A good Divorce Attorney can give you valuable insight you can use to help decide how you proceed in the Divorce.

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But my child is 13, she can decide where she wants to live!

No he or she cannot. No matter how many people tell you they can; they cannot.  Yes, even if they are older than 13, they still cannot.

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I have more questions, including what to expect during the process . . .

We offer a free 30 minute consulation. We encourage you to take us up on the offer or at least give us a call and we can have a phone consultation to explain the process, what to expect and give you an idea of what you can expect during the process, both from the cost and the legal process.

Because all cases are different, there generally is no way to give you an estimate of cost until we meet with you to find out the facts of the case and what might be involved.

Choose Attorney Dan Baylard to stand by you in court. 

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Know Your Basic Rights

Even before you hire a lawyer, it is important to know and understand your rights. This way, you won’t feel unprepared in the sudden event of a car accident or if you’re pulled over under suspicion of a DUI. With a working knowledge of your rights, you can actually help with your lawyer’s defensive strategy during your future case as well. Knowing you have the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment or that saying “sorry” after an accident can be considered an admittance of guilt in a court of law are a good place to start. Apart from things you can and can’t say, having a basic understanding of local and state laws can go a long way to prevent harm, such as being able to detect if someone is trying to scam you. To learn more about your rights in Missouri, familiarize yourself with the Attorney General’s consumer guide.