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Family Law

Jefferson City Divorce Attorney

Divorce is an extremely difficult process for most people and families. Divorce and family law are two of the few areas of law that are emotionally charged. The emotions triggered by divorce are countless but may include acceptance, anger, denial, jealousy, and vindictiveness, all of which naturally complicate a divorce proceeding. For example, if a wife or husband has filed for divorce, but the other spouse wants to save the marriage (reconcile), then there is likely to be some difficulty in resolving the divorce.

A divorce may involve other issues of family law, including child custody, child support, spousal support, insurance, the division of certain assets and liabilities, the division of retirement accounts, selling a house or land, and any number of other factors. The divorce issues become more complicated if, during the marriage, there has been domestic violence, substance abuse such as alcohol abuse or drug abuse, adultery (affair or cheating), emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or financial hardships.

Attorney Hamblin Explains: The First Step in Hiring a Jefferson City Divorce Lawyer

I can’t represent my divorce clients effectively without understanding what has occurred and is occurring in my client’s life. I need to understand what is important to my client and why. I begin my representation with an initial meeting to learn about my client. It’s during the initial divorce consultation that I begin to gather information so I can learn about my client’s desires and goals.

Conduct of the Parties During the Marriage: Every person’s marriage is different. While Missouri does not require that I have to prove fault for most divorces, the conduct of the parties can affect child custody or the division of property. It’s important to me to understand the facts that are important to my client. Some spouses may have experienced adultery, domestic violence, and financial misconduct. Children may have been abused.

Property Division: A court is required to divide the marital assets. This includes property purchased during the marriage. I need to learn about what assets are important to my client. I need to know what assets are disputed and why. The information is helpful in attempting to assess whether there is a possibility of resolving the divorce by an agreement. Absent an agreement, the marital assets will be divided by the court at trial.

Child Custody: A frequently litigated issue is child custody. The custody schedule for children born or adopted during the marriage must be resolved before the court will enter a judgment dissolving the marriage. The issues related to child custody can sometimes be resolved by an agreement. Where parents disagree, a court must determine child custody after considering a number of factors to determine what custody schedule the court considers to be in the best interest of the children.

Child Support: The financial support that one parent pays to another parent to assist in raising a child is known as child support. How much a parent may pay in child support is determined by a number of factors. The analysis begins with considering the gross income of each parent. The court will also consider other financial matters.

In order to represent my divorce clients efficiently, my clients have the option of in-person meetings, phone conferences, and sometimes video conferences for their convenience. Divorce cases involve a myriad of legal issues. My client will come away from the initial consultation with a better understanding of the divorce process.

What Are the Next Steps in Getting a Divorce?

The next step in the divorce process is gathering additional information to begin drafting the legal documents to start the divorce process. Filing for a divorce begins with drafting the petition for dissolution of marriage. The petition is the legal document that starts the divorce process. There are other documents that must be drafted, including the documents identifying the marital assets and debts and non-marital property. Sometimes, a divorce will involve issues of child custody and support.

Once the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, the other spouse must be served with a copy of the petition. The Clerk’s Office will generate a summons. The summons must then be served either by a law enforcement officer or a special process server, or other arrangements need to be made.

Working Out a Divorce Settlement

Every divorce case is unique. Some divorces require substantially more work than others. The amount of work required depends on the issues to be resolved. A divorce settlement allows spouses to decide how they will resolve their divorce instead of leaving the decision up to a judge. A settlement eliminates the anxiety, risk, and uncertainty of how a judge might rule at trial. A divorce settlement is also generally less expensive than a trial because time is not spent preparing for trial and avoids the time spent in the courtroom for the trial.

Working out a divorce settlement is an option when both spouses agree the divorce should occur and both spouses are also reasonable about what they want. All settlement agreements must comply with Missouri law and must be approved by the court. An experienced divorce lawyer will ensure that the agreement complies with the legal requirements for court approval.

Reaching an agreement becomes more challenging when both spouses want the same thing. The emotions that accompany a divorce can also sometimes create an obstacle to working out a settlement. For example, one spouse may not want the divorce. A spouse may still file for divorce even if the other spouse does not want the divorce, but reaching a settlement is more challenging. An experienced divorce attorney is an asset when facing these types of challenges.

Trial Occurs When Settlement Discussions Fail

All litigation is stressful. Divorce is particularly stressful because it is life-altering. Settlement is not possible for every dissolution of marriage. Some divorces will require trial. In a divorce trial, the judge decides the outcome. Trial can create anxiety because there is always uncertainty about how a judge will rule. Even the best strategy has risks. Trial is also expensive. Trial involves substantial trial preparation. Trial preparation is the time spent preparing for trial in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the trial. Trial involves presenting the evidence to the judge. The judge listens to the evidence and then makes the decision about what happens.

Scott is an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Jefferson City, MO

Divorce does not always have to be complicated. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer can make a significant difference not only in the outcome of your case but also in helping to alleviate some of your stress and anxiety. Understanding your options so that you can resolve your divorce through a compromise settlement agreement and parenting plan will help you control the outcome of your case and minimize your divorce lawyer fees. But not every divorce or custody battle can be resolved by a compromise agreement. If settlement negotiations fail, then I am always prepared for trial.

I am an experienced trial attorney. I have tried hundreds of cases in courts throughout Missouri. There is no substitute for experience. My years of courtroom experience enable me to effectively advocate for my clients, including issues of child custody, child support, and the division of property.

I am well-respected by my peers and the judges before whom I appear. From my law office in Jefferson City, I represent clients throughout central Missouri, including, but not limited to, the counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Gasconade, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Phelps, and Pulaski.

I am a husband and father. I understand family and the implications that a divorce can have on a family. I will visit with you and advise you not only about working through your divorce but also about how your divorce and parenting plan can affect you and your children in the future. My compassionate staff is available to assist you.

Contact Scott

Contact me today to schedule your appointment to obtain more information about your divorce case.

He’s On Your Side

Scott will keep you up to date on all important developments in your case. When you need to get in touch with him, he will be there to answer your call or return it promptly.

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Scott A. Hamblin

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