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"I just wanted to take a second to thank you for all you have done these past couple days. You have kept me calm, been very prepared, and generally as good as anyone could’ve asked for."
"I wanted to thank you for the hard work and honest effort that you put forth in doing a tremendous thing for my son and I. I decided to let some time pass before I wrote so that I could say truthfully that life has been much calmer, more organized, simpler and both my son and I are much, much, much happier. The confidence that I now have in knowing that I have a say in my son’s life, I have him when I am supposed to have him and the fact that he finally has some consistency on a day-to-day basis is beyond words. . . Without all of your advice, attention, professionalism and character, I’d still be lost."
"Thank you so much for everything. You are truly an amazing lawyer. We could not be more grateful for all of your hard work."
"Thank you for all you did for me. You and your staff did an excellent job and helped me through a difficult time."
"I know how extremely busy you must be as you are one of the finest lawyers I have ever met but, I cannot -- and will not -- start the next chapter of my life without thanking the one person who made it possible.I am a person who had to make important decisions throughout my career with usually no one to guide me other than my training and knowledge. I was confident and sure of my decisions. I found that in you. . . My faith never wavered in your ability. You put me at ease. . . I will never forget at some of my darkest times, you showed me the light. . . I am laughing, and enjoying life again. . . Thank you."
"There is no gift I can offer you that equals the peace of mind and protection you give me each year! My situation is difficult, but you constantly make it easier. Thank you for being there."
"I wanted you to know how much I appreciate all of your guidance and insight you have given me through all of this court stuff thus far. I know I have sent you emails at all hours and you have always gotten right back to me. This has been so stressful and I could have never made it this far without you! Thank you again for everything."
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"During my recent turmoil, you have had my back. I respect the way in which you conduct yourself. In addition, you are someone who genuinely cares. Thank you for your expertise and your friendship."
"Janie, for the first time, I see a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. You rocked in Court! I was in complete awe of how things transpired. Thank you so very much!"
"Thank you again for changing me and my children’s lives for the better today. "
"Please let Janie know that I appreciated everything that she assisted with yesterday. Her professionalism shined along with her personality. She has a way of taking the stress right out of the air and allowing me to feel that she has it under control. It was amazing."
"You really are the best. We are thankful to have you."
"Thank you for everything you've done for us throughout this messy journey to what I felt like was freedom when I received that package yesterday. . . moving forward without fear and trepidation is something we are now able to look forward to."
"Janie, all I can say is that I am soooooo happy I have you as my lawyer. Thank you!!"
"I don’t have the words to express my gratitude to you for all your hard work on this case for these past 2 and 1/2 years."
If you're thinking of the question, chances are someone has already asked. . .
No. A "legal separation" is an entirely different legal proceeding governed by a separate set of laws. A so-called "legal separation" is not a part of, or a prerequisite to, a divorce. In fact, "legal separations" are now rarely used (although they remain appropriate in rare cases.)
Not necessarily. In fact, some spouses continue to reside together while a divorce is pending (and even shortly after a Judgment of Divorce Nisi has entered.) The Court will not -- and cannot -- order a spouse to leave the house UNLESS the Court is convinced that the other spouse is entitled to an Abuse Prevention Order (often referred to as a Restraining Order) or the Court determines, "after a hearing, that the health, safety or welfare of the moving party or any minor children residing with the parties would be endangered or substantially impaired by a failure to enter such an order."
No, the concept of so-called "abandonment" is relevant only when a party is seeking a divorce on fault grounds (very rare.) You have not committed “abandonment” simply by moving out of your house.
Whether or not it is wise for you to make a permanent move, however, is an issue that you should get legal advice on BEFORE you move.
Not entirely. If your child is under the age of 18, the parents -- or, if the parents cannot agree, then the Court -- decides custody and a parenting plan based on what the Court determines is in the child's best interest under the circumstances. Keep in mind, however, that the Court can consider the child's expressed wishes and desires, and will do so especially if the child is older, demonstrates a level of maturity and articulates well his or her legitimate reasons for wanting to have a certain parenting schedule. If your child is over 18, then the Court no longer has the jurisdiction to determine that child's custody (although the Court can still order support for that child up to age 23 in certain circumstances.)
Child Support is just one of the topics that I cover in my free course, which you can immediately access by clicking here.
Not necessarily. The Court can order parents to continue paying support and/or contribute to a child's college expenses -- up to a maximum age of 23 -- IF the child remains "unemancipated." As a practical matter, if your child attends college, then s/he will remain "unemancipated" for so long as s/he remains in school. The trickier cases are those where a younger child -- between the ages of 18 and 21 -- does not attend college (or does not attend college full-time) but still lives with one parent and is not financially self-supporting. Whether or not that child is "emancipated" -- and whether or not the Court will modify or eliminate an existing support order -- will depend on the circumstances.
I have some good news for you. You do not have to pay me a retainer. I have another option for you. It's pretty awesome, and you won't find it anywhere else.
The best place to start is with my free online course. It is packed with valuable information, and you will have access to me as you have questions. Click here to learn more.
A peak inside Janie's probate and family lawyer brain.
I'm guessing you have that uncomfortable feeling that you have to do something right now, but you don't know what. It's okay. I've got you.