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    Tips for Hiring a Family Lawyer

    Last updated 5 days ago

    For many people, hiring a family lawyer is their first experience with hiring any kind of attorney. The process may seem intimidating at first, but finding the right lawyer for your case is easier than you may think. When you need to hire a family attorney, keep these tips in mind.

    Look for Recommendations
    Ask around, just as you would before hiring any kind of professional. Your family and friends can be great sources of information about family attorneys from their own experiences. Try to get the names of a few lawyers who earn rave reviews from your inner circle, as well as a few names to avoid. You can also look around for internet reviews of attorneys, but take un-vetted online information with a grain of salt. A personal recommendation should carry much more weight.

    Schedule a Consultation
    Before you decide to hire a family attorney, schedule a consultation. This initial session is a great time for you to ask important questions, like how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled in the past and whether there are limits to the type of representation you can receive. You should also ask which lawyer in the firm will be in charge of your case and how you can get information about developments as your case moves forward. During this meeting, you can also consider whether or not you have a rapport with the attorney. You will need to be completely honest about personal information with a family lawyer, so you should feel comfortable with him or her.

    Understand the Payment Structure
    Before you begin working with an attorney, make sure you understand how you will be charged for his or her services. Be sure you know how you’re being charged so you can plan appropriately.

    When you need a family lawyer in Indianapolis, contact Ruppert & Schaefer, PC. Our experienced family law attorneys can handle custody disputes, divorce, spousal support, and more. Schedule an initial meeting today by calling (317) 660-8243. 

    What You Need to Know About Modifying Custody Agreements

    Last updated 13 days ago

    One of the most common questions parents ask attorneys is whether it is possible to change a child custody arrangement. In order to modify a custody order in Indiana, you will need to file a legal motion and argue your case before a judge. Under Indiana law, two conditions must be in place in order to change a child custody order: The change must be determined to be in the child’s best interest, and there must have been a change in circumstances since the original arrangement was created.

    If you are interested in modifying a custody order, you should talk to one of the experienced family lawyers at Ruppert & Schaefer, PC. We advise families in a wide range of issues, from child custody to divorce, and we will work to ensure that your legal rights are protected during this difficult time of your life. To schedule an appointment, contact our team today at (317) 660-8243. 

    What You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements in Indiana

    Last updated 20 days ago

    For many people, a prenuptial agreement is a difficult issue to talk about. It can be hard for many couples on the verge of marriage to contemplate the idea of divorce. However, prenuptial agreements can actually be beneficial for many married couples. Here is a guide to how prenuptial agreements work in the state of Indiana.

    How prenuptial agreements work. 
    A prenuptial agreement is essentially a legally binding contract that sets out the terms of the end of the marriage. If your marriage comes to an end, whether by divorce or death, the prenuptial agreement—rather than any other relevant laws—is used to determine what happens to your personal assets. Under Indiana law, prenuptial agreements must be in writing and need to be signed by both spouses in order to be legally binding. If both parties consent, a prenuptial agreement may be modified at any point during the marriage.

    How prenuptial agreements are written. 
    If you are drawing up a prenuptial agreement, you and your partner will be legally required to disclose your personal assets. This way, assets that are clearly yours can be kept separate in the event of a divorce, including assets that you come into possession of during the marriage. If you have children from a past marriage, you can provide that your assets go to them upon your death, rather than going to your spouse.

    If you are considering a prenuptial agreement, the family lawyers at Ruppert & Schaefer, PC, can help. We provide legal advice and representation for a number of family law issues, including divorce and child custody. We can draft and review your prenuptial agreement with you, and then negotiate the terms. If you would like to arrange a consultation with one of our attorneys, feel free to contact us today at (317) 660-8243. 

    A Look at the Divorce Court Process

    Last updated 27 days ago

    Divorce is difficult enough without the added worry of wondering what to expect from the legal process. Your divorce lawyer will spend time preparing you for all aspects of your case and what to expect at each step. As you prepare to navigate your dissolution proceedings, here is a look at some of the things you may encounter.

     

    Initial Filing
    The person who files for divorce—called the petitioner—makes many important decisions about the case, including when to file and where to file. With the assistance of a divorce lawyer, the petitioner will also complete the appropriate paperwork and arrange for copies to be delivered to the other party, called the respondent. If the couple has mutually agreed to divorce, these papers should not come as a surprise. However, if the petitioner decided to file for divorce without making a decision with his or her spouse, the filing papers could be a shock. If you are served with divorce papers, contact an attorney right away.

    Negotiation
    After the filing is made, the divorce attorneys for each spouse will attempt to negotiate a settlement that is acceptable to both parties. The negotiations will focus on separation of property, spousal maintenance, child custody, child support, and other family issues. If the divorce attorneys reach a complete settlement, the parties won’t have to testify in court. If that is not possible, the disputes will be argued in a courtroom.

    Court
    If it is necessary to go to court, a judge will evaluate each person’s position and make a ruling based on state law and any pre-existing arrangements, such as prenuptial agreements. It may also be necessary to call on outside experts such as psychologists or business and property appraisers in some cases, such as those involving child custody or asset disputes.

    Never try to face the divorce process on your own. Trust the attorneys of Ruppert & Schaefer, PC to help you protect your rights and get the outcome you deserve. You can learn more about our family law practice by calling (317) 660-8243.  

    What Is Collaborative Law?

    Last updated 1 month ago

    If you want to end your marriage without going through court proceedings, collaborative law could be the answer for you. Using collaborative law, your divorce attorney can work with the opposing divorce attorney as well as a team of other professionals to come to the decisions required to dissolve your relationship. Could a collaborative law divorce be the right answer for you? Here is what you need to know.

    How Does Collaborative Law Work?
    Collaborative divorces happen outside of the courtroom with the help of divorce attorneys, and sometimes financial advisors, child custody experts, and therapists. During this process, the divorcing parties agree to how they will divide everything from finances to time with the children. Because there are no depositions, testimony, or waiting for court dates involved, collaborative divorces are often faster than traditional divorces. Collaborative law is not the same as mediation, but mediation can be used as part of collaborative divorces.

    What Are the Requirements for Collaborative Law Divorce?
    To divorce during a collaborative law proceeding, couples must not be hostile to each other. Any acrimony between the divorcing couple can make coming to the necessary agreements difficult if not impossible. Complete honesty is also required, especially about financial matters that you may have kept private or hidden during the marriage. If truths that are revealed during the collaborative law proceedings could turn an amicable situation sour, then you may want to consider traditional divorce.

    Should I Consider Collaborative Law Divorce?
    If you have an amicable relationship with your ex, then this kind of divorce could prevent unnecessary expense and stress. However, if the possibility of successfully negotiating your separation is unlikely, a traditional divorce may be a better answer. Your divorce attorney can help you make the right choice for your situation.

    The divorce attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, PC can help you choose the right approach to your divorce to preserve your rights. Make an appointment today with Paula Schaefer or Lainie Hurwitz, both of whom are trained Collaborative Professionals, to discuss your case. You can reach us by calling (317) 660-8243.  

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