January 8, 2014

The Value of a Separation Agreement

An article from the Huffington Post this morning illustrates the value of hiring a competent Arkansas family lawyer to draft a separation agreement before one party makes the decision to file for divorce. In this situation, a carefully drafted separation agreement would go a long way toward reconciling the marriage. The Story The article is entitled “Marriage Counseling Made My Relationship…

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January 7, 2014

Matthew Crawley: Would his letter suffice as a Will in Arkansas?

Downton Abbey’s season premiere on Sunday night brought in more viewers than any other premiere in PBS’s history. For Downtown devotees, the episode was a little more somber than most. Perhaps this shouldn’t surprise anyone; after all, Matthew Crawley was one of the show’s most popular characters and his death was a shock to everyone. But Matthew’s premature death meant…

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January 6, 2014

Divorce: The Ultimate Day-Ruiner

Despite all the well-wishing “Happy New Year!”s uttered over the last week, January can be a depressing month. It is cold—bitterly cold today, even in Arkansas. You are broke from splurges on gifts. You are five pounds heavier after holiday feasting. If you enjoyed time with your family over the break, you miss them. If you did not enjoy time…

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December 23, 2013

Festivus: A model for family traditions

The world was formally introduced to Festivus—which is celebrated today, December 23—in the 1997 Seinfeld episode entitled “The Strike.” Frustrated with the commercialism and stress that accompanies Christmas, Frank Costanza (George’s father) invented a new winter holiday with new traditions: “Festivus.” Instead of a Christmas tree for decoration, for instance, Frank decided to use a “Festivus pole,” which is simply…

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December 21, 2013

Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, the Constitution and the violations of it.

The Constitution limits government action. Not the action of citizens. When the Constitution was written it only applied to the Federal Government. The Bill of Rights did not apply to the state governments until the early 19th Century when the Supreme Court started applying the Constitution to the state governments through the Incorporation doctrine. This doctrine interprets the Fourteenth Amendment…

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December 21, 2013

Young Professionals: Planning

3.         Planning: Where will your possessions go and who will take care of things. The term “estate planning” can be incredibly misleading. It covers a vast array of issues and planning techniques that apply to all those issues. Most people assume it involves massive sums of money, the truth is, at its most basic level, estate planning is simply…

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December 20, 2013

Avoiding child custody woes at Christmas

Christmas means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some, it is an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. For others, it is simply a time to gather with the people who are most important to us—our family. At the very least, it is a time to take a short break from the…

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December 19, 2013

Young Professionals: Guardians for your children

2.         Name a Guardian for your children (even if they are not born yet). If you have children, you already know it is incredibly important for you to name an individual who will raise your children if you are no longer around. If you are married, your spouse (especially if she is the birth parent of your children) will…

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December 18, 2013

Joint Custody and Relocation in Arkansas

There has been much recent ink spilled—or, in this digital age, electrons moved—over the issue of joint custody in Arkansas. This year’s legislative session dramatically changed the long-standing practice in Arkansas courts that disfavored joint custody. Arkansas law now “favors” joint custody. As to whether that was a wise decision, Arkansas family lawyers are sharply divided. And this is not…

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December 17, 2013

Young Professionals: Plan for the Unexpected

I thought it could be good to touch on estate planning for another group of people- young professionals. I find myself in this classification and realize the lack of concern that people in their 20s and 30s have. However; along with typical future-looking actions like buying a house, contributing to a retirement account, and maybe buying a little life insurance,…

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