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Family Law

We discuss the differences between contested and uncontested divorce, and the things you should be doing to protect you and your children during the process.


Welcome to the Law Offices of Martin Attorneys. My name is Holly Martin.

This video is to help you answer important questions, as well as identify information that we may need to know today.

In the next few minutes you will be introduced to the members of our staff, who will give you important information about family law.

Our attorneys have many years of experience and have helped thousands of families since 1989, so don't feel overwhelmed. Our firm has worked with all the trial judges in Washington, Benton, and Madison County. We have extensive trial experience and have helped more than 4,700 clients over our combined 100 years of experience that we will use to help you. We know you are going through a hard time right now and we want to be there for you every step of the way. Thank you for trusting in Martin Attorney. Today is your first step in a life-changing direction.

Stephen Fisher: Hi, my name is Stephen Fisher. There are many reasons why you might be here to talk with us today. If you are already divorced and seeking to change who has custody of your children, how much child support is paid, change in visitation, supervised visitation of your spouse, we can help with all of these processes.

You may also be trying to prove paternity so you can be sure of visitation with your child. Or need to prove paternity to get the child support you are entitled to. All of these issues we can help to resolve. Whenever there are children involved, it's very important that we proceed immediately.

Mauria Kipper: Hi, my name is Mauria Kipper. You may be here to talk to us about a guardianship and adoption, or perhaps you and your spouse want to adopt your stepchildren. You may be a grandparent who is seeking guardianship of your grandchild. Throughout our history, we have helped many families work out these exact problems, to help and to protect their children.

Your case may be complicated and require expert testimony. We have dealt with expert witness who have testified for our clients so that they can prove difficult custody issues. If you think you may be able to reach an agreement with your ex spouse, you have an uncontested case. However, that can always change. Your ex spouse could get angry about decisions you make about your children, or they may see you with someone else, and think you are on a date or met someone, which makes them change their mind.

We have seen many clients who have thought they have everything worked out, but after a month or two, things change. If your ex spouse signs your agreement right away, you might not have that happen to you. So if you and your ex have agreed about everything, let us know and we will draft the paperwork right away so it can be signed by both of you.

Stephen Fisher: If you cannot agree, your case is called contested. In a contested case, we will draft the paperwork, and serve your spouse with the papers. Some of the things we've been talking to you about that will help your case are derogatories, depositions, and expert witnesses.

It may be that your ex's attorney has served you with papers. If you've been served, it's very important that we file an answer for you within the time allowed. Be sure to tell us about it right away if it applies to you.

In a contested case, the issues are similar to an uncontested case, but some of them may be handled differently. For example, you may feel that your children are in danger from your ex spouse. You may even fear that your ex or someone in the family will try to take them. If that's the case, then we need to go to the judge right away and ask that the judge hold an emergency hearing to make sure the children are protected. That can happen as fast as 3 or 4 days from now. In some cases, we can even get an order signed by the judge right away to help you keep your children safe. It's very important that you tell us about any concerns you have about your children. We are here to help you protect them.

Holly Martin: During the time that you are waiting on your court date, it is very important that you are very careful about your lifestyle. Don't drink around your children, and do not use illegal drugs of any type for any reason. Also, don't date until you are divorced. Even when you are separated, you are still married, and the judges in our area take a strong stand on dating while married.

It's also important that you keep a diary so that you can be accurate about any interactions with your spouse. If you want to get or keep custody of your children, don't leave them with other people unless you are at work and be very, very careful about the internet for you and your children.

We don't want your spouse to accuse you of any internet activities that would put you in a bad light in a custody battle.

We'll discuss all of these things a bit more in-depth. I hope this video has raised some questions for you to bring up for us to answer. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Remember, we are her eon your behalf. Thank you for trusting Martin Attorneys, and we look forward to meeting with you.