Thursday, July 30, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption - ANSWERED!

The decision to adopt a child is a big one. People adopt children of all ages for a wide variety of reasons - maybe they can't have kids of their own, maybe they want to give a home to an underprivileged child, or maybe they want to legally adopt the young child of a deceased family member. Adoption is always a rewarding option, but it is not without its fair share of legal complications. As experts in family law at the Lake of the Ozarks, our the team at O'Donnell Law Center is here to answer some of the questions you may have about adoption in Missouri.



QUESTION:  Can The Biological Parents Reclaim Custody Of Their Child?
ANSWER:  Before an adoption can be finalized, the legal rights of the biological parents must be terminated. Once that happens and the adoption is final, it is very difficult for the the biological parents to reclaim custody. 

QUESTION:  How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child?
ANSWER:  Adoptions can range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, with the exact amount varying greatly depending on several factors. The type of adoption method you use (international adoption, step-parent adoption, foster care adoption, etc.), has a big impact on cost.

QUESTION:  Do I have To Own My Own Home To Adopt?
ANSWER:  No. Renters are able to adopt children just like homeowners are. There are certain income requirements that will be considered, however, in order to ensure that the adopted child's needs will be met.


QUESTION:  How Long Will The Adoption Process Take?
ANSWER:  International adoptions can take easily take one to three years for the process to be complete. Local adoptions can take far less than that. However, no two adoption cases are alike and it is nearly impossible to predict the actual length of your specific experience.

QUESTION:  Do I Have To Be Married To Adopt A Child?
ANSWER:  To put it simply, no. There are no rules specifying that you must be married to adopt a child. Single men and women are just as welcome to adopt children as married couples.

QUESTION:  Do I have To Pass Some Sort Of Test To Adopt A Child?
ANSWER:  Parents hoping to adopt a child must undergo a "home study," which is the process of demonstrating their readiness to become parents to a professional social worker. The specific process varies on a case by case basis, but the process typically places over the course of several weeks. They must also pass a criminal history background screening.

Do You Have Other Questions About Adopting A Child In Missouri? Contact Our Center For Assistance!
Welcoming a new child into your family is a big decision, but the rewards can be incredible. If you are thinking about adopting a child, we encourage you to set up a consultation with our family attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. We would be honored to assist you along your journey!


Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Debt Collections Defense at the Lake

What happens if you cannot (or for some reason do not) make the required payments on a debt you owe? The creditor or debt collections agency can sue you for the outstanding debt. Even if you are being charged with a delinquent debt, you still have rights that deserve protection. Depending on the situation, you may even have a solid legal defense that can prevent you from having to pay the money your creditors say you owe.

Debt Collections - An Overview

Debt collection defense is a complex legal discipline. Typically, these cases involve large sums of money that originally stemmed from any number of situations such as mortgage loans or credit card debts. If you are unable to make the required payments on these loans, the creditor and/or a collections agency may bring you to court in order to demand repayment for these unpaid debts.

Buying and selling debt has become a business in and of itself. Lenders who gives you the original loan, for example, will frequently turn around and "sell" that debt to another agency. After that, the payments that you make will go to this new agency. In some cases, you may be unaware that this transition has occurred. When you get behind on payments in these cases, you may receive collection letters from an agency you have never heard of.


Debt Collections - Your Defense

Believe it or not, you may have one or more valid, legal defenses in your debt collections lawsuit. Often, debtors will have contractual rights and rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that need to be evaluated and asserted. The very first step is to hire a debt collection defense attorney to make this assessment, and who who will also likely demand verification of the debt, including the name and address of the original creditor and a detailed description of the total amount the creditor alleges you owe.   

If you are facing a debt collection lawsuit, it is critical that you seek help from a debt collections defense attorney immediately. The debt collections legal field is complex and it can be difficult to navigate successfully if you are unfamiliar with the rights you have as a debtor.  

Our debt collections defense lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks has the experience you need to best navigate these lawsuits. Time is often of the essence with these particular cases, so don't wait - contact O'Donnell Law Center to start planning your debt collections defense.

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Passing Business Ownership To Your Children: Pros & Cons

At a certain point, every business owner must face a critical question: what do you plan to do with your business after you retire? There are a lot of different options to choose from, such as selling your company or dissolving your business, but many entrepreneurs choose to pass business ownership down to their children. There are several unique benefits to keeping the business in the family, but there are also some potential drawbacks. It's important to keep your eyes open to all of the possibilities!


Passing Business Ownership To Your Children: The Pros

Business owners who pass ownership to the next generation can enjoy a unique set of perks that are not available to other entrepreneurs. Consider these examples.

Family Pride
Raising a child with the intention of passing the family business on to him/her someday instills a beautiful sense of familial pride in both the parents and the child. The child may be more likely to take on more responsibilities earlier, and the parents can trust that the business will be continued with the same integrity and value system they worked so hard to develop.

Confidence
As the owner of a small business at the Lake of the Ozarks, not knowing the future of your business can be unnerving. By setting up a plan to pass ownership to your children, you can relax in the confidence of having a set plan that you can steadily work towards.

New Ideas
No matter how creative they are, most business owners eventually get stuck in a pattern or routine. They find their niche, discover what methods work for them, and stick to them. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, planning to pass ownership to your children allows the next generation to be more involved earlier on, which gives them the opportunity to provide fresh ideas for the growth of the company.


Passing Business Ownership To Your Children: The Cons

Unfortunately, transferring business ownership to your children also has some drawbacks. Here are a few examples of reasons why passing ownership on to your kids may not be the best idea for your business.

Tension In The Family
If you have more than one child, passing ownership to the next generation can get a little sticky. If you only appoint one child as the future owner, for example, the other kid(s) may resent this perceived show of favoritism. You will have to exercise care and consideration when choosing which child to pass ownership to and how to make the announcement to the family.

Tension In The Business
Keeping it in the family is one of the best things about passing business ownership to your children, but it can also be one of the worst. Sometimes, the insights we have into our family's personal lives can influence how we view them in a business setting. Not only that, but if we have an argument with a family member about a personal issue, it may impact our business dealings the next day.

Bias & Inappropriate Familiarity
Perhaps the worst possible drawback to passing ownership of your business to your children is that your affection for your children may cloud your judgement and cause you to pass ownership to less-qualified individuals. Because of your familiarity and intimacy with your children, you may also be tempted to remain more involved in the business than you should after you are no longer the official owner. While these challenges can be avoided, they can also pose serious problems if handled ineffectively.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Coach You Through The Process

Choosing what to do with your business after you retire is a big decision, and it is important to approach it strategically. If you are preparing to make this decision, it is important to consult with a business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. Your attorney will be able to help you evaluate all of the necessary factors and can provide insight into some of the potential outcomes. If you are in need of a small business lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we hope you'll contact O'Donnell Law Center!

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Meet Aprill Stonebarger

Aprill Stonebarger
The success of O'Donnell Law Center relies heavily on our outstanding team. We are fortunate to be staffed by a small but amazing group of individuals who are truly dedicated to furthering the success of our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks. This week, we're excited to introduce you to one of our valued team members, Ms. Aprill Stonebarger!

Aprill Stonebarger, Legal Assistant

Aprill brings a unique background to O'Donnell Law Center. Growing up on a farm in Franklin County, MO, she learned the value of teamwork and a strong work ethic while helping her family with the many chores around the farm, such as feeding calves, throwing hale bales, and driving tractors. In addition to instilling a strong work ethic, growing up on a farm helped Aprill to learn to truly appreciate the little things in life.

After graduating high school in 2002, she immediately entered the workforce. At the young age of eighteen, she went to work as a 911 dispatcher. The position required Aprill to quickly learn how to take the stress off of her callers' shoulders by calmly walking them through any and all types of emergency situations - a skill that she uses every day at our Lake of the Ozarks law center!

It didn't take long before Aprill was recognized for her skill and excellent work ethic. She quickly became the communications training officer in charge of training the newest hires. Aprill gladly accepted this new challenge and quickly realized how much she truly enjoyed teaching the ins and outs of everything it took to be a telecommunicator in their dispatch center. She also recognized the position as an opportunity to continue her own personal growth; she made it a point to learn as much as she could from the new hires as she trained them. To this day, Aprill still strives to learn something new every day, whether it be work related, a corny joke, or a fun, random fact.

In her spare time, Aprill enjoys going for joy rides in her husband's mustang or as a passenger on a golf cart (trying to snap that perfect golf photo). She and her husband are celebrating their first year of marriage this fall, and we couldn't be happier for her.

Aprill and her husband, Daniel
Aprill works for us part-time while maintaining her full-time commitments as a dispatcher, and she considers herself very fortunate to get to work with our excellent team of dedicated individuals who share her passion for setting goals, developing a strong work ethic, and providing the best possible service to each and every client. Aprill has said many times that she considers herself very lucky to be a part of the team at O'Donnell Law Center and she is excited to see what lies ahead.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For All Your Legal Needs!

We are truly blessed to have such a talented, hard-working, and caring young woman on our team. Aprill and the rest of the team at O'Donnell Law Center hopes that you will keep us in mind when facing legal issues and will come to us when you are in need of quality representation. We will do everything in our power to help lift the stress off of your shoulders.

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.

O'Donnell Law Center

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Celebrating Our Independence - 4 American Traditions

The 4th of July holiday is almost here. Most people regard this holiday as a chance to enjoy a three-day weekend, a chance to reconnect with friends and family, and a chance to get outside and enjoy fireworks or other recreational activities. While these are great activities and are certainly all wonderful ways to enjoy your holiday weekend, the team at O'Donnell Law Center wants to remind you how important it is to take a moment to give thanks for and celebrate our nation's independence. The United States is a beautiful country, and we are lucky to get to call ourselves American!


Celebrating Our Independence - 4 Different Traditions
People all across the States will celebrate their independence this holiday by honoring many different traditions. This Independence Day, which one of these traditions will you honor?

1. Fireworks
This is quite possibly the most famous and the most popular tradition for celebrating our independence. Designed to distantly resemble the explosions of war, fireworks provide a lighthearted and beautiful way to honor the wars that took place in order for us to gain (and keep) our independence. Many people will gather around resorts all over the Lake (and the rest of the country) to watch the official displays, and even more families with congregate in backyards to set off their own fireworks. No matter how you decide to enjoy the displays, remember to be careful!

2. Barbecues
Barbecues are another immensely popular tradition for Independence Day. Considered a classic American tradition, barbecuing gives people a chance to celebrate our country's great culture. Families who may not have gotten to see each other for several months will gather together to enjoy delicious BBQ, cold drinks, and much-needed family time.


3. Picnics
Similar to barbecues, picnics are another incredibly popular 4th of July tradition. Families will load their coolers with some of their favorite foods - potato salad, sandwiches, chips, cookies, and more - and head out for a fun afternoon at their favorite park. 

4. Baseball Games
Heralded as one of the classic American sports, attending a baseball game is a wildly popular 4th of July activity. Baseball games will be held all weekend long, so fans across the country will be able to attend their game(s) of choice in person or tune in on their TVs. 

Happy Independence Day from O'Donnell Law Center!
No matter how you decide to celebrate, the team at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm sincerely hopes you and your family enjoy a truly spectacular holiday weekend. If you find yourself in need of legal representation at the Lake of the Ozarks, remember that you are always welcome to reach out to our team.

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today.

O'Donnell Law Center

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.


Like us on Facebook
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Follow us on Pinterest
Connect with us on LinkedIn
+1 us on Google+
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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065
(Located on the McDonald's Side of the Building)