Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Different Types of Child Custody

Fighting for custody of your child is a detailed, complicated process. Obtaining custody of your child is not as cut-and-dried as some people may think. There are actually several different kinds of custody, each with its own rights and responsibilities. O'Donnell Law Center is here to help you understand the different kinds of custody and how to increase your chances of obtaining the custody you desire.


Physical Custody

A parent who has been awarded physical custody is allowed to have the child live with him/her most of the time. The parent who is not granted physical custody may be given visitation rights or parenting time so he/she may still have significant time with the child. Many, many factors go into the judge's decision about who to award physical custody to. 

Legal Custody

A parent who has been awarded legal custody is allowed to be involved in the important decisions a parent or guardian is typically required to make regarding his/her child's welfare, such as medical care, dental care, education, and religious upbringing. A parent may be awarded legal custody even if he/she has not been awarded physical custody.

Sole Custody

A parent can be given sole physical custody, sole legal custody, or both. If one parent has been given sole physical custody, the child will live with him/her exclusively (although the other parent may still be granted visitation rights). If one parent has been granted sole legal custody, he/she will be solely responsible for making all the decisions regarding the child's upbringing.

While it is rare, a parent may be granted sole physical and sole legal custody. Typically, this only happens if the other parent has been deemed unfit to play any significant role in their child's life. This may be due to a history of child abuse, for example, or a drug or alcohol addiction.

Joint Custody

In recent years, society has begun placing increasing importance on the role both parents have to play in their children's lives. In an effort to include both parents in the child's upbringing, most courts prefer joint custody when awarding child custody during a divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks.



In joint physical custody situations, the child will move back and forth between the mother's and the father's homes. While their child's time may be divided evenly in some situations, it is more common for the child to spend more time with one parent in an effort to minimize disruption to the child's daily schedule. For example, he/she may live with one parent during the week (while in school) and then visit the other parent on the weekends. The timing may be redivided during the summer, when the child is not in school.

In joint legal custody, both parents have the right to be involved in the important decisions regarding their child's upbringing. Joint legal custody may be assigned even if one parent has been given sole physical custody. 

Violating Custody Agreements

No matter how physical and legal custody has been assigned, both parents are required to abide by these rulings. If one parent violates these agreements, he may be brought to court and may face consequences ordered by the judge. It is also important to note that child custody, visitation rights, and child support are entirely separate issues; a parent is never allowed to withhold visitation rights as punishment for missing child support payments. If one parent is failing to provide the required child support, the other parent may bring him/her before the court to seek compensation.

The violation of a custody agreement often creates a great deal of animosity between both parents. This animosity may, in turn, create added stress on the children involved. Try to remember that your ex is not your child's ex; just because you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways does not mean that your child wishes to do so. By agreeing to work together as cooperatively as possible, you can make the process easier on the people you both care about the most: your children.

Questions About Custody Agreements?
No matter what role you play in the process, custody battles and disagreements can be stressful. If you have questions about custody battles at the Lake of the Ozarks, contact our family attorney in Osage Beach, MO. We would be happy to assist in any way we can.


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

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


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


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, December 23, 2015

Probation vs Parole

It should come as no surprise that a criminal conviction has several undesirable consequences. In addition to hefty fines, individuals can face several years in prison if they are convicted of a serious crime. Fortunately, there are alternatives to serving a full prison sentence - probation and parole. Our criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you better understand the differences between the two.


Probation


A term of probation is one alternative to a prison sentence. Instead of being ordered to serve time in prison, individuals on probation typically must fulfill strict requirements, such as completing a certain number of community service hours, attending rehabilitation classes, submitting to drug and alcohol tests, and attending regular meetings with the probation officers to monitor progress.

If a person on probation fails to satisfy their probation requirements, their probation may be revoked and a prison sentence may be imposed. The decision of whether or not probation should be revoked and a prison sentence imposed typically is made by a judge after a hearing and opportunity to be heard on the circumstances of the probation violation and whether or the the violation occurred.  

Parole


Parole occurs after an individual has served a substantial portion of their jail or prison sentence in confinement and is being released from confinement to serve out the rest of his or her sentence in the community. As with probation, individuals who are on parole are usually required to follow strict rules and to meet with his or her parole officer regularly throughout the term of parole.

While on parole, an individual may also be required to live in halfway house for a period of time. A halfway house is a center designed to help former prisoners gradually readjust to life in the community.

Parolees who fail to meet the requirements assigned to them may be ordered to return to prison to fulfill the remainder of their sentence.

Deirdre O'Donnell ~ Your Trusted Criminal Defense Attorney


If you are facing criminal charges, your criminal defense attorney in Camden County MO will work tirelessly with you to achieve a satisfactory outcome.  If you would like more information on defending criminal charges at the Lake of the Ozarks, visit our website or call us at 573-552-0317.
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

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


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


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, December 11, 2015

Leasing Your Home: Important Tips

If you own a second home or condo at the Lake, leasing it to renters may be a great way to earn supplemental income to help offset your second mortgage payment. While there are several benefits to leasing your home, however, there are also several potential drawbacks.

Before leasing your home, it's important to draft a solid lease agreement with the help of an attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. If properly created, your lease agreement should help protect you and your property if and when issues arise at a later date. O'Donnell Law Center is here to offer a few important considerations for those of you thinking about renting out your second home.


Things To Consider Before Renting Your Home

The lease agreement is a legal contract between you and your renter. Here are some typical components of a standard lease agreement.

Length Of Lease
Before drafting your lease agreement, it's important to decide how long you wish to have your home occupied. One year is a common term for a lease agreement, but this term can range from six months to two years or more. 

Related to length of lease term are things such as what happens if or when:
  • The lease is up
  • The renter leaves the home before the lease is up
  • The renter wishes to stay on a month-to-month contract after the lease expires

Rent Details
Rent amount is another crucial component. This section of the agreement spells out how much your renter will owe you every month, what day of the month the rent is owed to you, and what happens if your renter is late on his/her payments.

Lease Regulations
As the owner of your home, you probably have specific requirements for how your renter is allowed to treat your property, such as:
  • What types of modifications the renter is allowed to make to the home
  • How many guests are allowed to spend the night
  • If there is a limit as to how many nights in a row a guest may stay in the home
  • What size / number of pets they are allowed to have.
Deposits and Fees
This section of your lease agreement is where you describe what fees your renter will be responsible for beyond the rental amount. For example, you may wish to require a security deposit, an additional deposit if pets are involved, and fees for late or returned payments.

Other Considerations
With the above components carefully detailed, your lease agreement will be off to a solid start. But there are many, many other important components that must be considered.  Here are just a few of them:
  • Who will be responsible for paying the utility bills
  • Who will be responsible for making any necessary repairs
  • Whether or not you require renter's insurance
  • Whether or not you (the owner) will be able to enter the property in emergency situations and how to handle scheduled maintenance

O'Donnell Law Center Can Help Draft Your Agreement!

If you are thinking about leasing your home, contact our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks for help drafting a solid lease agreement. Our attorney will be here for you along every step of the process, from drafting the agreement to enforcing the contract if necessary. Contact O'Donnell Law Center at the Lake of the Ozarks for more information!


Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today:
(573) 552-0317
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

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


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


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)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Combating The Penalties From Your Driving Ticket

The point system associated with a Missouri driver's license is pretty straight forward. Every moving violation and some non-moving violations resulting in a conviction is worth a certain number of points, and if drivers accumulate too many points within a certain period of time, their license may be suspended or revoked. Fortunately, traffic attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks may be able to help drivers reduce or avoid these undesirable consequences.


Criminal Acts on the Road


Missouri's point system works to track each driver's illegal transgressions. Many of the things most people think of as simply "bad driving" are actually considered criminal acts in the eyes of the law. The following are all examples of criminal acts that Missouri drivers commit almost every single day:
  • Driving Without A License
  • Driving Without Insurance
  • Careless and Imprudent Driving
  • Speeding
  • Driving While Intoxicated

With our experience in criminal defense and Missouri's traffic law, O'Donnell Law Center may be able to help reduce the penalties associated with these types of charges. 

Reducing The Penalties


Depending on your specific situation, your Missouri traffic attorney may be able to obtain a reduced charge or facilitate an amendment of the charge from a moving violation to a non-moving violation that does not carry points. Your attorney can help you evaluate your situation and determine how best to proceed.

O'Donnell Law Center May Be Able To Help


If you have received a ticket for a traffic violation, contact our traffic attorney in Osage Beach, MO. While simply paying your ticket may seem like the easiest solution in the moment, it may not be the most cost-effective in the long run. Once you pay your ticket, you are admitting guilt, receiving a conviction, and setting yourself up for points to be assessed to your driver's license which could result in a revoked or suspended licenses and increased auto insurance costs. If you are looking for a traffic attorney, contact the team at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm for the representation you need.

Call the most trusted law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks to get started today:
(573) 552-0317
We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

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


The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.


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)