Friday, January 29, 2016

How to Increase Your Chances Of Getting Custody Of Your Child

Even under the best possible circumstances, divorce is stressful. For one reason or another you and/or your spouse have decided that it will be best if you go your separate ways, and a lot of decisions must be made regarding how you will divide assets, belongings, and responsibilities. Things get even more complicated if you have children together, especially if you and your spouse disagree about custody arrangements. If you are preparing for a divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks in which you believe custody will be contested, having the representation of a skilled divorce attorney in Osage Beach MO can make a world of difference.


A Note On Child Custody

When determining custody, the court will try to identify the best interests of the child and how those best interests can be met. When you're in the middle of a custody battle, it's important to remain calm, balanced, and rational as you demonstrate to the Court why you are the parent best equipped to meet your child's needs. Getting angry or irrational can hurt your case.

4 Tips To Increase Your Chances Of Getting Custody

Until the judge enters a final decree, it may be difficult to predict how custody will be awarded. However, there are several things you can do to help facilitate a positive outcome. Here are a few things I've learned in my years as a divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks.

1. Be Completely Involved In Your Child's Life
Ideally, all parents would be closely involved in their children's lives. Children thrive when they feel completely supported by their parents, and the courts recognize this. One way to demonstrate to the Court that you play an important and active role in your children's lives is to attend their baseball games and dance recitals often.

2. Be Supportive Your Child's Relationship With Your Spouse
To the parent who is fighting for custody, it may seem counter-intuitive to support your children's relationship with their other parent. However, close attention is placed on the importance of a child's relationship with both parents. The parent who wants their children to have a good relationship with both parents may be seen as more supportive of the children's well-being and, therefore, possibly more deserving of custody.

3. Keep A Journal Of Each Day's Events
It's important to keep detailed records when navigating any legal situation, and divorce is no exception. We recommend keeping a journal that logs any pertinent information regarding your children and the custody battle, such as:
  • Your spouse is late picking your child up from school
  • Your spouse makes a comment that could be viewed as neglectful, abusive, or inappropriate
  • What activities/appointments your child had that day and who attended them
  • Observations regarding your child's physical and mental health

It's important to keep these journal entries strictly observational and factual, as emotional dialogues will not help your case. Processing your emotions is important, but it's best to save these remarks for a separate, private journal.

4. Find Witnesses To Back Up Your Story
Testimony by a third-party eye witness can be a valuable form of evidence. Family members can serve as these witnesses, but testimony by non-relatives may be weighed more heavily as they may seem less biased. If you are preparing for a custody battle, it may be a good idea to reach out to some coworkers or close friends who may be able to testify on your behalf.

Your Divorce Attorney Will Be A Huge Asset

Navigating a highly-contested divorce can be challenging, overwhelming, and stressful. If you have more questions about your custody battle, remember that our family attorney in Camden County MO will be here to take the burden off of your shoulders.

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, January 20, 2016

When Should You Establish An Estate Plan?

End of life is something no one wants to think about, but it will inevitably happen to all of us. Being prepared by setting up an estate plan at the Lake of the Ozarks can make things much easier on our relatives after we pass and can ensure that our wishes are met after we are no longer in the physical realm.

Many people ask our estate planning attorney in Osage Beach MO when they should set up their estate plan. However, there is not a single right time to do it; every person's situation is different. This week, we want to explore some of the different situations in which you might want to consider setting up your estate plan or, if you already have a plan in place, updating your existing plan to meet your current needs.


Events In Your Life That Might Trigger The Need To Have An Estate Plan Include...

Buying Your First Car Or Home
When you own property, it's important to dictate what should happen to it when you pass away. Do you want a relative or friend to inherit it? Do you want it to be sold and have the resulting cash donated to your favorite charity? Whatever you choose, you will want to use a will or other estate planning tool to communicate your wishes.

Getting Married Or Divorced
Being joined in marriage to another person is an amazing and momentous experience. It's no small matter to commit to a lifetime together. Similarly, getting divorced is incredibly significant. Regardless of whether you are getting married or divorced, it's important to make sure your estate plan reflects your new marital status.

Having Children
Having children is one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences anyone can imagine. When you become a parent your life is not solely your own anymore; your existence revolves around caring for your dependent child. Nominating the person to act as your child's legal guardian in the event that something happens to you is a big responsibility and one that can be done through a properly executed will.

Receiving An Inheritance
When your financial situation changes drastically, you will want to make sure that your estate plan reflects your current position. If you receive an inheritance, chances are you will come into possession of extra funds or additional property that may require attention after you pass. If you receive an inheritance (or experience some other sort of financial windfall), take the time to visit with your attorney to set up or update your estate plan.

Joining Two Families In Marriage
We have already discussed the importance of establishing or updating your estate plan when you get married, but it's especially important for couples who enter their second marriage. Chances are that by the time you get married for the second time, you will already have children or assets from a previous marriage. Your estate plan can help you identify how you would like your combined assets to be distributed to your respective families when you pass away.

Starting Your Own Business
As a business owner, you are responsible for the success of your company. You will probably have plenty of advance notice and time to get a succession plan in place before you retire, but there is no way to predict if/when you will be in an accident or be diagnosed with a serious illness. For the sake of your company and employees, consider setting up an estate plan with instructions for how your business should be handled if something happens to you.

Questions About Estate Planning? We Are Here For You.

Estate planning can be daunting and confusing, but our experienced team is here to make the process easier. At O'Donnell Law Center, we will talk with you to determine what is most important to you, how you want to be remembered, and how to address the difficult decisions. Above all else, our goal will always be to take the burden off of your shoulders.


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)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Your Trusted Resource For Criminal Defense

Being faced with criminal charges is a daunting and overwhelming experience. Your life as you know is about to change, and it's often impossible to predict exactly how significant those changes will be. When you are facing criminal charges in the tri-county area, it's critical that you contact a criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks as soon as possible.



Your Trusted Resource For Criminal Defense

When you hire O'Donnell Law Center for your criminal defense, you can be confident that securing the best result possible will be our top priority. Our entire staff becomes heavily involved in the process, performing crucial tasks such as:
  • Gathering the police reports and other evidence
  • Analyzing the evidence (and reviewing it with you)
  • Conducting our own investigation, including:
    • Viewing the scene
    • Taking pictures
    • Interviewing witnesses
    • Uncovering exculpatory evidence

We understand that navigating a criminal case can be nerve-wracking, so we aim to ease our clients' nerves by keeping them in the loop throughout the entire process. Our team holds regular brainstorming sessions to determine what needs to be done and how best to proceed, and we meet weekly with the client (typically via video conference) to keep them updated on the status of our investigation.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Take The Burden Off Of Your Shoulders

Attorney Deirdre O'Donnell has been practicing in the Lake Area since 1996 and has been in a private practice since 1998. If you're looking for a trusted resource, look no further than O'Donnell Law Center.

If you choose us as your criminal defense team, we strive to be very efficient and to get you through the process as quickly as possible. Our goal is to minimize the disruptions in your life and get you back to "normal" as soon as we can.

Even seemingly minor charges can have a big impact. Our criminal defense lawyer in Osage Beach MO will be here to defend you in the face of any number of different criminal charges, including (but not limited to):
  • Minor in Possession
  • DWI
  • Stealing
  • No Insurance
  • No Driver's License
  • Burglary (I added these - please change to your font)
  • Drug Possession
  • Bad Checks
  • Assault

For more information about our approach to criminal defense representation, visit our website: www.ODonnellLawCenter.com/criminal-law.asp

Our center is conveniently located in close proximity to the municipal courts in Eldon, Osage Beach, Camdenton, Versailles, Lake Ozark, and many others. (I just changed this around a bit)

Contact O'Donnell Law Center Today!

If you are currently facing criminal charges or believe that you may soon be charged, we urge you to contact our criminal defense firm in Osage Beach MO. It's never too soon to start building your defense. 


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, January 6, 2016

What Sets Our Center Apart?

If you're considering retaining an attorney, chances are good that you're already experiencing at least one (if not multiple) major stressors in your life. Whether you are facing criminal charges, navigating a challenging divorce, planning your estate, dissolving your business, or recovering from an injury, you should be able to trust your attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks to alleviate some of the stress - and certainly not add to it.

At O'Donnell Law Center, our mission is simple: we carry your burden, you carry on with life. This principle guides our every action, and we work diligently to ensure that our clients' experience with us is as simple and stress-free as possible. This week, we want to share with you some of the unique advantages we offer our clients and how we turn our mission into our reality.


Modern Technology

As modern technology continues to advance, our services and strategies become increasingly streamlined. By exclusively using the latest and greatest technologies available, we are able to work more efficiently and at a greater convenience to our clients.

The Cloud

The systems at our general practice law firm are entirely Cloud-based. This allows both our staff and our clients to access documents at any time of day, from any location, from any device. This increased flexibility enables our clients to manage their legal cases without the stress of having to work around their daily responsibilities, such as work or school. It also enables our off-site employees to stay completely integrated with our Center.

Internet-Based Phone Systems

Our ability to remain agile, mobile, and efficient is very important to us. Our internet-based phone system frees us from the need to stay tied to our desks, because calls are automatically forwarded to wherever we are. No matter where we may be at any given moment, our clients can be confident that we are accessible.

Different Divisions

Our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks may be small, but we have developed strategies that allow our Center to operate at maximum efficiency. We have different staff members in charge of different divisions, allowing them to develop specialized skill sets in their designated areas. This also allows our attorney's time to be allocated to the tasks that only attorneys can perform, which helps us keep our costs down.

Complete Flexibility

In addition to enabling our clients to access documents on their own schedule, we also empower our clients to choose when and how they wish to meet. If a client is unable to come to our Center, we go to their home directly. We can also meet over the phone, Skype, FaceTime, or other video chat service. Our goal is always to simplify the process for our clients and make their lives as easy as possible.

We Are Honored To Serve The Lake Of The Ozarks

We are honored to get to do what we love in such an amazing community, and we are humbled to assist our valued clients through the challenges they face. We extend our deepest gratitude to our valued clients who have helped us make our first year so successful, and we truly look forward to everything that 2016 has in store. 


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)