Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Is Alimony?

Filing for divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one filled with possibilities and unknowns. Almost every aspect of the couple's lives will change, but finances are a factor that weigh particularly heavy on the minds of many divorcing couples. This is especially true for couples in which one individual makes significantly more money than the other or in which one individual stays at home with the children, not bringing in any income whatsoever. In these situations, alimony may be awarded to help offset the financial discrepancies.

Alimony - A Quick Overview

Alimony is designed to help divorced individuals who may not earn enough income to support themselves in the manner they were accustomed to during the marriage. Sometimes called "spousal support" or "maintenance," alimony is a monthly payment the higher-earning spouse is ordered to pay the lower-earning spouse. The Courts recognize that in many situations, one spouse will choose to work fewer hours (or forego a career altogether) in order to care for the couple's children. Alimony is designed to help ease the burden that this time away from work may have caused by the time the individual is ready to reenter the workforce. 

As discussed, alimony is typically awarded when one spouse earns a significantly higher income than the other. It generally is not awarded when both spouses earn relatively equal income or when the marriage has only lasted for a short time. Alimony is separate from child support; a parent may be awarded child support and still be eligible to receive alimony on top of it, depending on his/her situation.

How Alimony Is Determined

The amount awarded for alimony will vary depending on the state the couple resides in and several different factors relating to the individual spouses and their marriage as a whole. Here are a few examples of the types of factors that may be considered:
  • Each spouse's earning capacity
  • The financial resources available to the dependent spouse
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • Each spouse's behavior during the marriage
  • The amount of time that will be required for the dependent spouse to obtain the education and/or training required to reenter the workforce
  • The debts and assets of each spouse
  • The standard of living that was maintained during the marriage
  • The emotional and physical condition of the spouse asking for support, as well as the other spouse's ability to provide the support

How Long Alimony Orders Last

Like child support orders, most alimony orders have a specific expiration date. This expiration date can vary drastically from case to case, depending on the specific factors affecting each individual divorce. Here are a few examples of the types of expiration dates that may be set:
  • When the spouse receiving the support gets remarried
  • If the judge determines that the supported spouse has not made an adequate effort to become more self-sufficient
  • The children no longer require a stay-at-home parent
  • The judge decides to modify the alimony order based on an external significant event (such as retirement)
  • When one of the spouses passes away
  • The judge has set a specific date for the alimony order to expire.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center With Your Questions About Alimony

If you would like to learn more about alimony or if you are interested to learn how it may affect your case, don't hesitate to reach out to our law firm in Osage Beach, MOVisit our website or give us a call at (573) 552-0317 to learn more.

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Giving Your Business A GREAT First Impression

Your business is your livelihood. As the owner, you'll want to do everything you can to ensure that your company leaves a great first impression with every potential customer it comes in contact with, and leaves a positive lasting impression with everyone who uses you services or products. There are a lot of background procedures that must be executed to ensure that your business runs properly, but the impression you leave with your customers is a vital component of your business' success.

4 Ways To Help Your Business Make A Great Impression

1. Draft Solid Legal Contracts
When it comes to business transactions, you have to be organized. This is especially true when it comes to business contracts. Your contracts must be thorough and legally sound in order to protect your business endeavors. A well-written contract also goes a long way towards improving your clients' impressions of your business, as a well-written contract excludes professionalism.

2. Know Your Business
This one probably goes without saying, but that doesn't make it any less important. If you want to make a good impression, you have to know your business and be able to explain it succinctly and coherently. Your credibility will be closely correlated to your knowledge of the subject. 

3. Incorporate Your Business Correctly
In the world of a business owner, there are a lot of things that take place behind the scenes. However, the fact that these steps are not publicly visible to the clientele base does not mean they are any less critical. Things like choosing the proper business structure, for example, are crucial to your company's overall success. While your client may not be immediately concerned with whether you are a limited liability company or sole proprietorship, it will still be important to the success of your business. 

4. Take Professional Photos Of Your Business
No matter what line of work you do, it will be important to have professional photos of you, your staff, your office, and your products. These photos can be used on your website, social media, billboards, magazine ads, brochures, flyers, and any other form of advertising or promotional products. If you are looking for an affordable way to take professional head shots of you and your staff, O'Donnell Law Center may have a solution!

Take Your Business Head Shots At O'Donnell Law Center

Kate Wright, a talented local photographer, is hosting free mini photo sessions (with packages starting as low as $50) right here at our Lake of the Ozarks law firm. These photo sessions will be available on February 10th, 11th, and 12th. This is a great opportunity to get a wide variety of different pictures taken, including:
  • Business Head Shots
  • Family Portraits
  • Home Schoolers
  • High School Senior Yearbook / Invitations
  • Profile Pics
  • Sports Pictures
  • And More

Kate takes phenomenal photos and we are honored to support her event. To learn more about Kate and view some of her work, visit her website:

O'Donnell Law Center Can Help With Your Business Law Needs

Starting your own business is a big step. If you are thinking about starting your own company, we hope you'll set up a consultation with our business attorney in Osage Beach MO. We can help you with everything from drafting contracts to enforcing those contracts at a later date and incorporating your business effectively. Visit our website to learn more.

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, February 5, 2016

5 Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of A Car Accident

Auto accidents happen in an instant, but they can have long-term repercussions. Depending on the severity of your accident, you may suffer any number of undesirable consequences, including:
  • Moderate to severe physical injuries
  • Increased auto insurance rates
  • Costly repairs
  • Extensive legal procedures

Reducing Your Risk Of A Car Accident

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We have discussed the steps you should take immediately following a vehicle accident, but what are some things you can do to prevent an accident from occurring in the first place? Here are a few strategies you can use to help lower your risk of a car accident.

1. Double-Check Your Blind Spots
Never underestimate the power of your blind spots. The "blind spot" is the area next to and slightly behind your car that you cannot see in your rear-view or side-view mirrors. Before turning or changing lanes, you should always look over your shoulder to double-check that your blind spot is clear of other vehicles.

2. Look Beyond The Car Directly In Front Of You
If you think that only watching the car in front of you means you're being an attentive driver, you may need to reevaluate your strategy. You should watch the cars ahead of the car in front of you, as well, so you can anticipate future issues and be proactive as needed.

3. Eliminate Distractions
Did you know that distractions are the leading causes of car wrecks? Drivers may be distracted by any number of different things, such as cell phones, pets, children, music, food, and even their own thoughts. When you're behind the wheel, it's important to eliminate as many distractions as possible.

4. Drive With Your Hands In The 3:00 And 9:00 Positions
How do you typically hold the steering wheel? When they're comfortable, many drivers hold a single hand in the 12:00 or 6:00 position. However, driving experts recommend that you hold both hands in the 3:00 and 9:00 positions, as this allows for maximum control over the vehicle in the event that you need to react quickly.

5. Don't Drive At Night
Some people like driving at night, but the truth is that nighttime driving is not nearly as safe. Visibility is severely reduced, making it harder to see and react to potential hazards, such as pedestrians and wildlife. There may be more dangerous drivers on the road at night as well, such as those leaving parties or bars. Driving in the daylight hours is almost always a safer bet.

What To Do If You Are In An Accident

Despite our best efforts, car accidents still can (and do) happen. One of our earlier blog posts describes what to do if you are in a car accident. If you should find yourself in need of legal assistance, we hope you'll remember O'Donnell Law Center for your trusted traffic law attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks. We will be here to ease your burden 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)