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My Blog

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What is the best way to advertise in the digital age?

Posted on February 3, 2020 at 10:54 AM Comments comments (3)
We are in a digital age where everything is instantaneous, right?  The best way to advertise is generally by making contact with people on their phones because our phones are always in our hands, right?  The next best way is probably through television.  However, the cost of this type of advertising is generally cost prohibitive for a small business.  So, the next best way to advertise is through word of mouth from prior clients.  Build your practice in such a way that client's will want you to succeed and will remember your name.  Have those client's write reviews so that you can be found on google and on other sites. That is the best way to succeed as a small business.

Will the court work around my schedule in a family law case?

Posted on May 12, 2016 at 4:57 PM Comments comments (1)
No. The courts will not work the court dates around your schedule. One of the things I tell my clients to prepare for is losing vacation days. You will have to take time off work. Your work likely doesn't have vacation days for this particular purpose. There are a few that do, but most do not. If you schedule a vacation, get insurance on it so that you can move your dates around. Also, it is probably best not to take a vacation if you can. If you have limited days off, don't make it so that you have to take unpaid days or so that potentially you could get fired. The judge will see this as poor planning and will not, no matter how much you want it to, change maintenance or child support figures. There really is extremely low tolerance for this. Additionally, not showing up is not a good idea. You are required to be in court for the dates that are scheduled for your case. If you have an attorney, it is possible that they may be able to figure out a way to do some of the less important proceedings by phone with you but you need to have a very good reason for it. Some attorneys tell their clients they better have a coroner's note if they don't show up. I won't go that far, but you better have a doctor's note saying you are extremely unwell.  If your car breaks down, you should have repair documentation for the day of the court date. Keep in mind, a big part of the judge's job is separating liars from truth tellers. They are good at it. For that matter so are attorneys.

This is an extremely serious proceeding and the courts are extremely strict about attendance. This takes precedence over most things.  If you are preparing for a divorce or a modification, build up as many vacation days as you can. If you went through a divorce with children or modifiable maintenance, it is never a bad idea to keep more vacation days than you plan to need just in case going back to court becomes necessary. 

Why it is important to hire someone who practices Family Law for a Family Law case

Posted on May 6, 2016 at 10:01 AM Comments comments (1)
There are a few reasons why it is important to hire someone who practices family law for a family law case. I know that a lot of people rely on their social network of friends and family to get a lawyer. I know a lot of people feel more comfortable with this. If you find an attorney you are comfortable with, that is great. That's important. However, if that attorney doesn't practice certain family law the majority of the time, they probably won't be able to spot all of the issues in your case that need to be addressed as well as they might otherwise have. Some attorneys will tell you this. Listen to them. Many attorneys are pressured into practicing something they don't usually, like family law, because a close friends referral wants them to be their attorney.
                Trust is important, but it's not everything. You need trust in your attorney and you need that attorney to know the type of law you need. In family law, knowing the law means more than memorizing the statutes. It means knowing the case law and knowing the unwritten circumstantial standards. For instance, most practitioners in my field will tell you, certain counties are more apt to listen to younger children's wishes in regards to the parenting plan. This isn't written anywhere. It's something you learn by practicing the law.

                You also need that attorney to know your judges. If they don't practice in this field often, they don't know the judges. One easy example for family law is marijuana. If you have a family law case and children are involved and you or your spouse (or the parent of your children) smokes marajuana, you are going to see widely disparate results with different judges. The same goes for maintenance. If your attorney knows their judges, they can pass on the first assigned judge and ask for another. This can be a real help for your case on polarizing issues where discretion for the judge is high. 

Why is it important to "fix" or "take care of" a traffic ticket?

Posted on April 28, 2016 at 12:57 PM Comments comments (3)
It is important to get an attorney to take care of a simple ticket like speeding or improper driving because if you do not have an attorney handle the ticket, you will get points on your license. These points are going to be visible on your record for multiple years to come. Insurance companies can see these points. They will increase your insurance rate accordingly. The price of hiring an attorney to handle the ticket (between $75 and $150 usually) will vastly be outweighed by the extra money you pay in insurance over the next few years that this offense shows on your driving record in almost every case. This is because in many cases, an attorney can compromise for you so that no points (beyond what you already have) appear on your license. You will likely have to pay a fine as well as the attorney fee the fine is typically similar to what you would have paid for the ticket in the first place, so that comes out to no loss or gain. 

Where Does Our Firm Serve?

Posted on November 11, 2014 at 3:27 PM Comments comments (0)
The Faulstich Law Firm: Serving the following areas: St. Louis City, St. Louis County (Affton, Ballwin, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Beverly Hills, Blackjack, Breckenridge Hills, Bridgeton, Brentwood, Chesterfield, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisville, Earth City, Eureka, Hazelwood, Fenton, Florissant, Jennings, Kirkwood, Ladue, Maplewood, Maryland Heights, Manchester, Normandy, Northwoods, Olivette, Oakville, Overland, Pacific, Pagedale, Pine Lawn, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, St. Ann, St. John, Sunset Hills, Town & Country, University City, Valley Park, Vinita Park, Webster Groves and Wildwood.), St. Charles County (Augusta, Cottleville, Dardenne Prarie, Defiance, Flint Hill, Foristell, Lake St. Louis, New Melle, O'Fallon, Orchard Farm, Portage DeSioux, St. Charles City, St. Peters, Weldon Springs, Wentzville, & West Alton), Jefferson County (Antonia, Arnold, Barnhart, Byrnes Mill, Cedar Hill, Crystal City, Desoto, Dittmer, Festus, Herculaneum, Hillsboro, High Ridge, House Springs, Imperial, Kimmswick & Pevely) Franklin County (Anaconda, Caseyville, Catawissa, Oak Grove, Pacific, Robertsville, St. Clair, Sullivan, Union, Villa Ridge & Washington), Lincoln County (Auburn, Brussels, Ellsberry, Foley, Hawk Point, Moscow Mills, New Hope, Old Monroe, Troy, Whiteside, & Winf).

What is the Timeline for a Divorce?

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 2:23 PM Comments comments (0)
The length of the process of a divorce can vary quite a bit. The single most indicative factor for timeline purposes is the amount of conflict or agreement you and your soon to be ex-spouse have. If you can agree on most things, the divorce may only take a few months. A realistic expectation for a relatively disagreement-free divorce would be about six months for most people.
                This estimation starts from the time of your initial consultation to the time that your divorce is final. Your attorney will need to gather information from you. This can take a long time and it can be hard to find the time to get the information or fill out forms your attorney gave you. You will likely have questions about the forms that you will want to consult your attorney about. When you give the attorney the forms, he or she may have further questions or comments for you. Your attorney will get your feedback and draw up the documents, ask for your final review, and make a time for a signing the documents. These will be filed and served to the other party. There is a period of about a month after the service. Service itself can take time.
                After the appropriate amount of time, your attorney can then speak with and negotiate with your soon to be ex-spouse or his or her attorney if he or she has retained one. Your initial filing can be turned into separate Settlement Documents as an offer for the soon to be ex-spouse. Many times, even in the best situations, details will need to be changed to meet the requirements of the soon to be ex-spouse. This takes time for redrafting and reoffering and consulting with you, the client. Only when both sides have agreed to and signed all of the Settlement Documents will an attorney schedule an uncontested hearing. It is not unusual for the scheduling of the hearing to be months after the signing and depends heavily on the assigned judge's case load. After the hearing, the judgment is not "official" until 30 days have passed and then a certified document will be sent to your attorney.
                Every single document, no matter how small the change, will need to be reviewed by you. Every final draft of a document will require your signature. Many final drafts of a document will require a notary to see you sign the papers, so this almost always requires a visit to the office, and during business hours when most people work. As you can hopefully see now, the scheduling and back and forth can take up a great deal of time.
                A timeline such as this requires that you as the client complete tasks like a list of assets and your parenting plans to your attorney promptly. It may be more complicated than you realize at this initial moment, when you are just beginning to consider a divorce. Once you become aware of the details, you will have a better idea of your timeline.  

                Six months is not the most common timeline. Somewhere between a year or two is far more common because of issues in ideology over children and money most often. There is a great deal at stake and many cases will have multiple different court dates set months apart for different stages of the process between filing and a trial.

What is Limited Scope Representation and who can benefit from Limited Scope Representation?

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 6:12 PM Comments comments (0)
Limited Scope Representation is a way to make legal representation more affordable for people who may not be able to afford full legal representation, but might be helped by a partial representation nonetheless. While there are definite advantages to hiring an attorney to handle the entire case, sometimes litigants might choose to try to self-represent because of financial concerns. Considering the complexities of the law, there are likely spots where the self-represented litigant could use some help understanding terminology, repercussions and strategy. Limited Scope Representation is collaboration between attorney and self-represented litigants that makes an attorney an affordable option.
Family law is much better suited for Limited Scope Representation than many other fields of law because it is an area more suited to the division of tasks between the attorney and the self-represented litigant. One of the more popular ways of handling the division of tasks is having an attorney conduct document review. The St. Louis County Courthouse provides a website with automated PDF forms for litigants to fill out. There are some instructions on the site as well.
The best candidates for LSR are intelligent, well-organized, detail oriented, practical people. They are teachable. However, you must realize when you need help. . Also, it is of paramount importance that the person is also not overwrought with the emotional situation at hand and can take on parts of the problem with a business-like manner instead. This last piece, understandably, can be a tall order in an emotional situation like a divorce.
I will not put any limitations on the service necessarily by income, but lower income people are generally the best candidates. Fewer assets generally translate to a less complicated case. Additionally, the more agreement on child care provisions, the better. An ideal candidate may not even have children. The lower conflict the case is, the more appropriate it is for limited scope representation.
An ideal candidate might be a young professional who has not been married very long and who is just starting their career for instance.

Bottom Line: This is not an ideal situation but it can smooth out what can be an otherwise very rough process without an attorney.

Have a Burning Legal Question?

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 3:57 PM Comments comments (0)
Do you have a question you think would be a great topic for this blog? Let me know! My e-mail is [email protected]. Keep in mind that every situation is unique, but general questions are most helpful for most readers. This will also preserve your anonymity. If you are not sure if your question will work, that is fine. Send it anyway. I will do my best to answer the question in a way that preserves anonymity and is helpful to other readers as well.

If your question is very specific, and you are seeking representation, you may also call or e-mail to schedule a consultation (which I will discount for you if you mention that you are one of my blog readers :D). 

Mission Statement

Posted on May 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)
Author: Alexandra R. Faulstich, Attorney at Law
Editor: Lisa D. Faulstich, Attorney at Law

MISSION STATEMENT:  The purpose of this blog is to discuss issues within family law and issues that are tangentially related. I hope that this blog will provide some piece of mind and take out some of the “what ifs” hanging over your head while you consider a divorce or one of the other topics that I cover here. This blog will cover topics that are interwoven into the fabric of family law and divorce. For instance, bankruptcy and some criminal issues crop up in a number of divorces.  At times I will also discuss Probate and Estate Planning, as these are other major parts of our family law practice. Even workers compensation and intellectual property can come into play here as sometimes this is an asset in the divorce.