Thursday, August 28, 2014

Things You Should Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Lawyer
If you are looking for a divorce lawyer, Keen & Genochio Attorneys at Law can help you to navigate through the family court system and receive the best possible outcome.  There are no guarantees in a trial or a divorce, but having expert legal representation will ensure that your rights are protected and that you have someone fighting on your side. 

Before you speak with an attorney, there are several things you should know that will help you to select the right one.

Location is Important
Attorneys are licensed by the state, but each county tends to handle things differently.  This means different sets of paperwork, judges with different tendencies, ways of setting a trial date, etc.  These small differences may seem insignificant but if you hire an attorney outside of the area and they go up against a local one, the local lawyer may have an advantage.

Experience Counts
Make sure that you hire a divorce lawyer that is experienced with your type of case.  All divorces are not created equally.  For example, a standard divorce case typically involves two people that are living in the same general area and may or may not have children.  If you have significant assets, own a business, are looking to relocate, or are in the military, your case is automatically more complicated with several issues that need to be addressed.  Look for an attorney that has dealt with these types of complexities before and done so successfully.

Settlement and Court
If your divorce is amicable you may be able to settle it outside of court.  If not, you need to hire a lawyer that has the courtroom experience necessary to advocate on your behalf, question witnesses, and build a case in your favor.  This requires a different set of skills, so do not assume that your divorce lawyer has them, without asking.

Understand the Fee Structure
Before hiring someone, make sure that you understand how they charge and how much they charge.  Creating a mutual understanding is essential for ensuring that you are on the same page throughout the process.  You should also ask what fees you will be responsible for in addition to what your lawyer will charge.  This way you can budget for it.

Ask About Availability
Before hiring someone make sure that they have the time to take your case.  This is especially important if the case may go to trial.  If you are speaking with a firm with more than one attorney, ask if they work as a team or if someone is set to be a backup in case something happens to your main lawyer. The last thing you want is to end up in court with a junior associate that is new to your case.

With Keen & Genochio Attorneys at Law, you will receive expert legal advice and representation from an experienced divorce lawyer.  To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling (619) 232-2217.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Divorce Attorney Can Help with Your Business Valuation

Divorce Attorney
If you are getting a divorce, hire a divorce attorney to help you handle the case.  This is an incredibly difficult and sensitive time.  Trying to handle it on your own is unwise since emotion can complicate things, and your reasoning may not be as sharp as normal.  This is perfectly understandable since getting a divorce can be as traumatic as losing a family member.  Working with an expert lawyer can make the process easier so that you can focus on feeling better and taking care of your family.

There are many aspects to a divorce.  Not only are you changing your marital status but assets, and liabilities must be divided.  This includes everything from where you live to the cars that you drive and the family pet.  Every single item you own needs to be given to you or to your spouse, which can be cumbersome at best.  If you own a business, this process becomes much more complicated.

Dividing a business is not easy and normally not practical.  For example, you cannot take an operating company and say that one spouse gets the sales force and their revenue while the other gets the service staff and the revenue they generate.  A business doesn’t work like that so any division of it needs to be financial.  The question then becomes, what is your business worth?  A divorce attorney can help you to find out.

Since the business is a living and changing entity, a business valuation is typically done to determine how much it is worth.  This should be done by an expert such as a CPA or valuation specialist.  There are many ways to evaluate a company that may include looking at tax returns to determine net income along with placing  a value on intangibles like customer relationships and tangible items like equipment.   This is far more complicated that simply looking at your tax returns alone, so working with an expert is important.

Once the business value has been determined, the other party needs to agree to the value or dispute it by obtaining their own business valuation.  After each party has agreed to a set value, it is time to negotiate how much of the business each person should get and how the other person needs to pay them for it.  When hard assets like real estate are involved this can become easier by getting a loan to buy the other party out.  Otherwise, monthly payments are often arranged just like they would be if a partner buyout was being completed.  Working with an expert attorney will ensure that your interests are protected during this process.

As a divorce attorney, we often find that dividing up a business can be a sensitive matter.  This is because most people invest more than time in a business.  It can become their “baby” so to speak. Before you start the process call Keen & Genochio Attorneys at Law at (619) 232-2217 to schedule your consultation.