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Bill advises developers, nonprofit corporations, and public entities on a variety of real estate transactions and infrastructure finance. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate development, public/private partnerships, land use, and municipal law, and serves as an advisor to national developers seeking tax abatements, tax increment financing, or any other redevelopment opportunities across the St. Louis region.

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I haven’t tried this myself yet, but NewLawyer.com claims they can connect you instantly with a lawyer in any state, using phone-to-phone technology, for a free five minute consultation.

Michael Foti, the marketing director at NewLawyer.com says the purpose of the website is to “provide legal advice to anyone and everyone who needs it.”

Five minutes with an attorney is not very long, but it just might be enough to answer that burning legal question you have about your case, and the price is right.  If you try this service, leave a review here in the comment section for the rest of us.

An article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch says the hard economic times are causing some couples to stay together before, during and even after they divorce.

With home values shredded and retirement assets dwindling, many unhappy couples are realizing they don’t need to spend more money on divorce lawyers, and they are more willing to compromise and settle.

One husband said he didn’t have the money to move out, so the couple stayed together during the divorce, and when it got too stressful, he went to the movies or she went out with friends.

“My attorney was very up front with me,” he said. “She said, ‘The more you guys (argue) about this, the more it’s going to cost you.'”

Alice Suzanne Hayes was divorcing her husband, Farrell Hayes, in 2005, in Tennessee.  She allegedly decided to install a program on his laptop computer from eBlaster called SpectorPro without his consent or knowledge.

The program surreptitiously intercepted the husband’s emails and sent them to Mary Jo Davis, the wife’s sister, who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.  The sister gave them to Mrs. Hayes who gave them to her divorce attorney, Marvin Berke.  Mr. Burke tried to use the emails in the divorce.

Now Mr. Hayes has filed a lawsuit in Tennessee against Mr. Berke and his law firm.  The suit says interception of emails is against state and federal laws.  He is asking for $1 million compensatory damages and $1 million punitive damages.

Question:

My wife says she is leaving and taking the kids.  I don’t want her to.  What do I do?

Answer:

First, tell her that she can go, but the kids stay.  Protect your father’s rights. You have joint legal custody and joint physical custody until and unless the court says otherwise.  You have the right to pick them up from school or any other place she takes them.

Second, call your lawyer.  He or she will try to reach a written agreement with your wife’s attorney about the children, even if it is a temporary one.  The agreement will cover who lives where, how much time each party spends with the children and how the bills will get paid.

Third, if you can’t reach an agreement, then you can petition the court for a custody and access order.  This will usually involve legal fees, pleadings and a hearing.

Many clients ask about getting an online divorce.  I have seen a couple of on line agreements that weren’t filled out properly by the clients.  And I have seen one for Washington, DC, where the on line form terminated child support at age 18.  DC law provides for child support until age 21.

Now comes news of the State Attorney General’s Office for Washington State closing down Online Divorce, a Delaware Company.  According to Hector Castro at SeattlePI.Com, the company charged $249 for a divorce and claimed that its staff included “divorce specialists.”

But after complaints from customers that they couldn’t get services or refunds, the state began investigating and found that the company was providing paralegal services without attorney oversight, a violation of state law.  The company ceased doing business in Washington state and at last report is looking for an attorney.