No one wants to wind up in family court. But still about half of all marriages end in divorce. And currently, half of all couples in their early thirties or less are not married. For people ending these relationships, capable representation is critical.
Dan Pingelton takes a special interest in family law cases. When he was in law school, he witnessed bad and unfair results that in some sad cases lasted a lifetime. Within the first few years of practice, Mr. Pingelton vowed that he would improve the quality of family law, and obtain the best results possible for all of his clients.How Does He Do This?
1. Unparalleled knowledge of the law. Family law has changed considerably in the past three decades since Mr. Pingelton handled his first divorce case. Complex property issues, retirement fund problems, support matters, and high-conflict custody concerns all demand expert legal assistance. Mr. Pingelton’s unparalleled knowledge of this area of the law is illustrated in his publications, many of which are used for training other lawyers. He also created Missouri case precedent allowing a supposedly “creditor-proof” retirement plan to be used to pay debts owed to a former spouse through what is known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). He routinely gives continuing legal education (CLE) presentations to Missouri lawyers, judges, legislators and administrators.
2. Commitment to the client. We are not a “fill in the form and show up in court” law firm. There will be plenty of forms to fill out, but successful representation has little to do with pieces of paper. Rather, it starts with a commitment to the client. We fight for our clients. Family law is often a very personal thing, and if it matters to you, then it will matter to us. Some lawyers tell people what they want to hear. We believe in telling you the truth and saying what you need to hear: We’ve been doing this long enough to know how things will turn out if you follow our advice.
3. Communication with the client. Especially in the beginning, our family law clients are worried. They have many questions. We answer all of them and we do it without delay. We have a system of quick-response consultations that we have refined over the years to ensure our clients carry up-to-date and accurate knowledge at all times. Fast phone conferences, e-mail, texting – if it can be secured to our privacy standards (higher than those set by many government agencies) then we’ll use it for you.
4. Coordination with the court. Statistically, most cases are eventually resolved by agreement. Yours will probably be one of those. We maximize your chances for a good negotiated result using several tools available in conjunction with the court. We also pride ourselves on cutting-edge techniques with modern parenting plans, specialized provisions in separation agreements that incorporate new changes in the law, and other items. Dan Pingelton literally wrote the book on this.
5. Dogged trial work. A few cases will go to trial. Large marital estate matters where one party is either ill-advised or simply intractable must be resolved through trial. High-conflict custody cases are some of the most challenging. These cases, more than anything, demand the highest quality legal work. We will try to keep you out of these situations. But if you find yourself caught in such a whirlpool, we will fight through to a good result using all legal means at our disposal. Ask around. We never give up.
- We’re married and have a house in both of our names, but one of us made most of the payments. How will the house be divided?
- The house was in my spouse’s name before we married. Am I entitled to any of it?
- I worked for years and raised our children. My spouse made most of the money. How will the court treat our case?
- My spouse racked up a lot of debt. Am I responsible for any of it?
- I just found out that my spouse didn’t pay taxes and now the IRS is coming after me. What can I do?
- I have a valuable retirement plan from before I was married. Will my ex get any of it?
- What is joint custody? Is it the same as 50/50?
- Can I get maintenance, or what used to be called “alimony?”
- I cheated on my spouse. Will this hurt me in my divorce?
- My ex said he/she was going to file for bankruptcy. What will this do to me?
- We were never married. How will this affect our child if we break up?
- Is Missouri a “no fault” state?