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Please call me to discuss your situation. I would be happy to discuss your case briefly and estimate my fees by telephone. I DO NOT CHARGE for your first phone call with me! If you leave me a message on my answering machine, I will return your call as soon as I can.
Please see below for more information and links:
I enjoy helping people with adoptions! If you are adopting a child, I can assist if you already know of the child to be adopted. I do not act as an adoption agent to locate a child. My clients usually include step-parents adopting their spouse's child or couples adopting the child of their friend or relative. Sometimes an adoption case involves the termination of the parent-child relationship of one or both biological parents. As in other types of cases, adoption is less expensive if everyone involved agrees and cooperates. It is also possible for an adult to adopt another adult! This is sometimes done after a child--whose biological parent would not consent to the adoption before--has now reached age 18 or over.
Child Custody - Support - Visitation - Modification
It is very important for parents to agree and cooperate with each other in these cases. Whether it is the first time a case involving a child is going to court, or whether a case is returning to court so that an order can be modified, parents who agree and cooperate save money, time, trouble, and energy. If you are involved in a case about you child, please consider Collaborative Law, Mediation, and/or Negotiation.
Collaborative Law is important because it is a new and different way for lawyers to assist you in reaching an agreement. People who can't agree and cooperate may spend very large sums of money paying for lawyers to fight in court. It makes sense to invest your money in an effort to achieve an agreement that is created by the people involved--rather than to spend money in a fight that will be decided by someone else.
The most important advice that I can give anyone in a potentially disputed case is this:
IT IS BEST FOR YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED TO AGREE AND COOPERATE! Please click on the above link and review the other pages on this website for more information.
Sometimes it is up to you as a grandparent to step up and do the right thing for your grandchild. Sometimes this means full custody and sometimes it means visitation or access to a grandchild. Please call me to discuss your situation.
Incorporation - LLC - Partnership - Business Contracts
Creating a corporation or LLC must be done properly in order to establish the desired limited liability protection--even for a small business. Partnerships do not feature limited liability, but can be less formal and less complex to operate. My business clients are the owners of small businesses who need a friendly relationship with their lawyer.
There are two ways I can assist you using mediation: as your attorney or as your mediator. However, it is not legally possible for me to do both in the same case. After you have looked over the other pages about mediation on this website, please call me if you have any questions about which role I can best serve for you.
I also teach people how to be mediators. For more information about Mediation Dynamics Mediation Training courses, please click on the above link.
Name Change for Adult or Child
I can help you obtain a court order for a legal name change. This would allow you to obtain a new birth certificate with the new name, new driver's license, passport, etc. Both parents' consent is required for a child's name change. All name changes require the consent of a judge. Some cases like divorces or adoptions may include a name change.
Successful negotiation is essential in order to achieve an efficient agreement to resolve your dispute. Please click on the above link for more information about how you can negotiate and about how I can assist you in your negotiations.
Powers of Attorney: Durable - General - Medical
A Power of Attorney is a legal document used by a person (called the “principal”) to appoint another person (called the “agent” or the “attorney in fact”) who will use the document to convince third parties that the agent has authority to conduct business and make decisions on behalf of the principal. It is important to understand that the principal is giving the power to the agent—the agent does not “take power over” the principal. This document is commonly used to allow your spouse to do business in your name while you are out of town or while you are incapacitated by illness (the “durable” nature of the power of attorney is what makes it still valid even though the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated). A Power of Attorney is only effective while the principal is still alive. Please call me so that I can assist you with this important document.
Wills - Trusts - Probate
Since a Power of Attorney is only effective while the person who made is alive, a will (or in some cases, a trust) is used to determine what happens when the person dies. Although many people want just a "simple will," it is important to have a will that is complex enough that it could address problems which may arise. For example, if a beneficiary of your will is incapacitated (either temporarily or permanently) then it would be best for your will to contain a trust to take care of that person's money while that person is unable to do so. The extra pages of complexity added to your will now could save thousands of dollars in legal fees if a situation like that were to arise.- Mark W. Batchelder
It is also important for you to have a good understanding about how non-probate assets (like life insurance policies or accounts with a pay-on-death beneficiary) are not controlled by your will.
Please call me so we can make an appointment to get your will done. Otherwise, state law will decide how your assets will be distributed.
© 2005, 2012 All rights reserved.
Mark W. Batchelder
Attorney at Law
Fort Worth, Texas