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MIAMILAW1127, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 755
Experience:  Founding Partner at Moises Law, P.A.
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I have a Settlement Hearing scheduled divorce in Missouri.

Customer Question

Hi,I have a Settlement Hearing scheduled for my divorce in Missouri. So far, I paid an Attorney to file a Petition response/answer but did not fully retain him.I want to discuss the possibility of me attending the Settlement Hearing myself, the implications of me doing so, what to expect their, etc. I would also like to talk about other options I have to protect my interests in this matter.FYI the attorney is showing as my attorney online.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thank you for contacting me. I am a consultant here and I am looking forward to assisting you with your question. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Please be patient as I will be typing my responses to you from scratch. Also, I can only answer/address the questions you ask specifically based on the information your provide. Please try to provide as much information as possible so I can best assist you.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

You could potentially represent yourself at the settlement hearing. It's pretty much negotiating and what you can get for yourself. Typically, being represented by an attorney gives you more leverage than showing up on your own.

What questions did you generally have so I can assist you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am asking for full custody of our 3 year old daughter and would like the Petitioner to be drug tested. I also would like Alimony - we've been married since August 2013. Our daughter has been with the other party since our split approximately 18 mos ago.
I have been paying child support without an order to do so, but have had difficulty seeing my child regularly and feel the other parent is dangerous.Questions:
1. Is this first Settlement Conference likely to result in a ruling by the judge or is another outcome possible or likely (i.e. schedule trial or another hearing)?2. Can I have other parent drug tested at the hearing?3. If the Petitioner is using Marijuana (heavy use I'm sure but cannot prove to a judge), how can I leverage this to increase custody (hopefully full), and receive child support? Child is currently with other parent/Petitioner.4. Can you give me a stronger likelihood that the outcome of this Hearing will be better or the same if I have an attorney represent me?
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

1. The first settlement conference only results in a ruling by the judge if the two parties come to an agreement. If not, then you would need to continue onto a trial if you cannot settle the matter.

2. Yes. You can request the Court to order to have the other parent drug tested.

3. You can disclose to the other party that you intend to ask the court for a drug test. Many times, they would rather settle the case out than go through that process if the two of you are not very far apart in what you are seeking.

4. I cannot as that would be pure speculation. However, I can tell you that typically attorneys are in a better position to negotiate matters as they are not emotionally vested in the case much like a plaintiff or defendant are.

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