Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Step-By-Step Guide to Legally Adopt a Child

Adoption is a unique way to grow your family without giving birth to a child. A number of couples will look into adoption for various reasons. Whether they are unable to get pregnant or simply want to help a child who does not have a family, adoption is an important resource for many. While adopting may be an easy decision, the process is not as simple as it may seem. Your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help guide you through the adoption process. Take a look below to learn more about the important steps needed to legally adopt a child.

Educate Yourself

The first step to a successful adoption is to educate yourself about the process. There are a number of adoption resources available to help with this process. Your trusted adoption attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks is a great source of information about your unique adoption process. Don't be scared to ask questions and learn all you can about the process you are starting.

Choose an Agency

An agency helps to place children in their new homes. It's important to seek information from various agencies to decide which one will work best for you and your family. Also, know what legal coverage the agency you select will take care of and what you will need to hire an attorney to complete.

Conduct a Homestudy 

A homestudy will be performed by a representative from the agency you select. This is an ongoing relationship to help prepare yourself for the rest of the adoption process and parenting. Ensuring your family and home are ready for a child is the point of this step of adopting.

Start the Search

Once you have completed the homestudy process, it's time to search for your new child. Your agency will help find a child who needs a home that fits your requirements. This part of the process may take a bit of time, so be patient! Once a child has been selected, you and other potential parents may all be considered. The child's social worker will decide which family is the best fit for the child.

Meet a Child

Once you have been selected, you will get to meet the child. Several meetings may be set up before the process is finalized. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know said child and learn how he or she will fit into your family.

Receive Placement

Once placement has been processed, the child will come live with you in your home. The child's social worker will still be involved in the process. They will make frequent visits to your home and have various meetings with the child. During this time, you can file an intent to legally adopt your child.

Finalize the Adoption

A judge will be able to legally finalize your child's adoption. At this point, you are the legal guardian of the child. You will receive the legal paperwork showing you as the parents to your child when the adoption is finalized.

Live With Your New Family

Once the legal steps have been taken, the work does not end. Adoption is an ongoing educational process. You can continue to learn about parenting your adoptive child. Take this time to enjoy your hard work and spend time with your new family!

Now that you've learned the legal steps to adopt a child, you are ready to start working toward your goal. When it comes to legally adopting a kid, contact our Lake of the Ozarks adoption attorney today. We can help you work through the hectic legal side of your upcoming adoption. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call to schedule your FREE initial consultation.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Dangers of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is a major epidemic sweeping the nation. It's important to know how to handle a situation, should one arise within your business. Often times, an employee may feel like they cannot share their experience with a manager or owner for fear of retaliation or a stigma that may follow such allegations. As a business owner at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's vital to the safety of all employees that you have a strict sexual harassment policy. Ensure all employees are aware of the consequences of such actions and do repeated training on the topic to keep it top of mind for your employees. As your knowledgeable attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we want to help protect your business from the potential threat of sexual harassment. If you don't take action against the potential for sexual harassment in advance, you may suffer from one or more of the consequences below.

Loss of Employee

If an employee is uncomfortable due to sexual harassment in the workplace, they may choose to leave the business. As a business owner, you may not even be aware of the situation that causes them to end their employment with you. Losing an employee is costly for a business. Time training a new employee and experience lost from a former employee all take time to recover from. Don't suffer an unnecessary loss of an employee due to a sexual harassment situation in the workplace in which they were not comfortable reporting.

Low Morale

An employee may stick it out with your business even if they do experience sexual harassment at work. This can cause low morale and a negative attitude (which can spread like wildfire). It's important to keep the morale up at your company to help employees feel comfortable and thrive in a positive environment.

Distracted Employees

If an employee has been in a sexual harassment situation at work, they may be distracted. Whether they are always keeping an eye out for the person who harassed them or can't stop thinking about the native situation, they may lose focus of the work at hand. Production may suffer if an employee is distracted due to a sexual harassment occurrence.

Potential Lawsuit

If nothing is done about a sexual harassment situation, the victim may have grounds to sue the employer. If you do know about a harassment that has taken place at work, it's important to act quickly. Gather all the information possible and make a decision off of the facts. Also document all conversations well to help protect your business.

Now that you've learned just a few of the potential dangers of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can prepare your staff if a situation should arise. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here to help if you do have a sexual harassment situation in your workplace. Whether you are the victim seeking representation or you are the business owner trying to protect your venture, our sexual harassment attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help represent your case. Give Gibbons Law Firm a call today and don't forget that your first consultation with us is always free!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Friday, January 5, 2018

5 Interesting Facts for Tenants & Landlords

Owning a rental property has the opportunity to create a steady income. This is a popular way to increase the amount of money that comes in every month. If you currently own a rental property or are thinking about getting into the business, there are important legal facts that go hand-in-hand. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here for all of your landlord needs. From contracts to evictions, Gibbons Law Firm can assist you. Take a look below to learn a little more about tenant evictions and how they can legally be accomplished.

Fact #1:
A landlord may not evict a tenant without a court order. Once the eviction process is started, a tenant will receive notice that an eviction lawsuit has been filed.

Fact #2:
Landlords are allowed to remove abandoned personal items once they have given notice and complied with these requirements.

Fact #3:
A landlord can double the amount of rent if the tenant allows another person to take over the premises without permission from the landlord.

Fact #4:
The number of occupants can be limited to two per bedroom (with the exception of a baby born during the lease period) by the landlord.

Fact #5:
The landlord is responsible for regular wear and tear, as well as damage caused by natural forces like the weather. A tenant is responsible for making repairs that are caused by their own negligence.

While many landlord-tenant relationships are successful, it does not always end up in a positive situation. Disputes do occur in the renting process.  Sometimes a dispute can be avoided if both parties are aware of their rights and duties. A brief recap can be found below:


Pay rent on time.

Use reasonable care and not damage property.

Properly dispose of garbage.

Refrain from taking on additional occupants or subleasing without the landlord’s written permission.


Make property habitable before tenants move in.

Make and pay for repairs due to ordinary wear and tear.

Refrain from turning off a tenant’s water, electricity or gas.

Provide written a notice to tenants when ownership of the property is transferred to a new landlord.

Not unlawfully discriminate.

The best way to avoid an issue in the future is for both parties to document all communication and agreements well. 

Now that you know a little more about tenant and landlord rights, you can be prepared as a landlord. If you plan to rent your property or already do, our tenant-landlord lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks can help represent you. Whether you need to put together a solid lease agreement for future tenants or need to take legal action, Gibbons Law Firm is here for you!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Keeping Your Legal Bases Covered for Your Business in 2018

Is your business legally prepared for the future? Take advantage of a fresh start as the new year rolls around and up your legal coverage for your business venture. Ensure your business has the proper paperwork in place, should a legal issue arise. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm can help make sure your bases are covered when it comes to legally protecting your business. Whether you are starting a new business in 2018 or want to improve your current business process, the time and effort put into protecting your venture will be well spent. Take a look below for some tips on what to look for when updating your business paperwork.

Choose Your Business Entity Wisely

If you plan to start a business in the new year, it’s the ideal time to get your legal needs squared away. To start, you will need to choose which type of business you plan to run. Different types of businesses offer more or less protection of your personal assets. A professional lawyer can help you determine which type of business would work best for you and your line of work. This is a major decision that needs to be made at the start of your business and a lawyer can help explain each option thoroughly.

Ensure Your Contracts are Updated

Have you been using the same set of contracts for a while now? It’s time for an update. As your business and the business world change, your contractual paperwork should follow suit. Minor updates can make a big difference in the protection of you and your business. Don’t get your business in a bind for lack of making updates. Simply contact your lawyer to review your current contracts and ask about any changes that should be made.

Review Procedures with Employees

No matter if you have two employees or two thousand, it’s important for everyone to be properly updated on company policies. Review policies with all of your employees on an annual basis to stay on a schedule. The first of the year is a good time to go over workplace harassment protocol and safety procedures. Any new procedures or new employee training should take place throughout the year, but the annual review of these policies is fitting for the first of the year.

The tasks listed above are very important for the legal protection of your business. If you have not yet solidified these tasks, now is the time to do it! For help with any of these protective barriers, Gibbons Law Firm is here for you. Our law firm near the Lake of the Ozarks can help with all of your legal business dealings. As your experienced business lawyer near Lake Ozark, MO, our law firm can help protect your business. Give us a call today to set up your free consultation. We look forward to helping protect your Lake of the Ozarks business in 2018!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Tips for Avoiding a Workers' Compensation Lawsuit

Workers' Compensation insurance can help protect your business' financial assets when a worker is injured on the job or due to a work-related task. While you may think this coverage can help protect you from all work injury claims, that is not always the case. There are extra precautions that can be taken to improve your protection from being involved in a lawsuit from a workers' compensation claim. As your Lake of the Ozarks attorney, I know how important it is to protect your business. Take a look below to find some extra ways you can help to prevent a work injury at your business.

Perform a Complete Training with New Employees

A complete and thorough new employee orientation should be performed with all new workers who join your team. Walk through your business and get all employees familiar with your property. Point out any dangerous areas in which the employee should avoid or any equipment that they are not authorized to use. After you've been on a tour of your property, clearly show each employee the ins and outs of their daily tasks. Will they be working in any dangerous areas or with equipment? Make sure to point those items out. Also, ensure your employees know how to use safety equipment and that these items are actually being used.

Remind Employees of Work Safety Annually

On a yearly basis, host a refresher course for workplace safety for your business. It's a good way to remind everyone of the potential dangers that are out there on a daily basis and helps to keep good safety tips top of mind. These training courses can help to remind your employees of safety precautions that should be followed on a daily basis.

Mark Dangerous Areas Clearly

If there are areas that are off-limits to certain employees, be sure these areas are clearly marked. In addition to marking off areas, verbally explain to all employees why this area is dangerous and off-limits. It's important for people to be aware of why they shouldn't be in a certain area, instead of just blocking it off.

Provide Safe Equipment for Employees

Ensure all equipment your employees use is safe. Whether it's a ladder, forklift, or other items, workers should be able to have equipment that works properly for them to help complete their job duties. Also, encourage an open relationship with all employees in which they feel comfortable letting you know about any hazards or dangers with the equipment that they use.

Don't Forget OSHA

The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The OSH Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. It's important that you meet these standards in your workplace, not just for safety for your employees, but also to help you avoid a lawsuit. You will also need to have appropriate OSHA publications displayed in your workplace.

Are you ready to make these changes around your business? It's important to ensure your work environment is safe for all of your employees. These safety steps may not prevent a workers' compensation lawsuit, but it can help to reduce the chance that one will occur. If you do find your business in the middle of a workers' compensation lawsuit at the Lake of the Ozarks, contact Gibbons Law Firm right away. We can help evaluate your case and make legal recommendations for your business.

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What You Legally Need to Start a Business

Starting a business is an exciting time filled with life changes and hard work. It's important to have your ducks in a row when it comes to the legality of your business. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is here for all of your small business needs. From starting a new venture to representing your business, there are a number of ways we can help you! If you are just getting started, take a look below to find some helpful tips on what you need to do as you open a new business near the Lake of the Ozarks.

Verify Your Business Name

Even if you think you have a unique business name, it is important to ensure no other business has rights to the name. You can also trademark your name to make sure no other business can use it if it is not already in use. This is likely the first step you will need to complete as you start up your new business.

Protect Your New Venture

Will your business be an LLC or corporation? If you are unsure which is the best option for your business, consult a legal professional for advice. Either way, it's important to know the pros and cons of each type of business protection that way you can help choose the right option for yourself. If you don't have this type of protection, you may open your personal assets up to being involved in your business.

Register for a Federal Tax ID Number

A Federal Tax Identification Number can help to identify your business as a separate entity. It's essentially a social security number for your business. This is another way to distinguish your business as a separate entity than yourself, adding another layer of protection to your individual assets.

Brush Up on Employee Law

Even if you don't plan on hiring many employees right away, it's important to know the ins and outs of employee law. From hiring paperwork to a wide range of documentation, you want to always protect yourself and your business by staying informed, when employees are involved. Do you have questions about this, contact your local business lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Obtain Business Permits

Business documents can vary depending on the location and type of business you are conducting. Ensure you have the proper permits for your area and field of work. Permits may need to be obtained on a federal, state, and local level, so don't forget to look into all of these requirements.

Keep Good Documentation

No matter what decisions are being made, ensure you have a good documenting and filing system for your business. It's important to be able to locate all important documents in a timely manner when needed. This can also help protect your business in a number of ways, should an issue arise.

Now that you've hopefully learned a little more about what is legally required to start a business, you're ready to get started! From the initial paperwork to employment documents, Gibbons Law Firm can assist your business in a number of ways, especially if you are just getting started. Contact us today to set up your first consultation, and remember - your first one is always free! We look forward to helping you grow your Lake of the Ozarks business!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Top Benefits of a Will

Some may argue that a will is one of the most important things you can do for your family. A will provides legal protection for your assets and your family. You can have a say in who receives what assets when you are gone by putting a will together now. Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm knows how important it is to have your wishes lined out. Take a look below to find some of the top benefits of having a will in place.

1. Have Your Wishes Known

It's important that everyone involved knows exactly what your wishes for your estate are. This can help to avoid arguments amongst family members. It will offer comfort for your family to know exactly what your wishes are and to help carry them out. A will is an ideal place to document any of your wishes for when you pass.

2. Distribute Your Estate

When planning your will, you can designate who you want to take over specific assets. Whether it's your home, car, accounts, or family heirlooms, it's a great opportunity to distribute your belongings to your friends and family. A will can help ensure your wishes are being carried out and that your estate is going where you want and not just divied up.

3. Establish Care for Your Children

If you have children under the age of 18, you can designate guardianship to an individual or couple. This can help make sure your kids are being cared for by exactly who you wish to care for them. You can also leave specific instructions for any financial help you want to go along with the person who will care for your kids.

4. Appoint Executors of Your Will

While it may be a difficult choice, you can appoint someone to be in charge of distributing your assets. This is known as an executor or personal representative, and this individual will ensure that your will is known and that all items are distributed as you have wished. This person will also be in charge of paying off debt, bills, and other financial items that will need to take place.

5. Flexibility of Change

The beauty of a will is that it is a flexible document. Changes can be made over time as your wishes change. Whether you've had a major life change or you simply think someone else would be a better fit for a certain asset, you can make changes to your will, as you see fit.

Now that you know some of the benefits of a will, you are ready to take action. Give your family the gift of knowing what your wishes are when the time comes. It's a thoughtful way to take some of the burdens off of those closest to you. Contact Gibbons Law Firm today to establish a will so your wishes are known. We look forward to helping you put together your will at the Lake of the Ozarks!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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