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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