Thursday, September 13, 2018

Factors that Impact the Cost of a Divorce

Divorce is not only an emotionally strenuous time, it can be hard on your budget too. As your experienced divorce lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know the divorce process is impacted by a number of factors. While no two divorces are the same, we can offer some advice on what can drive up the cost of getting a divorce. Take a look below to learn what factors impact the cost AND what you can do to keep these expenses at bay.


Case Complexity

There are quite a few factors that can make a divorce complex. The most common factor is children. If you and your spouse have kids together, deciding the custody arrangement can take time and effort. Another factor that can increase the complexity of your case is if one of the spouses own a business. Complex community property is another factor that can impact the cost of a divorce. It can take energy to decide who is getting what when it comes to community property.

Length of Time

The main factor of the cost of a divorce is the amount of time each step takes. Your lawyer and your spouses' lawyer will both work on your case and likely charge by the hour. The amount of paperwork to compile and filter through will add to the amount of time required. If you don't get back with your lawyer in a timely fashion, it's another way your budget may increase. The amount of time required to prepare for your divorce can impact the total cost.

Conflict Level

If you and your spouse go back and forth trying to come to a settlement, it can draw out the process. Coming to a conclusion before you get into the heat of things can be beneficial for your divorce budget. It's best to be understanding and work with your lawyer and/or your spouse to get through the process with a low level of conflict.

While getting a divorce can impact your entire life, you can limit the financial impact of the process. By knowing WHAT causes a divorce bill to increase, you and your spouse can work together to keep the cost down. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, contact our Lake of the Ozarks lawyer today. Your first consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is free. Give us a call today to learn how we can help you through the divorce process.

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, September 5, 2018

Tips to Protect Your Small Business From a Workers Compensation Claim

Owning a small business takes a lot of time and energy. As a business owner, you are likely looking for ways to reduce the chance of being involved in legal litigation. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we understand your time and energy is best spent focusing on your business at hand. That's why we've dedicated this week's blog to showcasing a few ways you can help reduce the chance of your business being involved in a workers compensation lawsuit.


Properly Train Employees

When a new employee comes to work for your business, ensure they have the proper training on every aspect of the job they will be doing. The right training can help reduce the chance of an employee being involved in an accident at work. Take the time to explain why each protocol is in place to help your new employees better understand the dangerous potential of the job.

Clearly Mark Dangerous Areas

Use caution tape on the floor to mark hazardous areas in your business. If certain places are reserved for only approved personnel, mark these areas clearly to help eliminate any confusion. Also, be sure to use any signage to let employees and customers know about a potentially hazardous situation. If you have just mopped, make sure you have a wet floor sign marking the area!

Perform Regular Safety Checks

The daily tasks you and your employees perform can quickly become routine. Always have a constant eye out for a potential hazard that may present itself for your employees. Supervisors should perform safety checks on a regular basis to ensure all potentially dangerous situations are accounted for and well known.

Continually Educate About Employee Safety

It's a good idea to do regular training on workplace safety for your employees. This can help keep safety protocol top of mind as your workers complete their daily tasks. Even if your employees have the safety protocol down, it's important to perform a refresher course every now and then.

Ensure Employees Use Proper Safety Procedures

There are a number of safety procedures in place for all lines of work. Whether it's wearing the proper harness for employees on a boom truck or wearing a hard hat on a construction site, it's important that your employees practice proper safety procedures on a daily basis. Keep an eye out for employees and ensure they use the right safety protocol each and every day.

Establish an Open Door Policy

Employees should be encouraged to report any dangerous or potentially dangerous situations in the workplace. Your workers are doing the tasks on a daily basis and may notice a situation that may be a hazard before anyone else. Let your employees know you are open to hearing about potential dangers AND ideas of how to overcome these situations.

As your experienced business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how important it is for a business owner to be able to put their energy toward running the business. By helping to avoid legal issues, you can use your time and energy doing what you love. If you do have a workers compensation claim against your business, it's important to have a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks on your side. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks attorney TODAY to learn how we can help you navigate the legal landscape that is often involved with owning a 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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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ways Drinking & Driving Can Impact Your Life

Driving under the influence is illegal but it's a crime that is committed on a regular basis. As we approach a holiday weekend, it's important to keep this information top of mind. Before you get behind the wheel of a car or boat under the influence, think about the consequences. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how devastating it can be to be charged with a DUI or BUI. Take a look below to learn the different aspects of your life that can be impacted by drinking and driving.

Lose License

Getting your license revoked is a common consequence of driving under the influence. This can impact your personal and professional life. If you rely on your vehicle for transportation it can have a devastating impact on your life.

Insurance Rate Hike

Most insurance companies will charge more monthly premiums after a driver has been convicted of a DUI or BUI. It can also be hard to shop around for new insurance with a charge like this. Insurance companies will see this as reckless driving behavior and the risk of insuring a person with this conviction goes up.

Loss of Employment

Some employers have policies about a criminal record and a conviction can be terms for your termination. It can also be hard to find a new job since most employers run a background check on potential candidates. This is just one of the ways a conviction can impact your professional life.

Change in Personal Relationships

Some people in your life may look down upon a criminal conviction, like a DUI. This type of situation can be damaging for your personal relationships. It can be very stressful to go through a conviction like this. Your personal relationships may suffer if you are charged with drinking and driving.

Legal Fees

Steep fees may be placed upon you if you are charged with a DUI. In addition to these fees, you'll likely incur the cost of legal representation. These expenses can add up quickly and you may find yourself in a tight financial situation.

With a big holiday weekend right around the corner, it's important to designate a driver if you are going to be out drinking. Whether driving a boat or a car, it's important to have a sober driver. If you do end up getting pulled over for drinking and driving, contact Gibbons Law Firm right away. Our Lake of the Ozarks attorney can help walk you through the legal proceedings you will soon face. Remember, your first consultation with our law firm 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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Monday, August 20, 2018

Top Safety Tips for a Day on the Water

Do you enjoy spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks? You're not alone. Our area is a top destination for vacationers and water lovers, alike. It's no surprise that the Lake of the Ozarks was voted the Best Recreational Lake in the United States! If you spend a lot of time on the lake, it's important to use safety precautions. Take a look below if you and your family plan to spend time out on the water the remainder of the summer.


Water Safety Tips


- Always keep an eye on children while swimming

- Ensure those who aren't strong swimmers have a flotation device handy.

- Never swim alone.

- Make sure your dock has the proper electrical grounding.

- Swim away from the dock if you feel an electrical current in the water.

- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

- Avoid swimming right next to a dock. A large wave could push you into or under the dock.

- Don't dive into the water unless you are familiar with the area.

- Keep an eye on the weather and stop swimming as soon as you see lightning or hear thunder.

Boating Safety Tips


- Children under the age of 13 should wear a lifejacket - it's the law.

- Never drink and drive a boat - designate a captain before going out on the water.

- If you are born after 1984, you need a boater safety course and card to operate a vessel.

- Let someone on land know your boating plans and approximate return time.

- Ensure everyone on board has a lifejacket that's easily accessible.

- Use caution around other boaters.

- Keep an eye on the weather conditions and head back to shore if a storm is coming your way.

- If you have swimmers in the water, ensure you have an orange flag to alert other boaters.

- Always turn off the engine when passengers are swimming off the boat.

Now that you know these quick safety tips for spending time on the lake, you're ready to have a fun and safe day out on the lake. Whether you're boating with the family or swimming on the shore with friends, it's important to use safety anytime you are around water. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we want to help give you a refresher course in water safety. If you do get into a legal issue on the water, contact Gibbons Law Firm right away. From a BUI to boat collision, we can help represent your side of the case. Remember, your first consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm 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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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ways a Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Small Business

Do you own a small business? As a business owner, you've likely poured your heart and soul into your business. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we know how invested you are in your venture and we want to help make sure you have the proper protection for your livelihood. As an experienced business lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know the ins and outs of running a successful business and having a go-to lawyer on your side is vital. Whether it's a quick legal question about terminating employment or a legal eye to look over your contracts, a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is important for your small business.


Advise You Through the Start Up Process

As you create your small business, it's important to have the proper documentation in place. A number of legal decisions will need to be made as you gear up for your venture. Deciding what type of corporation is the first big decision that will need to be made. A lawyer can help advise you as to which option is the best fit for your unique personal and business situation.

Offer a Legal Eye for Your Documents

As you run your business, you will come across the need for a ton of documentation - even on a daily basis. It's important to have that go-to person to review your legal documents before you or someone else signs them. Any contracts you put together should be reviewed and you should have a legal advisor take a look at any documentation before you sign your name or business name. It's best to have a lawyer look at this kind of document before, instead of asking questions after the fact.

Provide Advise for Employment Agreements

Employment can be a very sensitive subject. Many small businesses will hire on a family member or friend and skip over the formal hiring documentation. Avoid skipping the legal stuff when it comes to hiring employees - even if it is a friend or family member pitching in and helping. Hiring someone is a professional process and should be treated as such with the proper documentation. These documents can help save your business from a potential lawsuit, down the road. Any hiring and firing should be fully documented.

Help Establish an Exit Plan

If you are starting up a business, exiting the business is likely the last thing on your mind. Even if it is years down the road, it's important to put this type of succession plan in place. A lawyer can help you iron out the details as to who will gain ownership, who will carry out the day to day activities, and/or how your succession will play out. It's also important to have documentation in writing for whoever will be taking over down the road. This day may be here before you know it and it's easier to have everything documented ahead of time, especially if the takeover is sudden and unexpected.

Now that you know WHY you should hire a business attorney for your Lake of the Ozarks business, you need to find the right person to represent your venture. Our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks prides itself on offering sound legal advice for your small business. Contact us today to meet our attorney. Don't forget that your first consultation with our law firm 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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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Road Trip Safety Tips for Your End of Summer Trip

August is a popular month for those last-minute road trips before school is back in session. As summer comes to a close, there's still plenty of time to squeeze in a road trip with your friends and family. If you're planning a road trip this August, it's important to practice safe driving habits. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how unsafe driving habits can impact your entire life. Take a look below to learn some safety tips for your upcoming road trip.


Click It Or Ticket

Always buckle your seat belt when riding in a vehicle. As a driver, you should not put the vehicle in drive before everyone in the car is buckled up. If you happen to be involved in a vehicle accident during your road trip, your seat belt can help keep you in place and safe during the collision.

Avoid Blind Spots

There are a number of other vehicles and semi trucks on the roadways this summer. Try to avoid driving in another vehicle's blind spot. They may be unaware of your whereabouts if you are in a blind spot. This can help prevent an unexpected collision from being in a blind spot of another vehicle.

Drive When Well Rested

Drowsy driving creates a similar condition as driving under the influence. Don't get behind the wheel if you are not well rested. Being tired can delay your reaction time and create a dangerous environment on the roadway. If you are feeling drowsy, consider taking a quick nap or ask one of your passengers to drive, if they are of age and feeling up to it.

Put the Phone Down

Distracted driving is the cause of many accidents on the roadway. Texting and driving is one of the most popular distractors behind the wheel. For a safer road trip for your vehicle and others on the road, don't text and drive. If you get a message you can have someone else check the text OR leave it alone and check it yourself at a later time, when you're not driving.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Weather can create dangerous traveling conditions. Whether it's a thunderstorm or downpour, these types of weather changes can lead to low visibility. If you don't have a clear view of the road, you have a higher chance of being involved in an accident. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, it's a good idea to pull off the road in a safe location and wait for the storm to pass.

Now that you know these road trip safety tips, you're ready to head out on your end of summer excursion. Whether you're heading to visit family, take your kids to a popular destination, or getting away for a weekend with friends, safety should be top of mind. Your road trip should be memorable but in a good way! If you happen to be involved in an accident while on a road trip, contact our Lake of the Ozarks personal injury attorney right away. Gibbons Law Firm can help represent your side of the case and help you navigate through the legal process. Your first consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm 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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Monday, July 30, 2018

Things that Can Make a Divorce More Lengthy

A divorce is a tough time for anyone involved. Once you've decided to split ways with your spouse, you are likely ready to get the process rolling and over with as quickly as possible. That's what this week's blog is all about - things that can make a divorce drag out longer than necessary. As your experienced divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know what can slow down the divorce process. If you're looking to get through the process in a timely manner, avoid the below items, if possible.


Going Back & Forth A LOT

The back and forth of communication can tend to drag out a divorce. It takes time for lawyers to put the paperwork together and send to your spouse's attorney. If you have a lot of back and forth communications between you and your spouse's lawyers, it can make the divorce process take longer than needed.

Not Agreeing to Settlement Offers

Community property is a major debate when it comes to divorce. Deciding who gets the physical items accrued during your divorce can be tricky. This is a stage that can take a while to come to an agreement. If you're looking to speed things along, consider making a generous settlement offer of how your items should be dispersed.

Gathering Financial Documents

Getting financial statements together and organized can take some time. It can also take a load of time for you and your attorney to process through these documents. If you're looking to speed things along, request the minimum amount of financial documentation needed. This can help cut back on paperwork, therefore speeding the process along a bit.

Getting Pregnant

If you get pregnant while trying to get divorced, the process may take longer than anticipated. Even if you are pregnant with someone else's baby, this will put a damper on your divorce process. You can still work through the proceedings of a divorce while pregnant, but the finalization of your divorce will not be approved until the baby is born.

Now that you know what things can drag out a divorce, you know what to avoid as you get started with the divorce process. If you're thinking about filing for divorce, contact our Lake of the Ozarks divorce attorney. Our lawyer can help walk you through the filing process and let you know how to move forward. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we know this can be a difficult time and we want to help you get through it as quickly as possible. Contact us today to schedule your 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, July 26, 2018

Estate Planning FAQ's

An estate plan is an important document that helps you decide how you would like your property distributed after you pass. This document can help relieve stress as your family handles your assets. This can also help ensure your property does not go to someone you don't intend to have it. Control your assets by setting up an estate plan. Our lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you navigate this emotional process of establishing your estate plan. As you work to get your plan in place, you may have a few questions about the process. Take a look below to find the answers to frequently asked questions about estate planning.


FAQ #1: What do I need to prepare an estate plan?

Any financial statements from your investments and bank accounts should be gathered as you plan your estate. A complete list of your assets is also helpful. Have a good idea of who you'd like to leave each asset with ahead of time. This can help cut down on the time and help get some of the emotional details out of the way.

FAQ #2: What can I do for my minor children?

If you have beneficiaries who are minors or young adults, you can line out a distribution of the trust. This can help reduce the chance of a young heir getting carried away with a large amount of money or assets. You can dictate how you would like your money to be dispursed to your underage child.

FAQ #3: When should I make a change to an estate plan?

Anytime a major life change takes place, you will likely need to make updates to your estate plan. If your marital status changes - whether getting married or divorced - you should update your plan. The birth of a child is another reason you should update your estate plan. If your assets or income change drastically, it may be time to make changes, as well. The passing of a beneficiary will require a change to your plan to ensure you have all beneficiary information up to date.

FAQ #4: How much does it cost to establish an estate plan?

Each situation is unique and your estate plan requirement may differ from someone else. It's not a one-size fits all task. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks attorney to get an estimate for your estate planning process.

Now that you know the answers to common questions regarding estate plans, you're ready to move forward with finalizing your documentation. If you have further questions about the process, feel free to contact our Lake of the Ozarks lawyer today. Gibbons Law Firm can help you set up the right documentation for your estate plan. It's a great way to relieve a heavy burden on your children and make these decisions ahead of time! As your Lake of the Ozarks lawyer, we look forward to helping you set up your estate plan.

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, July 19, 2018

5 Ways to Make Divorce Easier On Your Kids

Divorce is a trying time for everyone involved, especially children. Kids are dealing with their own feelings as they watch their parents split up. It's important to take into account how your children are coping with the new changes in their life. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how difficult this time can be for your kids. Gibbons Law Firm is here for you, through the entire divorce and custody process. As your child adjusts to the new normal, take into consideration these tips for ways to make divorce easier for your kids.


Have Open Conversations 

Honesty is the best policy. When talking to your children about you and your spouse getting a divorce, have an open conversation about what is happening. While not every detail should be shared, let your child know that changes will be taking place and what the new arrangements will look like.

Encourage Sharing of Feelings

Let your child know that it's okay to feel hurt or scared or sad or confused about this process. It can be a relief for your child if they know you are working through similar feelings. Encourage your kids to share their feelings throughout this process. It can be helpful for an uninvolved adult or therapist to be around for your child, as well.

Offer Positive Support

While your child is learning to deal with the new normal and cope with the changes, it's important to be there for them. Let them know how much you care and your spouse cares about them. Both parents should be offering this positive support about the situation. Your child's comfort and feelings should be a top priority.

Don't Discuss Issues

Avoid discussing emotionally charged situations about your spouse or the divorce process in front of your child. There is no reason to involve your child in the drama of your divorce. At this point, it's best to keep the view of both parents positive. Try to steer clear of talking negatively about your spouse in front of your children.

Establish a Routine

While you may have had a good routine before your divorce, things around your home may have changed. Establishing a new routine can help provide stability for your children. This time is already difficult for them and a routine may be the thing they can consistently count on. Try to get you and your spouse on the same page about the routine. If possible, the routine should be consistent no matter which parent the child is staying with.

This is a hard time for everyone involved, especially your children. As your divorce attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we want to make this difficult process as easy as possible. With the above tips, you can now feel confident as you offer support for your child who is also going through a hard time. If you are getting ready to file for divorce, contact Gibbons Law Firm. 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, July 13, 2018

5 Legal Tips for Starting a Small Business

Starting a business is a big decision. You will likely dedicate your own time and money into your new venture. If you are passionate about your line of work, owning a business can be beneficial. While it takes a lot of work, you can reap the benefits of having a business. It's important to have your legal requirements in order as you start your small business. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, our firm can help ensure you are legally set to begin your venture! Take a look below for the first steps you should take as you start your business at the Lake of the Ozarks.


1) Protect the Company

As you start up your small business, you will need to decide what kind of incorporation will be needed. An LLC or Inc. can help protect you (the business owner) from being involved if the business has an issue. This helps to distinguish between the business and the owner as two separate entities.

2) Establish an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document in which you outline the rights, responsibility, and contributions of the business owners. It also describes how the business will run. This important documentation can help save the business down the road from a number of potential issues.

3) Prepare all Contracts

From contracts with customers to employees to vendors, there are a number of agreements you will make with people who help you run your business. It's important to have a legal professional review all contracts and other agreements before you (or the other party) signs. This can help ensure both parties are protected as they should be in the agreement.

4) Register Your Business & Get License

A business license is required for a business to operate. Whether it's from the city, county, and/or state, it's important to have the right licenses in place as you start up your business. It can also be helpful to register your business name and get your logo trademarked. This can help ensure no other business can legally use your name and/or logo in the future.

5) Seek Legal Advice

To protect yourself as you start up your business, it's important to have a business lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks on your side. An experienced legal professional can be your source of advice when it comes to laws and other legal documents required for your business.

Now that you know what documents and decisions are needed, you can feel confident as you start your own business. If you're in need of legal advice through this important step, contact Gibbons Law Firm today!  We can help ensure you have the right documentation to protect your new business and get started on the right foot. As you get started, your initial consultation with our Lake of the Ozarks law firm is 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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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Interesting Facts About 4th of July

Independence Day is the day we celebrate the United States of America gaining its independence from Great Britain. There are a number of ways to commemorate this special event in history. Parades, bbq's, and fireworks are among popular ways to celebrate the 4th of July. As you gear up for your celebrations, Gibbons Law Firm thought it might be fun to learn a little more about this holiday we enjoy celebrating each summer. Take a look below for some interesting facts about the 4th of July!


Interesting Facts About Independence Day:


Fun Fact #1: Only TWO of the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July.

Fun Fact #2: Independence Day became an official federal holiday in 1870. It became a paid holiday in 1938.

Fun Fact #3: This holiday celebrates not only the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it also commemorates the adoption of the Declaration!

Fun Fact #4: Many other countries have used the Declaration of Independence as an example in their own pursuit of freedom.

Fun Fact #5: The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was 27 (Thomas Lynch, JR) and the eldest was 70 (Benjamin Franklin).

Fun Fact #6: Harvard was the school seven of the Declaration signers attended.

Fun Fact #7: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the only two signers who later become Presidents of the United States.

Fun Fact #8: Philadelphia was the home to the first 4th of July celebration in 1776.

Fun Fact #9: In 1801 the White House held its first Independence Day Parade.

Fun Fact #10: Three United States Presidents have passed away on the 4th of July - John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, & James Monroe.

Fun Fact #11: There were 2.5 million people living in the United States in 1776. Now there are about 325 million.

Fun Fact # 12: About 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on the 4th of July.

Fun Fact #13: The Liberty Bell in Philadephia is tapped thirteen times every Independence Day, in honor of the original 13 colonies.

Fun Fact #14: 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence.

Fun Fact #15: During World War II, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were taken to Fort Knox to be kept out of harms way.

Now that you know some unique facts about Independence Day, you can share these new-found facts with your friends and family as you get together to celebrate.

While getting together with friends and family is a fun way to celebrate, it often involves drinking. If you do partake in an adult beverage, drink responsibly. If you happen to celebrate a little too much and get pulled over for drinking and driving, you may need a lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks on your side. Legal representation is helpful as you navigate your DWI case. Contact our Lake of the Ozarks lawyer - 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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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

21 Need-To-Know Legal Terms

Legal shows are a viewer favorite. From the dramatic findings to interested characters, ratings soar with this type of entertainment. While some proceedings on television are accurate, many are not. You may familiarize yourself with some legal terms throughout your viewings, but our law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help set the record straight. If you are involved in a legal case, you may need to familiarize yourself with common legal terms. Take a look below to find some popular legal terms you should know (and their definition).



1) Misdemeanor: A crime less serious than a felony, punishable by or imprisonment for less than a year.

2) Punitive Damages: Damages awarded over and above compensatory damages for punishment.

3) Liability: The state of being responsible for an action, according to the law. When the fault is placed, the individual or business is liable for the wrongful occurrence.

4) Affidavit: A written or printed statement made under oath.

5) Statute: A written law passed by Congress or another legislative body.

6) Tort: From the French word for “wrong,” a tort is a wrongful or illegal act, whether intentional or accidental, in which an injury occurs to another.

7) Testify: When a witness or other individual is asked to orally present evidence during a trial. Someone who witnessed an incident may be asked to testify, as well as an individual who has been acquainted with the person on trial in the past.

8) Prima Facie Case: A case where, upon first look, the facts themselves prove the case.

9) Felony: A serious crime punishable by death or at least one year in a state or federal prison.

10) Depose: To testify or give under oath or sworn affidavit.

11) Discovery: The compulsory disclosure, by a party to an action, of relevant documents referred to by the other party.

12) Plaintiff: A person who brings a lawsuit. A plaintiff is the one who seeks to recover damages for a wrong committed by a defendant.

13) Defendant: A defendant is a person accused of committing a crime by the plaintiff.

14) Acquittal: A jury verdict that a criminal defendant is not guilty, or the finding of a judge that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.

15) Bail: The release, prior to trial, of a person accused of a crime, under specified conditions designed to assure that person's appearance in court when required.

16) Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges. See also nolo contendere.

17) Statute of Limitations: The time within which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution began. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged.

18) Appeal: A request made after a trial by a party that has lost on one or more issues that a higher court review the decision to determine if it was correct.

19) Due process: In criminal law, the constitutional guarantee that a defendant will receive a fair and impartial trial. In civil law, the legal rights of someone who confronts an adverse action threatening liberty or property.

20) Jurisdiction: The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a certain type of case. It can also mean the geographic area over which the court has territorial jurisdiction to decide cases.

21) Verdict: The decision of a trial jury or a judge that determines the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant, or that determines the final outcome of a civil case.

Whether you are simply curious if you know these legal terms or you have an upcoming case on your hands, it's important to know what these common terms in the legal world mean. As your experienced lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, we can help you navigate your case. Whether it's a personal injury case, a family law case, or a criminal case, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. We can help walk you through the legal process you are about to encounter. Remember, your first consultation with our law firm is 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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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Factors that Determine Child Custody in a Divorce

Going through a divorce with children can be an especially trying time for you and your spouse. As your main concern is your child, it's important to determine the custody arrangement. While traditionally the mother would receive the majority of custodial rights, that traditional situation is changing. If both parents are fit and prepared to take care of the kids involved, a more even custody arrangement may be the resolution.


As you navigate the divorce process, you may want the help of an experienced divorce attorney near Lake of the Ozarks. Here at Gibbons Law Firm, we can offer legal advice as you determine the custody situation for your children. Whether you are the mother or the father, it's important that you know your rights and our Lake of the Ozarks lawyer can help fight to protect them. Take a look below to find a few of the factors that can help determine the child custody arrangement during a divorce.

Factors that Can Determine Child Custody:

1. Involvement In The Child's Life

No matter what your child's age is, he needs a parent who will be there to support him. Whether that support comes in the form of attending little league baseball games or helping him fill out college applications, the Court will want to see that you have been actively involved in your child's life in the past, that you continue to stay involved during the divorce proceedings, and that you can be trusted to remain involved in the future.

2. Lifestyle

Some lifestyles easily lend themselves to caring for a child, and others do not. If you routinely work 60 hours a week and frequently travel for work, for example, the Court may decide that you will not be able to dedicate appropriate time to raise your child and award primary custody to the other parent.

3. The Child's Wishes

If your child is old enough to express her opinion, her wishes will likely factor heavily in the Court's ultimate decision. The child must be able to articulate the reason for her opinion, and if the reason is valid, the Court may be inclined to oblige.

4. Stable Environment

Children need stability and consistency in order to thrive. If you change residences frequently or regularly have new romantic partners, this may negatively impact your odds of being awarded custody. The Court will want to see that you can provide a stable home for your child.

Types of Custody:

1. Sole legal custody

One parent has the decision-making rights, responsibilities, and authority relating to the health, education, and welfare of the child.  The parent that has sole legal custody must keep the other parent apprised of decisions/issues related to the health, education, and welfare of the child.

2. Joint physical custody

This involves an arrangement whereby each of the parents are awarded significant, but not necessarily equal, periods of time during which a child resides with or is under the care and supervision of each of the parents.  Joint physical custody must be shared by the parents in such a way as to assure the child of frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with both parents.  A number of custody arrangements are possible with a joint physical custody arrangement.  The arrangements can include an equal split of time with the children to a situation whereby one parent has custody every other weekend with extended time in the summer.

3. Sole physical custody

Only one parent is awarded custody of the child.  This generally occurs when one of the parents is deemed unfit to have custody of the child for one or more reasons.

Now that you know about some of the factors that come into consideration when deciding custody of your child, you are better prepared to prove your side of the case. At the end of the day, it's important to prove that you and the environment your child will be in are both stable and safe. Your child's safety and happiness are held in high regard as the judge will determine the right custody arrangement for your child. If you are planning to get a divorce at the Lake of the Ozarks and children are involved, contact Gibbons Law Firm today. We can help guide you through the entire process - from filing to custody arrangements. Don't forget, your first consultation with our law firm 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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