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We know an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and even then, we know regular checkups with our doctor are healthy. We go to the dentist every six months (or at least we should) to make sure our teeth are clean and we don't have cavities. It's easy to understand the value of preventative medicine, but what about preventative legal advice.

Too often, we wait until a crisis before talking to an attorney, and, in many cases, by then it might be too late. Instead, try to avert a legal crisis by having an annual checkup with your lawyer.

When we go to an attorney's office, we pretty much expect that the billing clock will start ticking as soon as everyone sits down. Aside from an initial consultation or contingency fee arrangement, most lawyers aren't in the business of giving their time and advice for free.

But what if your lawyer comes to you? Or needs to go somewhere to view evidence or take a deposition? Is she billing you for the time spent in transit? And does travel time cost the same as legal research or court time?

The sale of a home is a complex business transaction, in and of itself. Doing business with family members can be fraught with complications. Naturally then, selling a home to a family member is both complex and complicated.

In addition to the potential emotional baggage and turmoil that can get wrapped up in a business deal or transaction between family members, there may be legal issues as well. Here are five legal tips on how to avoid the complications that come with selling a home to a family member.

It happens everyday. People get arrested and put in jail. Sometimes it’s for something serious and a person will be locked up for months or years. Sometimes it’s only an overnight stay or a few days. But for friends and family of someone who seems to just disappear, if after checking local hospitals doesn’t turn up anything, checking with police and the jails should be the next step.

If you are concerned that a friend, family member or loved one has been arrested or incarcerated, you may be wondering how you can find out. Thanks to the internet, it has become much simpler in nearly every jurisdiction to find out if and where someone has been taken into custody, incarcerated or imprisoned.

Restraining orders are excellent tools to help victims of domestic violence, harassment, or crime stay protected against future harm. However, restraining orders are not appropriate in every scenario they are requested. In most situations, fighting a restraining order will be very difficult if there is good evidence against the person whom restraint is sought against.

When there is no good evidence, then it's possible to fight a restraining order. However, if you are facing a restraining order hearing, it would be wise to contact a qualified attorney as there may be more at stake than you realize.

It's important to note that laws can vary from state to state. Laws can even vary within a state from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Below are 3 tips on how to fight a restraining order.

Getting ready for retirement involves more than just saving money, although saving is a big part of it. Retirement planning requires careful consideration of both the financial and the legal issues that will come up once you decide to stop working.

While seeking out a financial retirement advisor at least a few decades before you plan to retire, you should consider seeking out legal advice early as well. An estate planning, bankruptcy, or tax attorney can help you get ready for the eventual legal or tax issues you may face in retirement. Below, you will find five important reasons to hire an attorney well before you retire.

It's the first Friday in November, known around the world as Love Your Lawyer Day. Yes, we've heard all of the lawyer jokes and shark comparisons. But for every stereotypical ambulance-chaser or over-zealous divorce lawyer you hear about, there are many more attorneys working their tails off for their clients with little recognition. And it's more likely than not that a lawyer has actually made your daily life better in some way.

So, for one day at least, let's all show our lawyers some love. Here's why, and how.

How to Find a Divorce Lawyer

When a married couple, or just one married person, wants to divorce, the first concern is finding the right divorce lawyer. While a person’s first instinct might be to hire their one lawyer friend, or the same lawyer that handled their injury case, or the cheapest lawyer they can find, unless those lawyers know divorce law, it’s a big risk. With the help of online lawyer directories, the simplest way to find a lawyer is by calling as many as you have time to call, and talking with as many potential lawyers as you can.

Divorces can range in complexity from simple to impossible. When a married couple has no assets, no children, and both parties have their own equal incomes, the divorce may be as simple as just filing some documents that a court needs to approve. However, if there are children, a marital home, a shared car, a family business, and/or other assets, it is much more complicated.

So how do you evaluate a potential divorce lawyer?

If a court has ordered alimony payments as part of your divorce, whether you're receiving or paying, you might be wondering how long that alimony will last. While court orders or alimony agreements usually provide a timeframe, conditions, or procedure for modification or termination, typically courts will allow modification for changed circumstances. Retirement will usually qualify as a changed circumstance worthy of a modification of the order if certain conditions are met.

Ending alimony payments, on the other hand, will generally only occur if financial or other circumstances have changed drastically, such as upon death (but even after death, in some cases, alimony can continue). Because alimony is generally viewed as a temporary support mechanism to allow a disadvantaged spouse to become self sufficient, ending alimony usually requires the supported spouse to no longer be in need. This can occur when they die, are no longer in need, become employed, remarried, or win the lottery.

Getting a divorce is stressful. Regardless of what state you’re in, the process involves a careful analysis of your finances, assets, holdings, debts and other obligations, as well as potentially an analysis of your fitness to be a parent. Frequently, divorce can have a severe financial and/or emotional impact on one or both parties. In the context of this, sometimes getting a second opinion could be the smartest decision you make.

The decision to get a second legal opinion in your divorce case can either resolve your concerns or confirm your fears. If your concerns are resolved and you are able to get some peace of mind, you can consider the money well spent. On the other hand, if you confirm your fears, you should consider the money even more well spent, as you can now work on either changing attorneys or having your current attorney change strategies.