Monday, January 12, 2009

Pursuing Knowledge of the Law

Today is the first day of class in my pursuit of a law degree. I will likely be one of the students with the most knowledge of the law. I didn’t need a law school to get there and you don’t either. You need, as I have, a desire to know the law. Getting my child taken away was desire enough for me.

Once I get my law degree I plan to teach subject specific law seminars. I want to offer low cost solutions for people involved in the judicial system. I no longer want to see people coming to me in the situations they are in because they didn’t know the law and didn’t have assistance. I have been quite successful in helping people with child custody and child support issues after they have gone through a divorce. That is not where I want to be though. That is not where you need to be either.

I would rather have been there holding their hand prior to the filing of the Complaint for a Dissolution of Marriage but as it so happens most people come to me after it has all gone wrong. Appellate work is long and difficult not to mention costly.

What I want to convey to you today is for you to personally gain knowledge of the law. No one should be intimidated by the law. It is a process. Much of it you will never use if you are only needing to adequately represent yourself during a divorce or custody battle. If you were told to build a house you may find that intimidating. However, if you break it down into parts it will seem like a much more manageable task. It may be that you only need to learn about flooring. Then you will study applying tongue and groove hardwoods, marble tile and carpeting.

Law can be the same way for you. With a better understanding of the law you will be able to make sure that if you use an attorney that the attorney is doing everything he or she can to help you. It will also give you the knowledge to make your time more effective with your attorney. If you want to know how to file for divorce on your own and represent yourself through the proceedings it can be done but will take more time and study.

I hope you will come along with me on this journey and open yourself to the opportunities that learning about the law can provide for you and your family.

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Stuart Showalter, Exec. Dir.
Boone County Child Advocates

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