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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Supreme Court Kicks Off New Session; Same-Sex Marriage May Be On Their List

As the Supreme Court kicks off another session this week, they are expected to consider at least one case that could affect how marriage is defined and who is legally married. 

Several of the appeals are seeking to guarantee federal benefits for legally married same-sex couples. 

One appeal requests justices to keep California's Proposition 8 in tact, which outlawed gay marriage. California's federal courts have struck it down and the court will consider whether it will handle the case. 

Other cases directly challenge a provision in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which does not allow same-sex couples the range of federal benefits as heterosexual couples. Some lower courts have deemed it unconstitutional and opponents have argued the Act violates equal protection for same-sex couples legally married. 

If you are dealing with any type of legal issues and need to discuss your situation with a family attorney, call today for a free and immediate consultation.

KC Lawyer Facing “Death By Forgery” In Father’s Death

A Kansas City lawyer is accused of "death by forgery" in a case that is being reexamined.

According to reports, Susan Van Note was indicted Friday on forgery charges related to a 2010 murder in Camden County.

Susan was charged in connection with the 2010 death of her 67-year-old father, where prosecutors said she forged the documents that later ended his life.  She is also charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Nearly two years ago in October 2010, the wealthy William Van Note was found shot and stabbed along with his longtime companion, Sharon Dickson, who was shot, in his house. Dickson, 59, was dead, but William was taken to a Boone County Hospital where he later died after medical professional followed directions on the papers officials said Susan forged.

A second couple have been charged in connection with the case. A former classmate and her spouse acted as witnesses to the forged documents and were indicted on felony forgery and second-degree murder charges.

All defendants pleaded not guilty Friday in court. Susan Van Note is being held on a $1 million cash bond. So far, she has not been charged in her father's girlfriend's death.

If you need any legal help, give our office a call today.

Study Finds Women With Pre-Wedding Jitters More Likely To Divorce

A new study from the University of California in Los Angeles found that women who had cold feet had a higher divorce rate and reported less marital satisfaction than those without the pre-marital jitters. 

Researchers found women with doubts before their wedding was 2.5 times more likely to divorce four years later than wives without these doubts. Those who remained married reported being significantly less satisfied with their marriages than those without doubts. 

Psychologists looked at 464 newlywed spouses in Los Angeles within the first months of marriage and then conducted follow-up surveys with the couples every six months for four years. The average age of the husband was 27 and the average age of the wife was 25. 

In the initial interviews, 47 percent of husbands and 38 percent of wives reported being uncertain or hesitant at some point about getting married. Researchers noted the wives' doubts were actually more meaningful and a better predictor of how the relationship would turn out. 

Nineteen percent of women and fourteen percent of men who reported pre-wedding doubts were divorced four years later compared with eight percent of women and nine percent of men who didn't report doubts. 

The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation along with UCLA's Academic Senate. 

If you are facing a divorce, you need a compassionate attorney by your side. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Couples Therapy Helps Many With PTSD

A new study out last month showed treating a person suffering from post traumatic stress disorder along with their partner using couples therapy significantly decreased their symptoms and overall improved their relationship.

Researchers from Ryerson University in Toronto led the North American study where they studied forty couples where one partner was diagnosed with PTSD. There were two study sites: one in Toronto at Ryerson University Psychology Research and Training Centre and the other at the Department of Veterans Affairs outpatient hospital in Boston, Mass. 

Couples were asked to refrain from other couples therapy at least two months prior to the study and be in remission from any type of substance abuse as well as not have demonstrated severe psychotic behaviors.  They groups were divided into two groups of 20 couples. The first received three months of cognitive behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD and the second group had to wait three months before beginning therapy. 

Couples were assessed at the beginning, middle and end of treatment as well as three months after completing the therapy.  Researchers discovered 81 percent of couples who received the CBCT therapy reported decreased of their PTSD symptoms while 62 percent reported a better relationship with their partner. The improvements were maintained three months after therapy had been completed. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association estimates PTSD affects one in every 10 Canadians while the National Center for PTSD estimates approximately 6.8 percent of people in the United States suffer PTSD.

If you need are dealing with any type of family issues in court, it is important to retain a compassionate St. Louis family attorney . Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Read the press release >>>

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Jeffrey A. Heater
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