‘Family Law’ is forum’s subject
by RICK NORTON, Associate Editor
Feb 13, 2012 | 1384 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Area residents who can benefit from a 90-minute crash course in family law from local professionals still have time to book a free seat at the year’s first Community Legal Forum scheduled Thursday at the Cleveland Bradley Public Library.

To get under way at 7 p.m., the panel discussion will be led by Cleveland attorney Jack Tapper who will serve as moderator and panelist. He will be joined by local lawyers Jerry Hoffer and Philip Jacobs, each of whom has vast experience in family law matters.

Open to the public, the interactive discussion should wrap up by 8:30 p.m., but not before attendees have heard detailed presentations, as well as having had the opportunity to ask questions along the way. The gathering will conclude with a general “Q&A” session.

Titled “Family Law Issues,” the seminar is again sponsored by the Bradley County Bar Association in cooperation with the Bradley County Law Commission and the public library. Participating attorneys are doing so as community volunteers.

The local Bar is conducting the series of Legal Forums again in 2012 by popular demand with a mindset toward providing “equal access to justice,” according to Tapper.

“We’re looking forward to an enthusiastic turnout as part of an ongoing public service project,” Tapper explained. “This is part of the Bradley County Bar Association’s support for ‘equal access to justice’ for all citizens, helping them to better understand the legal process on specific topics.”

Falling under the heading of family law, some of the topics expected to be discussed at the forum include grounds for divorce; absentee spouses; procedures for obtaining a divorce; how the court divides assets and debts between spouses; the assets that are subject to distribution; the factors that decide alimony and support; the elements of a Parenting Plan, including child custody and support issues; entitlement to shares of spouse’s retirement plans such as 401(k)s and other pension and profit sharing arrangements; the process of mediation for contested divorces; what to expect in the ups and downs of a contested divorce process; and other related topics of interest to the audience.

“This is the public’s chance to find out what they need to know about divorce, custody, support and equitable division of assets and liabilities in a friendly open forum, free of charge,” Tapper noted.

Although admission is free, area residents planning to attend should call ahead in order to confirm their attendance because of limited seating in the library’s Community Room. Those wishing to register their attendance may contact the library at 423-472-2163, ext. 126. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The forums are held quarterly. Each will address a different, but contemporarily relevant, subject. All forums will feature local attorneys who are providing information in an unpaid capacity. Panelists will not provide advice on personal issues, but will help attendees to understand their options based on commonly accepted legal practices.

The downtown library is located at 795 Church St.