Experienced | Dedicated | Professional
Ballew Hazen PC LLO, founded in 1999, is a specialized law firm with a state-wide practice devoted to matrimonial and family law, will and trust preparation, and business formation and acquisition.
Areas of Practice
It is increasingly common for people with significant assets or an expectancy of wealth to enter into a Premarital Agreement. This is particularly so for second marriages. We view it as a form of estate planning. These documents must be worded carefully and executed well in advance of the marriage date.
With the exception of the loss of a loved one, no life event can be more traumatic than a divorce. The implications from a legal and emotional standpoint affect everyone involved, particularly children. You only get one chance to do it right. We have helped thousands of people navigate the process. We understand how to help guide you along the way.
Child Custody and Parenting Issues
Issues related to children are among the most important we handle in our practice. Guiding you through the determination of custody, parenting time and financial issues are all part of what we do. Significant and difficult issues also arise when a parent with physical or joint custody wants to relocate to another state. We have significant experience in all of these areas.
When an unmarried couple has a child, it is imperative that legal paternity of the child be established by the courts. In addition, specific provisions regarding custody, parenting time, support, access to health insurance and other issues should be clearly delineated. These cases can be very acrimonious, making court orders imperative.
Few things in life are certain. One certainty is change. Following a divorce, people move or remarry. Children grow up. Employment and earnings change. Although property aspects of a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage are normally not modifiable, child custody, parenting time and child and spousal support are some of the matters that can be changed. For this change to take place, a material change in circumstances since entry of a Decree must occur. Our firm handles modification proceedings and we take great care in drafting the documents necessary to incorporate either a stipulation of the parties or the findings of a court if the matter must be litigated.
When a trial is necessary for the court to determine unresolved issues, the court will issue findings and a decision. At times, the court’s decision requires a review by the Nebraska Court of Appeals or Nebraska Supreme Court. Members of this office have appeared before both courts on many occasions in connection with appeals in various areas of the law. There are very specific procedures and rules governing appeals and this office has significant experience in handling these matters.
Family Law Mediation
Mediation is becoming increasingly common in many parts of the state in connection with family law matters. The Nebraska statutes give the trial courts great discretion in ordering the parties to mediate virtually any issue which is unresolved in a divorce, legal separation, modification or paternity proceeding. In addition to this office having significant experience working with a variety of mediators, Natalie Hazen is certified as a Family Law Mediator and conducts mediation in a variety of family law matters.
Wills & Trusts
By the time people have completed their education and are working it is a good idea for them to have a Will. By the time marriage and children occur, it is imperative. Leaving the disposition of your assets to a probate court is foolish and will cause your heirs and relatives significant problems. Along with a well-drafted Will, trusts are a common way to avoid unintended tax consequences while assuring that a trustee administers the assets on behalf of your beneficiaries in a manner that you deem appropriate. Following a divorce, everyone should have their Will reviewed and revised.
Power of Attorney & Advance Directives
A Power of Attorney will allow someone of your choice to exercise powers that you designate to them in the event you are incapacitated. A Power of Attorney can be very limited or it can be very broad, depending upon the circumstances. A Power of Attorney for Healthcare allows you to appoint someone to make important healthcare-related decisions on your behalf should you not be able to do so. Similarly, through an Advance Directive (sometimes referred to as a Living Will), you can direct to what extent medical personnel are to continue medication and life support in the event of a critical illness or injury. Our office has significant experience in drafting these documents and in many cases, we recommend that people execute new Powers of Attorney once a divorce has been commenced.
Guardianships & Conservatorships
When a person is incapacitated and can’t manage their own affairs, a court can name someone to help. The purpose of a guardianship is to look after the personal needs of the incapacitated person. A conservatorship looks after the financial affairs of the individual. Our office has experience in preparing the necessary documents to establish one or both of these proceedings. While these matters are not traditionally considered part of family law, they really do affect families in a significant manner.
Business Formation & Acquisition
We have extensive experience in helping clients form businesses the right way. Whether it be a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, Professional LLC (PLLC), Professional Corporation (P.C.), or other entity type, we can help clients decide what entity makes the most sense for their business venture. We also work with business owners to come up with agreements amongst themselves to plan for unforeseen events.