To Have or Have Not:
Why Do I Need a Lawyer

Many people have e-mailed me asking if they need a lawyer to handle their divorce.

"We agree on everything," e-mails often say, "why do I need a lawyer?"
I have two thoughts on this: First, all
language used in legal documents has a certain meaning -- and that meaning might change, depending on how courts are interpreting statutes and other things, such as changes in the law.

It is very good if two divorcing people can reach an agreement as to TERMS, but each should have an attorney to draft or review documents so that they can be sure the documents are in proper form and actually say what the parties have agreed.


After twenty-four years of practicing family law in Kansas City, I am saying "goodbye" to the active practice except for currently pending cases. I've been honored to represent many wonderful people as they reconfigured their lives. I hope that everyone served by the Corley Law Firm experienced quality, caring legal service and effective representation.

Beginning on 01 December 2017, I will be officing in Independence in the suite of the lawyer to whom I am referring any new cases, Jeanne Foster. She has her own firm with which I am not affiliated, but she practices solid, ethical, and enormously capable law. Anyone who chooses to retain her will have a wonderful, caring, and knowledgeable advocate.  Her website is:

                  My new address is as follows:
                  M. Corinne Corley
                  Corley Law Firm
                  3675 S. Noland Rd., Suite 113
                  Independence, Missouri 64050

                  You can still reach me on 816-753-5556, or by e-mail at
I am relocating to northern California. For the next five months, I will be back and forth, meeting with current clients, conducting hearings, and making sure that everyone whose case I now handle or have just resolved can access their files and understand where they stand. I will advise anyone whom I have represented about aspects of their case post-resolution by phone or e-mail; or in person during one of my monthly visits to Kansas City. I will maintain my Missouri law license and will be available as a consult in future matters. I will simply not be taking on new, contested cases.

My heartfelt thanks go out to my long-time legal assistant and good friend, Alan White. He has served our clients without hesitation since we started this firm on a dining room table in an apartment in mid-town. My secretaries over the years have all given as much compassion and energy as I could ever have imagined – Lisa Bailey, Robyn Swoyer, Linda Overton, Carolyn Hill, Laura Scarborough, Cara MacLaughlin, Jessica Genzer, and, for the last three years, the incomparable Miranda Erichsen. They gave everything they could to our work, and tolerated one of the most demanding and often ungrateful bosses in America. I can only say, "Thank you," because I can never adequately express what it has meant to have such wonderful people helping me.

I'm going to miss Kansas City. I will not be practicing law in California unless I completely lose my mind and take the Bar out there. I hope to continue working for the benefit of survivors of family violence. I want to start an art space – Art @ Suite 100, NORCAL, possibly. I'm going to be merging my two blogs and will keep everyone apprised of what happens in this new phase of my life. I promised my son Patrick that I would live to be 103, and I'm only 2/3 there. The next three decades should be spectacular. Bookmark: and

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please take care, and contact me if you have general questions about Missouri law or need a referral in a field other than family law. Fare thee well. May you all find a river on which to lay yourselves down.  Be well.                                

          Corinne Corley


The Corley Law Firm proudly represents clients throughout the greater Kansas City area. This includes Kansas City, Liberty, Platte City, and Harrisonville. County areas: Jackson County, Cass County, Platte County, and Clay County.
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