In Missouri:
3300 NE Ralph Powell Road
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
Phone: (816) 246-9981
Fax: (816) 246-9987
In Kansas:
4901 W 136th Street
Leawood, KS 66224
Phone: (913) 827-4101
Fax: (816) 246-9987
About Our Firm…
The Law Office of Young, Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC, was established in
1992 and has been providing services to the greater Kansas City
area ever since. With offices in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and
Leawood, Kansas, the firm’s family and divorce attorneys have
practiced in Jackson, Clay, Cass, Lafayette and Platte County,
Missouri as well as Johnson County, Kansas.
With over fifty-three years of combined legal experience, the
firm’s attorneys, skilled in both litigation and negotiation, handle
matters from the most complicated to the most straightforward.
Known for its compassion and amiability, as well as its
zealousness and tenacity when faced with acrimonious cases, the
firm has developed a strong presence in the greater Kansas City
legal community.
For more information, visit us at:
James H. Young
Mr. Young is the founder of the Law Office of Young,
Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC and has been practicing in the area
of Family Law for twenty-five years. Mr. Young is an
alumnus of the College of Business at the University of
Missouri-Columbia, graduating Magna Cum Laude in
Economics. He received his Juris Doctor degree from
that same institution.
Mr. Young is a member of the American Academy of
Matrimonial Lawyers and a member as well as past
president of the Missouri Chapter of that national
He is a member of the Missouri Bar
Family Law Section and spent two terms (2001-2003)
on its Executive Council and as Chair of the
Section. Mr. Young is also a member of the Kansas
City Metropolitan Bar Association, specifically the
Family Law Section, and served as the Chair of that
Section in 1995. He is active in a number of both
multiple-county and state-wide committees, including
those reviewing the child support chart and issues
such as pro se litigation.
Additionally, Mr. Young has written the text for a
divorce video for the Missouri Bar and has been a
frequent speaker at seminars, including a recent
occasion during which he discussed child support
methodology and joint physical custody situations.
Michelle E. Jakobe
Michelle E. Jakobe graduated from the
University of Kansas with a B.A. in 1988 and
earned her Juris Doctor degree from the
Washburn University School of Law with Dean's
Honors in 1991. She is licensed to practice law
in both Missouri and Kansas. Ms. Jakobe has
fifteen years of experience in the private
practice of Family Law and an additional seven
years of experience handling Complex National
Products Liability Defense Litigation.
Having joined the Law Office of Young, Jakobe
& Kuhl, LLC in 2004, she has re-dedicated her
practice to all areas of Family Law, including
adoptions, divorce, modification, child support,
custody, collaborative law, and protection from
abuse. Ms. Jakobe is currently a member of
the Family Law Section of the Missouri Bar, the
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the
Johnson County Bar Association, the Kansas
Women's Attorney Association, and the
Collaborative Law Institute of Missouri.
Abraham D. Kuhl
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Kuhl attended
Ralston High School where he was active in many clubs and
organizations. After high school, Mr. Kuhl graduated Cum
Laude from Creighton University in 2004 with a degree in
Business Administration. After working in the banking
industry for a year, Mr. Kuhl moved to Kansas City and
received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of
Missouri – Kansas City in May 2008.
Prior to joining the Law Office of Young, Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC,
Mr. Kuhl worked as a law clerk for a Kansas City business
litigation firm. He also worked as an intern and then as a law
clerk for the Jackson County Circuit Court and was active in
the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law’s Child
and Family Services Clinic, where he represented clients in
Family Law matters and received the clinic’s “Student of the
Year” award in 2008. While in law school, Mr. Kuhl
participated in a number of clubs and organizations including
serving as President of the Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity,
Co-President of the Family Law Society, and as a staff
member for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Law Journal. Mr. Kuhl has completed both the Guardian ad
Litem and the advanced Guardian ad Litem training. Mr. Kuhl
has also presented at several seminars on a variety of family
law issues, and is an active member of the family law section
of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.
Amy Fox-Berkley
Ms. Fox-Berkley has been employed in a variety of capacities within the legal
profession for more than twenty-five years, including roles as legal secretary and
executive assistant for area attorneys.
Since 1999, she has been associated with the Law Office of Young, Jakobe & Kuhl,
LLC. She received her Paralegal Certificate in 2002, graduating with Honors based on a
97% average. She also earned a Certificate specializing in Civil Litigation in 2003. Ms.
Fox-Berkley is an Associate Member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.
Linda Schaper
Ms. Schaper began her legal career in Independence, Kansas shortly after graduating
high school. Over the years, she has worked as an administrative assistant,
bookkeeper and in various legal settings in Oklahoma and Kansas, including working
as a scopist for a court reporter in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prior to joining the Law Office of
Young, Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC, Ms. Schaper worked for an Overland Park insurance
company in the staff attorney’s office for four years.
Cherie Birdwell
Prior to joining the Law Office of Young Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC, Ms. Birdwell worked for a solo
practitioner in Independence, Missouri for approximately eight years. She also has a skill set rich
with administrative, bookkeeping and managerial experience.
Lori Luers
Ms. Luers has been with the Law Office of Young, Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC for over two years. Serving as
the office receptionist, Ms. Luers has over twenty years experience working in various administrative
Tasha White
Working in the medical field until 2001, Ms. White changed careers in 2001 when she began
working for a law firm while in Iowa. In 2013, Ms. White worked for another law firm in Missouri
before joining the Law Office of Young, Jakobe & Kuhl, LLC in the fall of 2014.
Office Information
Office Hours
Telephone Calls
Our office is normally open except for law firm
holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday
through Friday
Please call us when you have a question or need
advice regarding your case
The only sure way to see your attorney is to call and
make an appointment before you come to the office
Office Information
Court Date
Generally speaking, your case will be heard in
the Circuit Court 69 to 120 days after filing.
Appropriate dress should be worn
When is my Dissolution Final?
Your dissolution is final the date the
Judgment and Decree is signed by the Judge
We recommend not remarrying for 45 days
after your Judgment is signed due to possible
Parenting Information
 Mediation
 Parenting
What is FOCIS?
FOCIS stands for Focus on Children in
FOCIS is a divorce education class for parents
with children 17 years old and younger who are
getting a divorce in Jackson County, Missouri.
Parents and children ages 6 through 17 years
are required by the Court to attend FOCIS.
The class is provided to teach ways for parents
and children to get through the divorce process
with the least amount of emotional upset
possible and to lessen problems that parents
and children may have.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a procedure in which the parties select
a neutral third party to help in reaching a
The process is private, informal, and is not binding.
The mediator has no power to force a settlement.
Instead, the mediator tries to help the parties
communicate constructively and aid them in
overcoming obstacles to settlement.
An effective mediator may offer solutions that have
not been considered by the parties or their lawyers.
The mediator also helps the parties in setting aside
hostilities that interfere with settlement.
Custody / Visitation Issues
Legal Custody – Joint vs. Sole
Physical Custody – Joint vs. Sole
Decisions relating to Health, Education, Medical, etc.
Designation of one parent’s address as the children’s
address for educational and mailing purposes
Parenting Time – Things to Consider
Supervised vs. Unsupervised
Summer, holidays, phone contact
50/50 vs. Every other weekend
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a document that states which
parent will be responsible for the children and
decision-making, and how disputes will be decided
between parents
A parenting plan should outline the parenting
schedule, including where the child will live during
the week and during the weekend
A parenting plan can address holidays, summer
vacations, and other dates or events during the year
A parenting plan should take into consideration the
child’s needs and reflect the best interests of the
Child Support
Child support is money paid by a non-custodial parent
to a custodial parent to assist in the support of the
minor children
Income of parties (W-2, SSI, disability, selfemployment, deliberate unemployment, etc…)
Health Insurance, other children, day care, overnight
parenting time credit, other expenses
Formerly called alimony, maintenance is money paid
by a spouse to a former spouse to assist in the
support of the ex-spouse
Division of Property
Marital Property
Presumption of a 50 / 50 split
Ways to rebut the presumption?
Non-Marital Property
Acquired before marriage
Gift to one party during marriage
Inheritance by one party during marriage
Pre or Post Nuptial Agreement
Some non-marital property may become marital
Types of Property
Real Estate
Retirement Plans / 401(k)
Investments (stocks, IRAs, Mutual Funds)
Business (valuation process)
Household Furniture and Furnishings
Tax Implications
Additional Information
Attorney Fees and Costs
Marriage Counseling
Filing fees, deposition fees, GAL Fees
Good marriage counselors are available. We can
recommend a counselor to you.
You are married until your marriage is dissolved by
the Judge. You may jeopardize your case by even
“seeing” another man or woman. We recommend
you refrain from “dating” or even the appearance of
Marital Problems are extremely difficult for
the children. Do yourself and your
children a great favor by not “poisoning
the minds” of your children. Do not dwell
on your spouse’s faults. Realize from the
beginning that children and/or visitation
privileges are not tools for bargaining in a
dissolution case – don’t use them as
About the Courts…
The 16th Judicial Circuit serves all of Jackson County, a
population of more than 660,000 people.
The county includes 18 municipalities including Kansas
City, Independence, Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit,
Grandview, Oak Grove and Raytown
The 16th Judicial Circuit has:
19 Circuit Judges
9 Associate Circuit Judges
8 Commissioners
One judge is elected Presiding Judge for a two-year term
by the judges as a group. Judges and Commissioners
preside over civil, criminal and family court cases
For more information, visit:
A Final Thought
Please call at any time we can help you. This is
a difficult time in your life, and it is our desire to
assist you. Call when you are worried, have a
question, or if we can help in any way. We will
do everything legally possible to bring about a
quick, quiet and good result for you.
Law Office of
Young, Jakobe &
Kuhl, LLC

law office of james h. young and associates