Which Party Should File The Divorce Judgment Modification?

When you go through a divorce in California and finalize your judgment, there may be a time when you want to make changes to the original agreement.

When this happens you need to file what’s called a “Modification” or “Stipulation”. This would be in the form of signing a stipulation (agreement) to modify (change) some of the terms of your prior judgment or Marital Settlement Agreement.

What we are specifically talking about here, however is who should be the party to file the stipulation to modify the judgment?

That really depends on what type of divorce case you had.

We utilize a process called, “default with written agreement”. This simply means that the respondent did not sign a formal response. We do this to save our clients money.

That said, and because the respondent never paid a filing fee, if you file the stipulation to modify the judgment under the respondent’s name who did not pay the filing fee, the court will want the full, what they call “First Appearance Fee”, which is currently $435.

However, if you file in the name of the petitioner who has already paid their First Appearance Fee, then the cost to file the stipulation to modify the judgment is only $20 currently.

Really?? $2,000 For A Simple Divorce?? Call Me, Let’s Talk

The other day I helped clients with a simple divorce in Santa Clarita. They were married for less than a year, they had no children and no assets or debts. Not to mention both parties were very young still under 20 years old.

They had called around in Santa Clarita thinking they needed an attorney for their divorce and only after they were quoted between $2000 and $5000 to handle their divorce did he attempt to look for alternatives to get help with their divorce in Santa Clarita.

Because we worked on fixed fee pricing and our pricing is right on the front page of our website, they found our site while driving around town and gave me a call.

I had them come into the office and took a look at what they had and their case couldn’t have been any more simple or straightforward. In about two hours I completed all of the paperwork for their divorce and they paid a flat fee of just $699.

Their question to me was why are the costs for Attorneys so high and why did they get quotes from between $2000 and $5000? My answer was I honestly think divorce attorneys size people up and try and figure out how much they can get out of people. But what is frustrating is that had these clients not found my divorce service in Santa Clarita they would’ve ended up paying several thousand dollars which they did not have to.

This couple had a divorce case that was simple enough for me to handle in my office in less than two hours. Had they gone to an attorney and spent those several thousand dollars I guarantee their divorce case still would not be even close to being started or complete. This is because attorneys work off of billable hours and they don’t want to complete a divorce case quickly. They would rather take a two to $5000 retainer and Bill hourly until it’s gone and then mysteriously the divorce case might be finished.

When we handle divorce cases of any level of complexity, we do it on a flat fee pricing schedule. We handle all levels of complexity when it comes to divorce the only prerequisite in working with us is that you and your spouse are somewhat going to work together to try and come to an agreement related to the terms of your divorce.

The short story here is there are alternatives to using a divorce attorney in Santa Clarita. We handle divorce cases all throughout California for a flat fee. 90% of the work we do for clients it’s spread out across California and our work is done remotely with no office appointment even necessary.

So if you’re looking for help with your divorce in Santa Clarita or anywhere in California make sure to give me a call so we can talk about your specific situation and see if our services would be a good fit for you.

Recommitting To Providing Valuable Content & Marketing Efforts

Today I took a few hours to myself.  With all the hustle of owning a business one can get caught up in the day to day of business and life and forget to take a step back and a moment to see what is going on.

Today was that day.  I did not plan for it, however it just turned out that way.  I woke up, realized I had no clients physically coming into the office (at least to see me) and decided to take some time to check in with me.

I started the day walking my dog for an hour along a beautiful path behind my house in North Park.  You would think taking a day for “me” would mean being with myself and not working or focusing on business, but it guess it is just in my DNA at this point.

I am referring to the fact that while I was walking, I decided to record a video.  I was listening to a podcast and recalling a conversation I had with someone in the “divorce space” who said they had watched a video of me where I was recording in my vehicle.  He said that the thought I must not be doing well, business wise, if i have been reduced to having to record while in my car as opposed to in my office.

So I recorded a short 2 minute video on my walk, on my phone to tell people about this thought process someone had about my business.

And when I explained to this person that I had intentionally recorded these videos in my car, he was a little surprised.  I told him that I was not making videos in my car because I didn’t have an office, rather I intentionally recorded these in my care for several reasons.

The first reason is to make good use of my time.  I find myself frequently in line at Starbucks or other places and have a few minutes of staring at the car in front of me.  I take those moments to record my videos or podcasts.  Sorry, I am just efficient in that way.

Second, I want to give my viewers a little bit of change of scenery when they are watching my videos. At this point I have recorded over 800 videos.  Mostly these videos are from my office.  I had a trusted friend tell me one day that he thought it would be good to see me shooting videos in different locations and situations.  The car just became one of those.

So I going back to my walk, I decided to make a video on just this. Explaining to anyone else that may have though I was shooting video in my car because I was office-less, to ensure them that this was for their enjoyment and to just mix things up a bit.

Here is the link to the video on our Facebook page

In any event, this day of being with “me” helped me to realize that I needed to recommit to providing more videos and content. Now, you may be saying, “Tim, you do a video nearly every day and have over 800 videos”. Yes, that is true, but I have really been holding back. Meaning I have enough to say to provide 5 videos a day. I used to do that, but I find myself getting busy with doing the job that sometimes that takes away from promoting my business and providing helpful information online.

The other thing I am doing today is reading.  I wish I had more time to read.  I am not a casual reader, however.  I am usually reading business books on marketing and how to grow a business. Today, I received in the mail (yes, I like to feel paper still) my new book, #AskGaryVee.  Yes, that is the name of it.  You either know who this is or don’t, but I am not going to spend the time explaining other to say it is someone you should be listening to if you own a business and are in a space where your life is about marketing.

It is books like these that reaffirm what I am doing and what I need to be doing.  What I have done in the past to have a successful business and what I need to do forging ahead.

So what can you expect? Much more “hustle” and getting the word out about my business and providing valuable free information about divorce and the business I am in.

Talk to you later.

California Divorce & Changing Your Name With Social Security

As you may or may not know, when you go through a divorce you can make the decision if you want to go back to your former name.  This means, do you want to go back to your maiden name you had prior to marriage?

And no, you can’t use any name you want.  I get asked all the time.  You can go back to your former name only.

That said, if you decide you want to revert to you former name you can do so. The benefit to doing this during the divorce process is that you won’t have to file a separate name change case to change your name later down the road.

So when you get the divorce judgment back from court it is not only your judgment for divorce but the court making an order so you can go back to your former name.  This way you can take the judgment to the Social Security and show them so you can change your name back.

However, the Social Security Administration won’t accept any old copy.  They are requesting a Certified copy of the original. This means that you will have to go down to court and ask the clerks office to pull your divorce case, make a copy of the original and stamp it with a certified stamp to indicate that it is a certified copy of the original divorce judgment.

I wanted to write this because we had a client take a non-certified copy to the Social Security Administration to change her name back and she was turned away and obviously frustrated.

Los Angeles Divorce Courts Closed For Veterans Day 11/11/2015

Just thought I would save a few people the pain of going to any of the Los Angeles divorce courts on Veterans Day on November 11, 2015.  For those of you who follow this blog or check this blog regularly for updates, I hope to save you a trip.

It seems that many people work on Veterans day and so people forget it is a Federal holiday and end up going to the courthouse forgetting that they will be closed.

So I just wanted to write this quick post to remind folks that the courts will be closed on Veterans Day 11/11/15.

Avoid Identity Theft During Divorce

When you go through a divorce you will be providing whatever company you work with, with just about all your financial and personal information.  This includes tax returns, pay stubs, credit cards and names and date of births or you and your children.

But nobody seems to ever worry about identity theft!

I have never been asked about our procedures for destroying files after we have completed a divorce case!

I bring this up because I know we are not the only game in town, and many people are just shopping for a low price to get through their divorce.  But what I want to warn people about is the security steps companies, if you can call them that, are taking to protect you.IMG_1442

We are the only divorce paralegal company in Santa Clarita that actually has offices. The majority of people who say they can handle your divorce case aren’t even licensed to operate, rather they are just people doing this on the side out of their home.  What do you think happens to your paperwork?  Thrown in the trash with all your personal information?

I bring this up because my staff and I were recently conducting an end of year file clean-up and had to destroy hundreds of files.

Fortunately we utilize a company called Iron Mountain that provides us with year long bins where we place all our legal documents to be shred which they pick up about every 3 to 4 weeks.  We shred all your documents!

Yes, this comes at a cost, but your financial security and helping to protect you from identity theft is one of our chief concerns.

Saving Money On Your Santa Clarita Divorce

I talk a lot about how to save money on your divorce. This video discusses the issues of people who hire divorce attorneys but run out of money before they actually have their divorce case finished. We discuss how you can save money by using our service to file your divorce papers. That way, when you get to the point where you actually need a divorce attorney, you will still have some money left over to actually provide you legal divorce representation when you need it.

Santa Clarita Divorce : How To File Default With Divorce Judgment

When you are going through a divorce and are filing a default divorce where the other party did not participate, it is recommended that you file the judgment with the default. Usually what the Court’s say is to file your default after 30 days of the other party being served, but what people don’t know is that you can file your entire judgment along with the default after 30 days.  There is no need to wait.

$97 Dollar California Divorce Service Online

For the last couple of months I have been working on a project that would bring the California Divorce self help centers to your home or office.

I am referring to a website where I have recorded all the steps on how to complete your California divorce on video.  Not only that, but I provide all the forms as well.

This video divorce course was designed for the people who are planning on doing their own divorce, either by trying to figure it out on their own, or by going to the court’s self help centers.

This is an affordable way to have the exact process of completing your divorce without the need for having to figure things out on your own or wasting hours and days at the self help centers.

The site is called California Divorce Tutor and right now we have all the steps for completing your uncontested divorce.

We are also working on the 3 separate video courses on how to complete a contested case, how to prepare for trial and how to prepare motions for court.  There is a lot of work ahead of me for sure.

The great thing about our uncontested divorce training course is that I show you step by step on how to complete all for forms. Not only that, but I tell you why you are completing the forms and how to change it for different situations.

I will be talking a lot about our California uncontested divorce video course trying to get the word out.  We already have over 11,000 video views on YouTube where we discuss the course and show a bit of behind the scenes of what you get.