How Much Does Divorce Cost | Santa Clarita

How Much Does Divorce Cost | Santa Clarita

When I receive a call from a prospective client, one of the questions I ask is, “why did you chose to use a legal document assistant like me instead of hiring an attorney?”  The answer is always because of the cost of hiring an attorney is so outrageous.

Many of my clients first sought out an attorney.  After having paid $300 to $500 just for the consultation, they learn that just to retain the law firm they are looking at $5,000 just to get started.

So this leads us to the point of this article which is, “how much does divorce cost?”

I did a little research online to see what I could find as far as what other people estimate the cost of getting divorced to be.  Having worked at a law firms for some time, I will also advise you what I saw in the form of costs for divorce.

I found several articles about how much a divorce costs and it seems there that most people estimate the cost to be around $20,000.  In a recent article by Rachel Small called, “6 Ways to Minimize Hourly Attorney Fees When Getting Divorced” indicates that the average cost of getting divorced in the United States is approximately $15,000 with attorney’s fees that range but can be as high as $500 per hour.

Some sites estimated divorce costs to range from $53,000 on the low end to $188,000 on the high end for divorce.

No doubt it is expensive to get divorced.

When I worked for a law firm it was customary to pay $5,000 just for the initial retainer.  The retainer was billed against at the hourly rates until it was extinguished.  After that, the client was responsible for the the new charge each month for the continued representation.  And I will tell you that $5,000 goes really fast when you are being billed $500 per hour.

At that rate you are only getting 10 hours of work done toward your divorce case.

When faced with the need of going through a divorce, it is important to weigh the costs of hiring an attorney vs. using an alternative service such as a licensed and bonded legal document assistant such as us.

For some, it will be a simple question of whether or not you can afford an attorney.  The real questions is, “do you really need an attorney in the first place?”

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in the divorce process.  We offer an affordable divorce solution at fixed prices.  Please give us a call for more information.

Gormon Divorce Legal Service

Gormon Divorce Legal Service

If you are looking for an affordable way to get through the divorce process in Gormon, CA, you have come to the right spot.

Watch the below video for more information about our Gormon Divorce Legal Service.

How Do I Prepare Uncontested Divorce Judgment | Santa Clarita

How Do I Prepare Uncontested Divorce Judgment | Santa Clarita

An uncontested divorce is one where both parties enter into a written agreement regarding the terms of the divorce. An uncontested divorce can happen whether or not the other party filed a response or not. Watch this video for more information about how to prepare an uncontested divorce judgment. When you are preparing the final divorce papers, known as the judgment, many of the forms will be the same, however there will be several forms that will be different depending on whether you are filing a uncontested divorce judgment, hybrid divorce judgment, contested divorce judgment or true default divorce judgement. We cover each of the different types of divorce judgments in separate posts, so make sure to look for them on this site. If you have represented yourself during the divorce process, you have got pretty far in the process.  Unfortunately, now comes the really hard part.  Folks that represent themselves usually run into problems at this stage of the game. Essentially, this comes down to the fact that there are so many forms and attachments that have to be included in the divorce judgment.  Additionally, up to this point, no one at the court has ever reviewed any of your documents.  You will not know if you completed the divorce forms incorrectly until you submit your judgment paperwork. If you have your judgment paperwork rejected you are looking at at least 2-3 more months before your divorce can be finalized.  And if you do it incorrectly enough times, the judge will set a hearing and make you appear in court so they can get it done right. We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in the divorce process.  For more information about our affordable flat rate divorce service, please give us a call.

How Do I Prepare True Default Divorce Judgment | Santa Clarita

How Do I Prepare True Default Divorce Judgment | Santa Clarita

What forms are necessary to prepare your final divorce judgement paperwork depends upon how you proceeded up to this point.

The true default divorce judgment would be filed under the following circumstances.

  1. Your spouse did not file a response &
  2. There is no written agreement between the parties.

Watch this video for an explanation of the forms necessary to file a true default divorce judgment.

Remember, that you cannot file the default until at least 30 days have passed since you served the initial divorce paperwork.  You can file the default along with the remainder of the divorce paperwork if you wish.

We have provided a checklist of what forms are necessary to file the true default divorce judgment.  We use the checklist to mark of the documents just to make sure we have included all the correct documents.  We also submit the judgment checklist to the court when we submit the judgment.  This accomplished two things. First, it lets the courts know that we have used their checklist and understand the process.  Second, each of the checklists indicate what type of divorce judgment we are submitting, therefore it gives the court a heads up about what forms to be looking for.

The paperwork you submit for the true default is different than that of the uncontested hybrid divorce judgments and contested divorce judgments.

There are a lot of forms that need to be submitted when completing your divorce judgment.  We don’t recommend attempting it on your own. We have spoke to folks who have submitted their judgment 6 times and still get them rejected.

Please give us a call to discuss having us professionally prepare your entire divorce so you don’t have to try and figure out all the confusing divorce forms.  We have helped hundreds of clients get through the divorce process.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in divorce.

How Do I Prepare Uncontested “Hybrid” Judgment | Santa Clarita

How Do I Prepare Uncontested “Hybrid” Judgment | Santa Clarita

When you file for divorce and go through the divorce process, you  eventually have to prepare a final judgment.  The final judgment wraps up all your agreements into a single document.

In the cases that proceed in an uncontested matter and where the other party does not respond but enters into a written agreement, you can prepare a Hybrid divorce judgment.

The Hybrid divorce judgment has some specific forms you will need to file.  In the video above, we go into detail on what forms are needed to file a uncontested Hybrid divorce judgment.

The difference between the true default divorce judgment and the hybrid is that with the hybrid divorce, the other party has to complete and file their financial disclosures, namely their income and expense declaration and schedule of assets and debts.  Additionally, the non-responding spouse will need to sign the final divorce judgment paperwork.

We will show you the Courts hybrid- uncontested divorce judgment checklist which you can use to check off the documents that you need to submit to the court.  We routinely use the judgment checklist on all the judgments we submit to the courts.  There are so many forms necessary to submit when preparing the divorce paperwork, that it is good to use the checklist.  

It also helps the court to submit the checklist so they can also verify that you submitted all the correct paperwork. Because each of the checklists indicate which type of divorce judgment you are preparing, you reduce the chances of having the uncontested divorce judgment rejected by the court.

It is also important to remember that when representing yourself during the divorce, that both parties will need to sign the divorce judgment and have their signatures notarized, otherwise the court will reject the judgment.

For more information about the hybrid divorce judgement, please give us a call.

How Do I Prepare Contested Divorce Judgment | Santa Clarita

How Do I Prepare Contested Divorce Judgment | Santa Clarita

If you have gone through the divorce process and your divorce was considered to be a contested divorce there will be specific contested divorce judgment paperwork you will have to submit.

If your divorce was contested that means usually that a trial was held and that the respondent filed a response.  When this occurs there are specific forms that need to be filed.

In all divorce judgments, many of the divorce documents will be the same, however in a contested divorce there will be some additional documents you will need to submit to the court when preparing your final divorce paperwork.

It is important to remember that if you are representing yourself, one of the parties will be advised to prepare the divorce judgment.  This means that the judge will make specific orders during the trial and you will have to write those orders down on the judgment.

The party who does not prepare the divorce judgment will have to sign the final judgement to approve it as to “form and content”.  This means that you agree to the language in the final judgment and that the language used is correct and as the judge ordered.

If there is ever a dispute as to the orders made by the judge you can always order a copy of the transcript.  This can be costly, but may be necessary to clear up any disagreements between the parties.

If the parties can still not come to an agreement, you can always file the judgment along with the trial transcript and let the judge have the final say as to what the language should be in the divorce judgment paperwork.

We are licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in the divorce process.  Please give us a call for more information.

Santa Clarita Divorce | How To File Ex-Parte Motion

Santa Clarita Divorce | How To File Ex-Parte Motion

Everytime I get a question from one of my clients or anyone that calls for that matter, I try to make it a habit to also answer that question on video.

Today I was asked what the process is for filing an Ex-Parte motion in court.    But let’s first talk about what Ex-Parte means.  Ex-Parte means “for oneself” and generally refers to going to court without the other party being present.  It also has other applications.

The Los Angeles County Bar Association prepared a tip called Preparing for and making and Ex Parte Application which you can read and stated that Ex Parte relief is requested when it is impractical or impossible to wait the minimum statutory period for  the court to hear a regular motion.

For Instance, lets say you want to go to court because you want an order for spousal support.  If you were to file a Request For Order with the court, you may be looking anywere from 30 to 60 days depending on which court you are in and how busy they are.

If you can’t wait 60 days, because for instance, you would have no other source of income and you are going to be evicted, that may qualify as an emergency.  So going into court Ex Parte may be necessary to get orders from the court sooner.

It is important that you still give the other party notice that you will going to court.  This is called giving ex parte notice.  Per the LACBA article, you have to give ex parte notice prior to 10:00 a.m. the day before you want to appear in court.  This way the other party has some advance notice so they can also make an appearance in court if they choose.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in the divorce process.  Please give us a call if you would like more information about our affordable divorce services.

Completing Declaration Of Disclosure | Santa Clarita Divorce

Completing Declaration Of Disclosure | Santa Clarita Divorce

The declaration of disclosure form FL-140 can be considered the cover page or face page to the financial disclosures.  You will use it as the to page to the the schedule of assets and debts and income and expense declaration when preparing your divorce paperwork.

When you prepare the declaration of disclosure there are 5 check boxes that you can check to indicate which forms you are completing and serving on the other party.

first thing you want to do is make sure to mark the correct box on the declaration of disclosure in regards to whether you are filing your preliminary or final declaration of disclosure.  In most cases you will be filing your preliminary declaration of disclosure.  If you are the Petitioner in your divorce, you would mark the “Petitioner” box and the “Preliminary” box to indicate to the court who you are and what you are filing.

Again, this page is used mostly as a cover sheet.  You can mark the box that says you are filing one of 5 different forms:

  1. A completed Schedule of Assets and Debts
  2. A completed income and expense declaration
  3. A statement of all material facts and information regarding valuation of all assets that are community property or in which the community has an interest
  4. A statement of all material facts and information regarding obligations for which the community is liable.
  5. An accurate and complete written disclosure of any investment opportunity, business opportunity, or other income-producing opportunity presented.

In most cases, as is pertains to your preliminary declaration of disclosure, checking box 1 and 2 is sufficient.  If it gets to the point where you need to file the final declaration of disclosure, you may need to check boxes 3,4 and 5 and provide the necessary forms.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service trying to demystify the divorce process and provide an affordable divorce solution.