Telling Your Spouse You Want A Divorce | Santa Clarita

Telling Your Spouse You Want A Divorce | Santa Clarita

Once you decide you want to get divorced, how do you go about telling your spouse and when should you do it.  There is probably not any one-size-fits-all answer.  But sooner versus later is probably sound advice.

Besides, if you are trying to decide when to tell your spouse you want a divorce, then things have probably been kind of rocky for a while.  Perhaps your spouse already knows, is expecting it or thinking of doing exactly the same thing.

When and how you decide to tell your spouse you want a divorce is a personal decision that only you can make.  But when you do get around to it, it is important to sit down with them and work towards a compromise so that your divorce can be as amicable as possible.

It would be a good idea to come up with a plan on how your want to deliver your message and perhaps make some notes about what you want to discuss.  In addition, try to do it with respect for the other party and take the high road to divorce.

Unless there is some concern of violence or other issues that could arise from breaking the news, this is probably one of those occasions where writing an email, sending a text or leaving a voice mail is probably not your best option.

Making the decision to finally tell your spouse that you want to get divorced is hard.  Even if you have decided a while ago.  Telling your spouse brings about the reality that you are actually going through with it and that it is no longer a questions or contemplation.

Communication throughout the divorce process will be essential to ensure that it ends amicably.  Make sure you start off right by advising your spouse in an appropriate manner that will hopefully set the tone for the remainder of the divorce process.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in the divorce process.  We serve all of Los Angeles County.

Take The High Road During Divorce | Santa Clarita

Take The High Road During Divorce | Santa Clarita

Whenever I speak to new clients, I make sure to tell them that it is all about give and take.  And you are going to feel that you are giving more than you are taking.  But just so you know, your spouse feels exactly the same way.

There is no winner when it comes to divorce.  Even if you technically come out on top, you have not “won” anything.  Divorce is ugly no matter what happens.

You will be faced with making all sorts of decisions throughout the divorce process.  And each time you have to make a choice you are going to have to either give in a little or hold your ground on a particular issue.

In the long term, the best thing you can do for your family and yourself is to try to compromise at every turn.  If you have children, think of what the best decision is for them as opposed to what the best decision is for you.

Whatever you do, try not to make things worse or make turn a simple issue into a major conflict.  Will this be hard, of course it will be.

In the end, everyone wins when you compromise.  Compromise means that you spend on less on legal fees.  Work hard and possibly you won’t have any legal fees.

Turn the divorce into a major conflict and you will certainly be reeling for years trying to pay for all your attorney fees.  Taking the high road can help prevent all that and leave you in a better state when the divorce is over and done.

Try and think of your decisions from the perspective of a third party.  You know how easy it is and how simple other peoples problems seem to solve, right?

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service specializing in the divorce process.  We provide a fixed fee divorce solution.  Please give us a call for more information about our services.

No Fault Divorce | Santa Clarita Divorce

 

When folks call me, the conversation usually tends to go in the direction of what happened to cause the current marital issues that are going on.

In some cases, this conversation leads to me being asked if there is any point in bringing up what the other party did to cause the marriage to end.

For instance, where one spouse cheats on the other.  Does the non-cheating spouse have any upper hand during the divorce?

To answer that questions, we turn to the phrase called, “No Fault Divorce.”

California is a no fault divorce State and as the name suggests, no fault divorce permits the termination of a marriage without the finding that either party has violated one of the rules that are the grounds for a fault-based divorce.

So in essence, not only do you not have to have a reason to get divorce, but if someone could technically be blamed for the marriage ending, the California Courts are not interested in hearing it nor is any position gained or lost for either spouse.

Typically, states require only that the marriage be demonstrated to have been broken down irremediably.  Put another way, that the spouses are no longer compatible and that irreconcilable differences exists.

Thus, when it comes to filing for divorce, it does not matter who is the Petitioner and who is the Respondent.  It does not matter who files for divorce.  It could be the one who caused the breakup or the one who feels they were not at fault.  The court only uses the terms to distinguish between the spouses.

This is probably why they use the words Petitioner instead of Plaintiff and Respondent instead of Defendant.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm that specializes in the divorce process.  We are the only divorce service that offers a 100% online divorce service in Los Angeles County.  Please give us a call for more information.

An Open Letter From A Santa Clarita Divorce Lawyer

An Open Letter From A Santa Clarita Divorce Lawyer

Okay, so shame on me for changing the title of this letter that was not written from a Santa Clarita divorce lawyer.  Admittedly, I changed the title to gain some search engine help to localize the article.

That said, I wanted to share with you, what has been titled, “Open Letter From A Divorce Lawyer.”  I read the entire letter and it casts an interesting light of how divorce lawyers may think about the divorce process, their job and their clients.

I have to admit, having worked at a law firms for some time, that many of these words are truisms.

The the letter is written from a “divorce lawyer” to their client in such a way as to shed some light on the practice of law, perhaps, and that of divorce.

I think it is an interesting read and thus have included it below.  I hope you enjoy it.

Dear client:

I am pleased that you have hired me to represent you in your divorce. I’m pleased because I need the money you and others like you pay me. I’m tired of working with people like you who are always fighting and never happy, and often unhappy with me, but I feel trapped now and don’t know how I could change my practice at this point in my career without a huge financial setback, so I hang on and do the best job I can, the best way I know, for clients like you.

If you’re like most people going through divorce, you’ve heard a chorus of voices — from your mother to your neighbor to the person who cuts your hair — warning that you better get a mean “junkyard dog” lawyer. I don’t like being a junkyard dog lawyer, and I don’t think it would be in your best interest for me to be, but I have to give you the impression early on that I am so you will hire me. I don’t like doing it, but you demand it, so I do it.

That means that when we met in our first consultation, I talked about how experienced I am. I gave you an optimistic assessment of what you would give up and what you would get working with me. If your spouse had come the same day instead of you and presented the very same facts, I would have given your spouse an equally optimistic assessment from their perspective. I learned long ago not to lose any sleep about doing this. You demand it, and I’m going to give it to you so you will hire me.

You can see what happened now, can’t you? I gave you an optimistic assessment of your case from your perspective, then one of my colleagues gave your spouse an optimistic assessment of the case from your spouse’s perspective. Together, we worked knowingly or unknowingly  to convince both of you that the other is being unreasonable and that you each needed us to win you a better deal.

I told you in our initial consultation that you should avoid communicating directly with your spouse about anything other than parenting of your children. I did this because nothing is so important to me as client control. I want to be the gatekeeper of all communications between you and your spouse, so I can decide how much information to provide to you and what “spin” to put on it. This will make you and your spouse more suspicious of each other, and it will make you more dependent on me. I like that, at least in the early stages of divorce negotiations.

I required you to pay a large retainer when you hired me. I told you that I have a fixed retainer for all divorce clients, or I may have told you that I set your retainer after carefully considering the complexity of your case, the time I expect to put in, and the risk that my estimates might be too low. In reality, though, my technique for setting your retainer was far simpler:  I charged the highest retainer I thought I could get. The reason I did this is that the retainer is often the only money I ever see for representing someone in a divorce case. I may try to bill you and get paid later, but many of my clients don’t pay me anything after the initial retainer, even though they owe me a great deal of money, and I hesitate to sue them for fear they will counterclaim for malpractice and drive up my insurance premiums. The fact that I have so much trouble getting clients like you to pay me what they owe me is another reason my work is so unpleasant for me.

I also will work to appear successful. I may drive a luxury car and maintain a sumptuous office, because I want you and my colleagues — especially my colleagues — to believe that I am earning lots of money. In one sense, I am earning lots of money. I charge a high hourly rate, and I have a great deal of business, so I have high billings. I also have a high overhead, however, and I have trouble getting paid. In reality, I have financial struggles just like you do.

There’s more than a 93% chance that your case will settle before trial. Nevertheless, I will prepare your case as if you were going to trial. This will be wasteful and expensive. I will conduct lengthy discovery, including interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, and depositions, charging you a great deal of money to prepare documents that I simply have printed from my word processor with minor changes.

I will do this not because it’s in your best interest but because I’m afraid of being embarrassed in front of other lawyers and judges and because I’m afraid you will sue me. The result is that you and/or your spouse will spend a great deal of money preparing for a trial we know will almost certainly not occur. I’ve heard that much of this could be avoided by simply exchanging documents and affidavits, but that’s not what I’m used to doing. If there’s a better way, I don’t know it, and even if I knew it, I probably wouldn’t do it. The way I practice law is what I know and understand, and it’s safe for me.

I live my professional life in and around the courthouse. I gauge my schedule and my priorities to make sure cases that have an imminent court date are ready to present. This means that if your case doesn’t have an imminent court date, it will be hard to get me to focus much attention on it. Your case will move much more slowly than you would like.

When we are at the courthouse, there will be huge blocks of time when I will leave you alone while I negotiate or just swap stories with your spouse’s lawyer. Every now and then, I’ll report back to you on progress and tell you how negotiations are going. You probably will find it jarring that I’m so friendly with your spouse’s lawyer. Remember, you and I have a temporary relationship.Your spouse’s lawyer and I have seen each other several times a week for years, and our relationship will continue long after you’re gone from my life. It’s not surprising, then, that I’m more attentive to that relationship than I am to the one with you.

Early on in our relationship, you are in emotional distress, you believe that no one in the world has ever faced the problems you are facing, and you view me as a savior who can protect you from all the cruel insults you are facing. Over time, however, you will  begin to stabilize emotionally, you will begin to view me and my services more realistically, and you will begin to realize just how expensive all this is becoming. You may begin to resent me, and you may place a lower priority on paying my fee. You will also begin to hold me accountable for producing results that I know are unrealistic.

Although at the outset I stated an optimistic assessment of your case, over the term of our relationship I will become increasingly pessimistic with you about your chances. I will do this because, by then, I will become tired of you and tired of your case. I will want you to become more flexible in negotiations so I can reach an agreement with your spouse and your spouse’s lawyer. By then, I will have spent enough time on your case to justify keeping all the retainer, and I will be afraid that I may never see any more money, so I will press you to reach agreement with your spouse.

Also, as our relationship continues, I will be increasingly harder to reach. I may fail to return your phone calls, or I may call you back but be evasive about giving you useful information, always seeming in a hurry. I will do this perhaps without even realizing I’m doing so, primarily because it will be unpleasant for me to deal with you when you become increasingly unhappy.

Often an agreement will happen because you and your spouse meet over the kitchen table or on the phone and work it out, then communicate it to your respective lawyers. This agreement may be remarkably similar to what the two of you could have agreed had you been willing to cooperate with each other at the beginning through mediation or negotiations, but you won’t think about that by then, because to do so would be to admit to yourself that you’ve wasted several thousand dollars on legal fees. Even though I told you at the outset not to talk to your spouse, I will by then be secretly glad that you did and will work to help your agreement succeed (if I can avoid spending much time on it). Remember, by then, I will want out.

I have learned that most of my business comes by referral from other professionals, so it’s more important to me that referral sources feel good about me than that clients feel good about me. I devote lots of attention to my relationships with judges, other lawyers, and other professionals. On the other hand, I have over the years become quite comfortable with unhappy clients, even clients who complain about me to the bar association. This bothered me in my early years of practice, but I’ve become jaded to it now. The bar association knows as I do that clients of divorce lawyers are often unhappy. I know the bar association is accustomed to receiving these complaints and taking them with several grains of salt, so it doesn’t worry me much that you might complain about me.

I like you, and I’m a caring professional who wants to do a good job for you. I’ve learned not to trust you, though. I wish I could trust you, but I’ve been burned too many times by clients like you. I’m going to keep my guard up. Now that you know the way this works, let’s get started.

Sincerely yours,

Your Divorce Lawyer

The original article appeared in www.divorceinfo.com and can be found here.

How To Keep Your Divorce Lawyer Honest | Santa Clarita

How To Keep Your Divorce Lawyer Honest | Santa Clarita

Always on the hunt for good fodder for my blog, I came across an article written by a lawyer about lawyers.

The article was titled, “9 Questions To Keep Your Divorce Lawyer Honest” and I thought would be a good read for my readers here at home in Santa Clarita and the Los Angeles area.

We all know that it can be in a divorce attorneys best interest to tell you that they will win your case at all odds.  There are more attorneys than you can shake a stick at and they know it.  So when it comes to who you are going to hire to represent you, of course they know you want to hear words of optimism.

So knowing up front that you will probably not be fed bad news during your divorce consultation, this article referenced 9 questions you can ask your divorce attorney to keep them honest.

If you want to be an informed client you are going to have to ask the hard questions.  So here they go.

  1. What is my best case scenario in my divorce case?
  2. What is my worst case scenario in this divorce case?
  3. What’s an optimistic, but realistic outcome?
  4. What would the outcome be if your were pessimistic?
  5. What would you tell my spouse after what you have heard today?
  6. What is the reality of my case?  Forget about all the case law…
  7. Is it worth it to spend the money to defend my rights?  How much do I have to gain/lose?
  8. Given your experience, what is the range of cost to represent me?
  9. Will you put your promise in writing.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm specializing in providing affordable divorce legal services.  For more information about our services please give us a call.

 

This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post where you can read the original article.

Raoul Felder King of Divorce Video | Santa Clarita

Raoul Felder King of Divorce Video | Santa Clarita

I thought it was appropriate to share this video of Raoul Felder who is a celebrity divorce lawyer and who just wrote a new memoir called “Reflections in a mirror: Of Love,  Loss, Death and Divorce.

Appropriate because we were just discussing the costs of divorce in a previous post.  He states that he likes representing the stars because they represent big divorce fees. He goes on to say how he charges $600 per hour and up to represent his divorce clients.

He says that “trouble is his business” has represented the divorce of Rudy Giuliani and has been accused by others of not playing fair and vilifying the other party to divorce.

Known as the “King of Divorce”, he has been married for 49 years and his wife is also a divorce attorney that works with him.

Even he says that it is better to settle in divorce.

 

Uncontested Divorce In Santa Clarita

Uncontested Divorce In Santa Clarita

The definition of an uncontested divorce is when both parties are in agreement to the terms of the divorce and have been able to come to those terms without the need for a trial and without the need for the judge to make orders. A divorce case can be considered uncontested in three ways.

  1. Your spouse did not file a response and you do not have an agreement.  This is referred to as a true default case.
  2. Your spouse did not file a response and you have an agreement.  This is referred to as a hybrid judgement.
  3. Your spouse did file a Response and you have an agreement.  This is referred to as an uncontested judgment.

If your divorce case proceeded by any of the above means, your divorce case is considered to be uncontested. An uncontested divorce case does not mean that you will not have some disagreements with your spouse.  It just means that at the end of the day you were able to come to an agreement outside of court. It is best that you spend as much time at the kitchen table trying to hash out whatever remaining issues you have before throwing in the towel and allowing a judge to make a decision on the matter. It will probably feel like you are giving more than you are getting when trying to get through the issues related to your divorce.  Any time spent trying to figure things out on your own will be time well spent because the only other way to settle it is to have a judge make decisions about your family. We specialize in preparing uncontested divorce cases.  We can help you get through the divorce process for one flat rate.  Please give us a call for more information about our divorce document preparation service.

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.