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You’re smart, successful, self-starting, and conscientious. You’ve smashed glass ceilings, built big businesses, ridden fast tracks to the career of your dreams, and raised incredible kids. You rise to challenges and chew on problems until they’re solved and today’s no different.
You’re separating and getting divorced and want to negotiate agreements without going to court or spending a fortune on legal fees. You’re good at solving complicated problems and meticulously preparing paperwork, so you’re confident you can represent yourself –In Pro Per– or if things get tough, hire a mediator.
But there are a few holes in your plan. Fear and self-doubt hover over you –it’s part of the human condition– and you don’t want to take unnecessary risks while making legally binding decisions about your family, finances, and future. Time is in short supply and you know it’d take years to master nuances and find satisfactory answers to your questions about California family law like:
- Did the Quitclaim Deed or Living Trust transform the asset into community property?
- How do you determine the value of your home or business for purposes of a buy-out?
- Is the inheritance deposited into joint accounts and used to buy stocks still separate property?
- Will your down payment be reimbursed if you rolled money from one house into another?
- Can you count on receiving or, how much and how long will you pay spousal support?
- How is custody determined if you’ve been a full-time stay-at-home parent or primary breadwinner?
You’re unfamiliar with California’s legal process and don’t know things, like:
- When, where, and who files the court papers
- If you file a Petition for Legal Separation before filing one for Divorce
- How to satisfy California’s financial disclosure requirements
- Whether and how to avoid a Case Progress Conference
- What to expect at a Settlement Bench Bar
- How to make your settlement agreements legally binding
You have great friends, but none quite like the mentor you want as a sounding board to help you make difficult decisions like:
- File for Legal Separation or Dissolution of Marriage?
- Stay-in, move-out, keep or sell the house?
- Make or respond to settlement offers?
- Go back to work or school or open a new business?
- Ask for spousal support and if so, how much and for how long?
- Change mediators or hire a private judge or other experts?
- Negotiate with a difficult spouse?
So where does this leave you? –In good company.
An estimated 85% of divorcing Californians, including many with significant wealth and complicated legal issues, forego hiring traditional attorneys and choose to be self-represent as In Pro Per parties. But, here’s a secret: most self-representing —In Pro Per parties don’t do it entirely alone –they hire consulting attorneys. You can too.
What is a consulting attorney? A consulting attorney provides a limited scope of legal representation, which may include a wide variety of services.
In my California divorce consulting sessions I provide:
- Legal Advice
- Legal Analysis
- Legal Strategies
- Second Opinions