Monday, February 8, 2016

What is Mediation Caucusing?

Sometimes when couples are having a difficult time being in the same room to settle their case but they are both committed to resolving their divorce or custody matter without going to court, the mediator may have to meet with them individually. As long as the mediator is able to maintain her neutrality, this can be a very effective way to resolve your case.

Amicable Divorce Services:  626-351-1200

Friday, January 15, 2016

How Much Does It Cost To File A Petition?

Any time a Petition for divorce is filed in Los Angeles County, the court charges a $435 filing fee to the person filing the Petition. There is an exception...

Under certain circumstances where a Petitioner has low or no income, the court may decide that the $435 fee can be forgiven in part or in full. This requires the Petitioner to go to court and possibly stand before a judge for a ruling on the request for fee waiver. In most cases, lawyers  do not do this for the Petitioner. After all, if the Petitioner can afford a lawyer, then she or he can also afford to pay the $435 filing fee. A pro bono attorney might do this for the Petitioner if the Petitioner qualifies.

Affordable Divorce Services charges $300 to draft a Petition on a limited scope basis. This does not include consultations for additional legal advice about the case, it is for the drafting of the Petition by an attorney (not a paralegal). Amicable Divorce Services charges $25 if ADS is to file the Petition in court, or the Petitioner can file it themselves. This will help the Petitioner to avoid having to amend the Petition to make corrections if it has flaws the first time it is filed.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

What is the Least Expensive Divorce Process?

Divorce without going to court is typically the least expensive way to get a divorce. There are different ways that can save you money, such as mediation, limited scope, co-mediation, 2 truly collaborative-minded lawyers, collaborative divorce.... There are different levels of cost-effective divorce.

For instance, for those parents whose top priority is to prevent their children from suffering through the divorce, those parents may not want to cut too many corners. Most of the parents we see do not want their children (even adult children) to suffer from guilt, anger, anxiety or fear during the divorce.

Other spouses do not want to assume that a quick division of all property cut right down the middle is the best outcome for their family.

To discuss these options so that both of you can decide which one best suits you, call for a free initial consultation: 626-351-1200. We can meet you at our Pasadena office during the week or Saturdays in Studio City.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Amicable Divorce Services Expands to San Fernando Valley

Did you know that Amicable Divorce Services helps clients in the San Fernando Valley? Well, we do!! 

By popular demand, we see clients in Studio City at 13263 Ventura Blvd #103, Studio City, CA 91604, right off of Fulton.

Call and speak with Jimmy to schedule an appointment: 626-351-1200.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Don't Be Fooled By Bulldog Attorneys in Sheep's Clothing

If you want to go to court and make your spouse and children suffer with intense stress, then you can hire a bulldog attorney to make court appearances and write lots of mean-spirited letters threatening the other side. This will surely make your spouse stop talking to you and will cost both of you tens of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees.

Many of these bulldog attorneys are often retained by spouses who are seeking a peacemaking attorney to settle their case without court. Bulldog attorneys often wear sheep's clothing and claim to prefer settlement over litigation. These bulldog attorneys would like to believe they are peacemakers at heart, but they find ways to create nightmare litigation for the family instead. The unknowing client doesn't know what happened to make her or him suddenly have to go to court. If there is a peacemaking attorney on the other side of the case, then she or he is forced to fight back with the bulldog attorney and settlement flies out the window.

Beware: bulldog attorneys publish websites where they claim to be collaborative or settlement minded but are so used to bullying other attorneys that they just can't help themselves. By the way, having a bully for an attorney does not mean that you will get the best outcome for yourself.

Bulldog attorneys in sheep's clothing frustrate the settlement process and cost both parties an enormous amount of unnecessary attorney's fees.

How do you know what you're getting it to? Ask the attorney about their collaborative and mediation trainings;  how often they attend mediation and collaborative trainings, and the percentage of their mediation practice versus their court cases. Good peacemakers attend collaborative and mediation trainings at least once per year every year.

For more information, call Amicable Divorce Services at 626-351-1200 to schedule an appointment to discuss the differences between litigation costs and settlement costs. For more information about us visit .

Thursday, December 24, 2015

What is Limited Scope Representation or Unbundled Services?

When you hire (retain) an attorney you have the option of paying a high retainer for an attorney of record, or you can hire your attorney on a limited scope basis to perform unbundled services for a fraction of the cost.

An attorney of record will usually require a retainer fee paid in advance in the sum of $3,500-$50,000. This attorney's name will appear on all of your court papers and this attorney is required to appear at all court hearings. In addition, if there is an attorney representing the other spouse or parent, the attorneys are prohibited from communicating directly with the represented party and must communicate attorney to attorney only.

With limited scope, you have the opportunity to hire your attorney on a piecemeal, consulting basis. Limited scope attorneys can:   ghostwrite your paperwork, settle your case, make a court appearance with you, consult with you to prepare your case, be your mediation consulting attorney, handle only certain issues, etc.   Limited scope attorneys' names do not appear on your paperwork and are not required to appear in court unless you have hired her to do so. You get to choose what tasks you want to handle yourself but keep in mind that most limited scope attorneys will not make a court appearance if they did not ghostwrite the court papers leading up to the hearing.

Not many of us family law attorneys offer limited scope services; Leslie Howell does.

Call 626-351-1200 to schedule an appointment to learn more.
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Monday, December 21, 2015

You Don't Have to Spend A Lot of Money For Your Divorce Costs!!

Litigating your divorce means that you are going to make court appearances and have the judge decide what happens to your money, property and children. To litigate your divorce from beginning to end can cost between $25,000 and $100,000 per spouse and take 2 to 10 years or more.

Peacemaking is when you and your spouse choose to settle your case without making a single court appearance. If you and your spouse settle your case through peacemaking, the costs from beginning to end in the Pasadena area can range from $3,000 to $35,000 to have it done right. Of course if your case is complex and involves specialists and more time from your professional peacemakers, it can exceed $35,000.

If a couple has already decided on all of the terms of their divorce settlement and just want Amicable Divorce Services to fine-tune those terms and draft their Judgment packet, it has cost as low as $1,500 for that service. Those are relatively simple cases with no complex issues and no other work is required.

Be careful what lawyer you meet with if you have any assets or higher income (over $100,000). Some attorneys would like to see your case being litigated so that they can earn the $100,000  mentioned above going to court on your case instead of settling your case.

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