Monday, May 2, 2016

What is the First Decision When Divorce is Inevitable?

Once the decision has been made that the marriage will end, the first decision should be which divorce process is best for your particular family and circumstances. Will it be court appearances and having a stranger deciding what happens to your money, property and children? Or do the two of you make decisions together through respectful compromise?

We at Amicable Dicorce Services educate you so that you both decide what process is best for you both. For this education, we offer a free initial consultation. Call 626-351-1200 to schedule your initial consultation.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Are All of Our Initial Consultations Free?

At Amicable Divorce Services, our initial consultations are free for the purposes of educating you about the divorce process and options you may select to go through the process.

However, if you are coming in for an initial consultation to learn about your specific rights and obtain legal advice about your case, the charge for those services are $300 per hour.

Call 626-351-1200 for your initial consultation.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How Do Retainer Fees Work?

Usually, family law attorneys charge a retainer fee in advance of doing any work on a case. It's kind of like a deposit. That retainer fee is deposited into a special attorney trust account which can be monitored by the State Bar of California. In fact, all of the interest in attorney trust accounts goes to the State Bar of California. The attorney doesn't get the interest and neither do the clients. That money goes to help indigent clients who can't afford attorneys.

As the attorney works on a case, she/he can get paid for the hours worked. If there isn't enough money to cover the legal services, then the client has to replenish the retainer fee continually until the work is finished. Some clients replenish their retainer fees frequently if they have an active court case. If the case settles and has a credit balance at the end of the divorce case, then the unused portion of the retainer fee must be refunded back to the client upon request.

Call 626-351-1200 for a free initial consultation.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Do You Have To Pay a Retainer Fee for Consulting Lawyers?

When you choose the mediation process for your divorce, it's best to have a peacemaking, consulting lawyer to explain your rights to you. Most peacemaking, consulting lawyers typically charge you for the the time they spend with you and for reviewing your documents after you've completed your mediation. If you spend an hour or two with them, then you just pay that amount at the end of your meeting.

On the other hand, sometimes when trust is a big issue, a spouse may want to see her/his consulting lawyer more often than just for reviewing the Judgment at the end of the mediation sessions. When I have a mediating spouse who wants my input throughout the mediation process, I typically have my client pay as they go. However, if I seem to be spending hours on the phone, e-mailing or meeting with my client about her/his mediated divorce, I may charge an advance retainer fee for 3 hours of my time (or $900).

Regardless of how much time you spend with your consulting lawyer, it will be far cheaper to work with a PEACEMAKER and not a LITIGATOR. I find that spouses who use a litigator to consult with regarding their mediation spend thousands of dollars for consulting rather than just a few hundred for a peacemaker (such as an attorney who no longer goes to court or rarely goes to court).

For more information, call Amicable Divorce Services to schedule a free consultation: 626-351-1200.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Can You Make Your Case Stay Out Of Court?

Settling your case out of court requires that both parties voluntarily stay out of court. In other words, you cannot force your spouse to settle your divorce case. If your spouse refuses to be reasonable, you have no choice but to go to court and ask the judge to decide what should happen to your money, property and children.

Unfortunately, too many lawyers believe that if you want to settle the case then you are showing weakness. Some lawyers pounce on that and it makes them want to go to court even more because they think you're afraid of court. This is flawed thinking. A lot of us do our best to settle, but we go on to court and are forced to be the bulldog litigator the other side didn't expect.

Too many attorneys mistake kindness and reasonableness with weakness.

Bottom line is, if there is a bulldog on the other side, there may be no other choice than to go to court and fight fire with fire.

For more information, contact Amicable Divorce Services at 626-351-1200.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Can Parties Draft Their Own Judgment?

Parties ALWAYS have the option to draft their own Petition packets and Judgment packets.

Family law attorneys are frequently hired to file amended Petition packets and Judgment packets after the court rejects their documents numerous times, and may also be willing to go to court for you to try to defend poorly drafted documents that either do not comply with California laws or do not protect you.

Unfortunately, there are many instances when the errors are costly and there is little that an attorney can do to fix it. The errors are sometimes more expensive than having an attorney draft it properly in the first place.

To have an attorney draft your court documents, call 626-351-1200 to schedule an initial consultation to see if we can help and what the limited scope, and full representation retainers would be.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Our New Address

Effective April 1, 2016, we are moving into our new office at:

3820 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA  91107

Our new office is in the Hastings Ranch area and we can better see clients after hours and weekends to accommodate their busy work and parenting schedules. We have lots of free parking, as well, so clients don't have to worry about meters, expensive parking structures or moving their cars.

We continue to see clients in the San Fernando Valley, as well.

Our numbers is still: 626-383-1671.