FLAT FEES Ė
No hourly billing
implemented customer friendly pricing for my legal
services. I offer uncontested divorces at a flat rate
of $1,500 to handle your family law case from start to
finish. Flat fee billing serves to eliminate the
extra stress that can result from not knowing how much
the case will ultimately cost. I charge a single flat
fee for uncontested divorces so that you can get a
divorce for a predictable price.
I do not
charge for out-of-pocket expenses, such as copies, long
distance phone calls, etc. which will increase your
bill. When interviewing attorneys, be sure to ask if
they charge for extra expenses. Almost always, they do.
I am too busy working on your case to figure out ways to
charge you more money.
divorce is the way most people divorce. Itís simple and
inexpensive, and it offers you and your spouse the
chance to end your marriage quietly and with dignity.
Itís not right for everybody, but itís right for many
more couples than attorneyís like to admit.
members of a couple agree to divorce, filing for an
uncontested divorce can save time and money through
streamlined court procedures. Uncontested divorces are
generally available to couples who have no remaining
disagreements regarding the basic divorce issues:
child-custody, property division and spousal support.
Like a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce begins
by one side filing for divorce. Uncontested divorces
usually have streamlined paperwork, in which property
and child custody information is filed, along with a
statement of the grounds for divorce.
If the other
side agrees to the uncontested divorce, or fails to make
an appearance, it can be granted by the court. If the
other spouse does not agree and makes the necessary
court filings, an uncontested divorce cannot be granted.
Advantages of Uncontested Divorce
apparent advantage of uncontested divorce, of course, is
its cost. With the exception of the pro se (self
represented) divorce, an uncontested divorce that stays
uncontested divorce is almost always the least expensive
way of getting divorced. While attorney representation
will often be advisable even in an uncontested divorce,
the streamlined procedure includes lowered court costs,
as well in lowered attorney bills.
divorce also allows many couples to get their divorce
granted more quickly than in a contested divorce. With
fewer proceedings and less legal wrangling, uncontested
divorce allows couples to more quickly move on with
divorce of any sort often involves some conflict,
proceeding with an uncontested divorce can lower the
amount of conflict between the parting spouses by simply
offering fewer opportunities for conflict to arise. With
fewer demands for information going back and forth, and
fewer proceedings to resolve disputed elements of the
divorce, conflict between the soon-to-be exes can be
minimized. If the level of conflict between the two of
you is low now, uncontested divorce offers a way to keep
it that way. Itís not so much a question of agreement as
it is your desire to get through your divorce, and a
practical sense on the part of both of you that you want
to minimize. If you and your spouse donít yet agree on
all the issues of your divorce, that just means you may
have some negotiating to do before you finish it. Donít
get rattled or in a hurry, and you will both probably be
able to get through it.
under seal (which is not easy), information made part of
a divorce proceeding becomes open to the public. This
means that not only personal information one side
alleges about the other, but also financial and other
private information become matters of public record. In
an uncontested divorce, there is simply less information
filed with the court to go into the public record. This
can allow spouses who agree to an uncontested divorce to
minimize the amount of private information made public.
These are all
advantages to stop fighting, stay in control, and end
your marriage in the best way possible.
Disadvantages to Uncontested
have children, complex or disputed property
arrangements, or potential disagreement as to spousal
should strongly weigh whether uncontested divorce is
appropriate. The tradeoff for simplicity and cost saving
through uncontested divorce comes at the expense of
being able to satisfactorily determine complicated
custody decisions, as well as complex property
distributions or spousal support arrangements.
divorce is a bad idea when thereís ongoing domestic
violence, because the victim canít possibly negotiate
with the perpetrator on a level playing field. He or she
needs an advocate, and itís difficult to get this done
in the context of uncontested divorce.
divorce is also a bad idea when the parties are not able
to talk with each other. If your spouse refuses to have
any discussion with you about divorce, and if youíre
determined to move forward with the process, any money
you spend on an uncontested divorce is likely to be
wasted. If youíre patient, you may find that your spouse
will come around later, but if youíre determined to do
it now and your spouse is digging in his or her heels,
youíll have no choice but to serve them with the process
and do it the hard way.
divorce is a bad idea when one or both of the spouses is
both ignorant about the law and greedy (it takes both).
If your spouse is just uniformed but reasonable,
uncontested divorce can work fine. If your spouse is
well informed about the law but greedy, rationality will
eventually win out, and you and your spouse will
eventually be able to reach agreement. But in those
isolated cases where one or both of you are both
ignorant and greedy, youíll probably need separated
attorneys before you get it all sorted out.
thing you need to know about uncontested divorce is that
the lawyer you get to do your uncontested divorce cannot
represent both of you. Normally, we assume that the
spouses in a divorce have necessarily different
interests. The ethical principles for lawyers therefore
require that a lawyer cannot represent both parties. The
lawyer must represent one of you and not the other. The
lawyer will need to know at the outset which of you is
his or her client and which of you is not.
I meet with
the primary spouse, who is my client. We work together
to think through the key issues involved with the
divorce, and explain what each document does and the
various options available. We produce together all the
paperwork that other spouse will need to sign.
produce the documents, if changes need to be made to the
documents by either party, we make changes to them,
thatís okay. Everythingís on computer, and itís easy to
make changes, as long as the parties can agree on what
they ought to be.
spouses are satisfied with the papers and sign them,
they are filed with the court. Barring something
unusual, neither spouse has to go to court. Everything
is handled on paper.
spouses want to participate in the meetings, thatís
fine. I just insist that we all be very clear about
which spouse is my client and which spouse is not. And
Iím careful not to give any advice to the spouse who is
not my client.
divorce can happen faster than most people realize. The
California courts require a six month waiting period
between the time the petition is served on the other
spouse, and the final judgment date. In an uncontested
divorce there are no court hearings or trial dates that
can cause the process to take longer. Uncontested
divorce allows both parties to move on with their life
knowing they were able to work together in an amiable
setting to resolve their issues.