2015: What Strategies and Resources are Available to Resolve Your Pending Family Law Case Whether it is a Divorce, Paternity or Legal Separation in San Diego?
Whether your family law case is a legal separation, divorce or paternity, the goal should be to obtain the judgment in accord with California law as soon as possible. No matter if your case is a paternity, legal separation or divorce, the sooner the case is over, the better for multiple reasons. Whether your issues are the parenting plan and custody/visitation or support [spousal or child] or division of debts or division of assets, there are strategies to help you move forward in your case. You can, of course, litigate your case in San Diego Superior Court before the Judge your case is assigned to but this is not the preferred resolution method since it is expensive and you lose all control over the outcome. Litigation can also take time as the San Diego Superior Court Family Law Bench has many cases and scheduling a trial can take months. The best strategy is to try and reach an agreement if at all possible. The problem is, of course, that most in a contested divorce case cannot reach agreements and do not trust each other since the parties are now in an adversarial procedure.WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO ASSIST YOU?
Mediation: In San Diego Superior Court, when there is a dispute over the parenting plan, then the Court will provide mediation with Family Court Services. This is an excellent resource since a Licensed Clinical Social Worker will meet with both parents and try to have an agreement. If not, then a written recommendation will be provided. This is less expensive and much quicker than an evaluation under Evidence Code Section 730 with a Psychologist. There is also a mediation procedure in which both parties go to a private mediator who helps to try and reach an agreement. This is also an excellent resource and there are many qualified mediators in San Diego County.
Special Master: A Special Master does not take individual clients and, instead, is appointed by the San Diego Superior Court to make written recommendation as to specific issues. These issues can include income available for support as well as division of assets and debts in complex cases. A Special Master can often assist in informing both parties of the law and what a settlement would be in accord with the law which can greatly help in a final settlement. In addition, a Special Master can meet with the parties individually and together. While a Judge will not meet with the parties and only rule in Court.
Private Judge: A Private Judge is normally a retired Judge. JAMS is a company which provides retired Judges for cases. This resource can allow the parties, as with a Special Master, the opportunity to speak with the Judge directly.
Attorneys: An attorney, who is experienced in family law, can also help you. While you and your spouse are unique, the law which applies to your case is the same. An experienced family law attorney can calculate guideline child and spousal support for you so that you will know what amount a Judge will consider and this may help settle your case. It may be preferable to choose an attorney who appears in the same court house and before the same Judge as your family law case is set.HOW CAN A SAN DIEGO LAW FIRM HELP YOU?
The law firm of Doppelt & Forney, APLC can help you with strategies and resources for your family law case. Please feel free to call to schedule your free 30 minute consultation which is confidential whether you hire or not.