2016: Representing San Diego Attorneys in a Paternity, Divorce or Legal Separation

SHOULD A SAN DIEGO LAWYER REPRESENT THEMSELVES IN THEIR PENDING LEGAL SEPARATION, DIVORCE OR PATERNITY CASE?

An old, but true, saying is that a lawyer who represents themselves has a fool for a client. This is especially true in a lawyer representing themselves in a family law case whether this is a divorce, legal separation or paternity. Emotions run very high in these cases and objective advice is never more needed than in these cases. It is almost impossible to be objective in analyzing your own case. In addition, since these are adversarial cases which involved where your children will live and how much spousal and/or child support will be paid, these can become very complicated and contentious. It is not advisable for an attorney to handle their own family law case for many reasons. The Law Office of Doppelt & Forney, APLC has represented attorneys in family law cases in San Diego Superior Court.

WHAT ISSUES WILL A SAN DIEGO ATTORNEY NEED TO ADDRESS IN THEIR PENDING FAMILY LAW CASE?

Lawyers face the same issues and challenges as other family law litigants. These include the parenting plan for legal and physical custody including decision making and where the children will live. Also included are support issues: both spousal and child. There can be some complicating factors for support as many attorneys are self employed or have an ownership interest in the firm they work for. If this is correct, then there may be an issue as to valuation of the firm or practice for community property division purposes. For many self employed attorneys, the firm has no community property value since the only value of the firm is the work and resulting income from the efforts of the attorney. For some lawyers, however, they may have an ownership interest [as a partner for example] and this may have a value for the family law case. All liabilities and obligations are also considered in the valuation process. This can be a contentious issue since the non attorney spouse may believe that the practice is worth a lot more than what a family law court would value. This can lead to very expensive valuations of the firm but sometimes this is the only option if there is a disagreement. The Law Office of Doppelt & Forney, APLC has experience in firm valuation and other issues which attorneys face in a divorce.

HOW IS FAMILY LAW COURT DIFFERENT THAN OTHER COURTS?

Attorneys practice in many areas of the law. Some lawyers go to court and some are transactional. Some attorneys work in administrative law and agencies. Family law is different in many respects. First, of course, there are no juries. A Judge decides and only option is a bench trial. Second, hearsay can be admissible in family law court if on a declaration judicial council form. Third, the burden of proof is often preponderance of the evidence and not a much higher standard. Fourth, due the fiduciary relationship between spouses, there is mandatory self disclosure in the schedule of assets and debts and income and expense declaration. Discovery, as in civil cases, can be utilized such as written interrogatories, production of documents, requests for admissions and others however the preliminary declarations of disclosure are mandatory. The Law Office of Doppelt & Forney, APLC can assist with discovery, including depositions and subpoenas, as needed.

HOW CAN A LOCAL LAW FIRM HELP YOU AS A LAWYER?

The Law Office of Doppelt & Forney, APLC is located in Rancho Bernardo and the attorneys service all of the court houses in San Diego County. A free consultation is offered up to 30 minutes in their office in which you can discuss your case in confidence. Attorneys are welcome!

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Thank you for your time and energy on this case, you took so much of the worry away from me! I appreciate all of your help. I will use and recommend you to other in the future.
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I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
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I wanted to say how much I appreciate your help and advice in regards to my name change. Your assistance during this time has been invaluable. Thank you again. M.J.
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