Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer or Should You Hire a Mediator for Your Paternity, Divorce or Legal Separation Case in San Diego in 2015?
If you can reach a full agreement, you may be able to use a mediator to prepare the full and complete agreement. This means you have no disagreements on custody, visitation, division of assets, division of debts, spousal support, child support or anything else for the family law case. Before you sign any legally binding agreement, or any writing concerning the disposition of your case, you are advised to seek expert advice since you may not know what the law would accord you. Sometimes spouses and parents enter into agreements not knowing the law and find out later that they would have benefitted financially by thousands of dollars and then it is too late to change. Before you agree, make sure you are making an informed and intelligent decision.SECOND, DO THE ISSUES IN YOUR CASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: CHILD SUPPORT; ALIMONY; PARENTING PLAN DIVISION OF ASSETS OR DIVISION OF DEBTS?
While you are a unique individual as are your spouse or other parent and/or child or children, the law which applies to your case in San Diego Superior Court is the same. Whether you can be self represented, use a mediator or hire an attorney will be determined [in large part] by the issues presented in your case and their complexity. For example, if you disagree on the parenting plan and each want the child or children to live with them, this will make the case more complicated and less likely you can handle competently yourself however you may be able to resolve through the mandatory court ordered mediator at Family Court Services. If you disagree on the support amounts, whether child or alimony, can you both agree to the income and other information which is used in the disso master [computer program approved by State of California for child and spousal support] or are there disagreements as to the income information? Are either of you claiming separate property reimbursements or other reimbursements or do you agree all assets are community property? If your case involves all issues above, then it will make the case more complicated.THIRD, DO THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE ALLOW YOU TO FILE A SUMMARY DISSOLUTION?
A summary dissolution is only available in limited circumstances and requires a full agreement of the parties. This is limited to marriages of less than five years with no minor children and other mandatory requirements. Be sure to check carefully, before starting a summary dissolution, that your facts will allow this procedure and you do not need a “non summary” dissolution. You do not want to have to do your case “twice”.FOURTH, WOULD USING THE SAME ATTORNEY FOR BOTH PARTIES AS A MEDIATOR BENEFIT YOU?
There are benefits to using the same attorney as mediator. First, both parties have to pay for only one attorney and not two. Second, using a mediator may reduce the tension and conflict. Third, having only one attorney will make it easier to schedule meeting.FIFTH, WOULD YOUR HIRING YOUR OWN ATTORNEY BENEFIT YOU?
There are benefits to hiring your own attorney. First, your attorney only has your best interests and your goals. Second, your attorney can try and maximize any settlement for your benefit. Third, you will be able to discuss all issues confidentially and have your own representation.HOW CAN A SAN DIEGO LOCAL LAW FIRM HELP YOU WITH YOUR PENDING FAMILY LAW CASE?
Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a local San Diego law firm which can help you with your pending family law case. They offer a free in-person or virtual consultation up to thirty minutes at their office which is private and confidential whether or not you retain their firm to represent you.