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When Should You not Hire or Hire an Attorney for Your Paternity, Legal Separation or Divorce in San Diego: 2015

WHEN CAN YOU NOT HIRE AN ATTORNEY AND TRY AND DO IT YOURSELF?

One example would be if your case falls within the guideline for a summary divorce in San Diego. The factors include marriage of less than 10 years, no minor children, no spousal support, no real property and others. In addition to all of the legal mandatory requirements, you will both need to agree to all and cooperate in the signing of the necessary pleadings. One example would be if you do have issues of support or custody and visitation or real property and others but you and your spouse or other parent can agree on all and will follow the mandatory requirements for obtaining the judgment. Even in these cases, however, it is advisable to use an attorney if you can since the forms can be complicated and the process as well. There have been cases in San Diego County where parents or spouses believed that their judgment was entered when it was not. If the parties were never married [as in a paternity case] and no judgment, this could affect inheritance rights or other government benefits. If the parties were married [as in a divorce or legal separation] and no judgment and one of the parties remarries, then the subsequent marriage is void as of law and this can create many problems. Knowingly remarrying before your divorce judgment is entered is a felony in the State of California: bigamy.

WHAT FACTORS WOULD REQUIRE YOU TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR YOUR DIVORCE, PATERNITY OR LEGAL SEPARATION CASE IN SAN DIEGO SUPERIOR COURT?

Factors which would lead to hiring an attorney include disputes regarding your parenting plan. Filing a motion [request for order] and making sure the pleadings are correct and service can be difficult for those not knowledgeable about family law. The mediation process with family court services can be daunting and preparing for your hearing, let alone presenting your legal theories and position to the Judge, can be most complex. The Court has mandatory forms and requirements and not following these can result in a denial of your request for a parenting plan even if the law favors your position. Child support calculations are run on the Disso Master program. If you do not have this program, you may not know what the California amount would be. This makes it hard to determine whether you should settle or litigate. There are also circumstances which would allow for a deviation from guideline and some are mandatory add ons. For example, you can ask for an order which divides the payment of uncovered, unreimbursed counseling, medical, dental and orthodontic however there are procedures under the law for payment and reimbursement. Not following these requirements may result in the denial of a payment or reimbursement even though you would have been entitled to this under the law. Division of assets and debts, while clearly one half each from date of marriage through date of separation, also have some variations. For example, a spouse can ask for a separate property reimbursement under some circumstances and not all student loans are divided one half each.

HOW CAN A LOCAL SAN DIEGO LAW FIRM HELP YOU WITH YOUR PENDING FAMILY LAW CASE?

Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a local San Diego law firm with experience representing clients in family law cases. An attorney can advise you of your rights [and responsibilities] under the law. A free in-person or virtual consultation up to 30 minutes is confidential whether you hire or not. Feel free to call the firm for an appointment for you legal representation in San Diego Superior Court whether a divorce, legal separation or paternity.

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