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Divorce Legal Fee Saver Tip #3:

Save a Bundle of Legal Fees
With Unbundled Representation

There’s something really special about sitting beside your lawyer in a courtroom waiting for your case to be called while the clock ticks away dollars from your wallet into your lawyer’s. And it’s especially painful if you’re waiting for something like a status conference that you could have handled (with a few minutes’ worth of legal advice) yourself.

“Unbundled representation,” also known as “discrete task” or “limited scope” representation allows you do to that, by “unbundling” tasks for which you most need a lawyer and paying only for those.  

Divorce Legal Fee Saver #2

Saving Attorneys’ Fees in Divorce:
Pay Less with Good Timing

If you can afford a divorce lawyer, you should hire one. There’s too much at stake and too many complexities in divorce to risk “winging it” without expert advice. However, you can save some money by delaying hiring a lawyer while you take care of some things yourself. Here are some tasks you can probably handle without a lawyer’s help:

  • File for divorce yourself using forms available on your state’s court system website
  • Use a certified divorce planner or certified divorce financial analyst who charge substantially less than lawyers, to
    • Help you organize your financial paperwork

DIVORCE LEGAL FEE SAVER #1

What your divorce lawyer’s hourly rate doesn’t tell you

Q: When does a 3-minute call from a divorce lawyer who charges $300 per hour cost MORE than the same call from a lawyer who charges $400/hr.?

A: When the $300/hr. lawyer charges in increments of 2/10 of an hour, and the $400/hr. lawyer charges in 1/10 increments.

Wait… WHAT?

The great majority of divorce lawyers charge by the hour, or portions (“increments”) thereof. Hourly rates depend on factors such as expertise, reputation, geographical location… and maybe how much they’re shelling out for their kids’ college educations.

Your Kids’ 4 Divorce Must-Haves

Using Mindful Parenting to Respond to Children’s Greatest Needs

Among the most frequently asked questions by new divorce clients is: “Will my kids be okay?”

The answer is that whether the children do well or poorly depends largely upon whether the adults act appropriately.   
Easy to say; not so easy for the adults to accomplish.

Good, mindful divorce parenting requires you to conscientiously and thoughtfully address your kids’ needs at a time when their world has been turned upside down. The problem is that your world is in turmoil as well.

CUSTODY BATTLE MYTH #8: “Not everything about the custody process is bad—it’s better than lawyers doing it all behind closed doors.”

This is the final myth David & Laura Sherwood voice to rationalize their custody case in the custody film Talk to Strangers. They are about to learn that for their kids, everything about the custody case IS bad.

In the “exit interview,” with the fictional filmmaker, Laura dials back her initial confidence, conceding that the custody evaluation process was “a little more difficult than I expected” (19:56). The demands of that process interfere with the kids’ activities such as nine-year-old Nick’s football practice (04:47) and twelve-year-old Emily’s participation in an advanced ballet class that she fears will be jeopardized by a conflicting appointment with the psychological evaluator (8:09; 09:56).

CUSTODY BATTLE MYTH #7 “Judges protect children.”

This is 1 of 8 myths voiced by parents David & Laura Sherwood to rationalize their custody battle in #TalktoStrangersFilm. It reflects the parents’ sincere though misguided confidence in their ability to protect 9-year-old Nicholas and 12-year-old Emily during the custody case.

As with all the myths that the parents articulate in the opening sequence, the statement that judges protect children from emotional harm during divorce seems, at first blush, reasonable enough. But the fact is that judges generally aren’t involved in custody cases until trial. That’s too late to prevent the harm the custody evaluation process can do to children.

CUSTODY BATTLE MYTH #6: “The custody evaluation process is designed to protect children and is implemented by professionals acting on the children’s behalf.”

This is one of eight myths voiced by parents David & Laura Sherwood to rationalize their custody battle in #TalktoStrangersFilm, reflecting their misguided belief that they and the court system can protect their children.

Contrary to the assertion by David (02:35)[1], the custody evaluation process is NOT designed to protect children. It is designed to gather information for the court.  In the process, it intrudes upon children’s lives, invades their privacy and increases their anxiety.

CUSTODY BATTLE MYTH #5 "Kids want to be heard, and the custody process gives them that opportunity."

This is 1 of 8 myths voiced by parents David & Laura Sherwood to rationalize their custody battle in #TalktoStrangersFilm. It reflects the parents’ sincere though misguided confidence in their ability to protect 9-year-old Nicholas and 12-year-old Emily during the custody case.

Like the other myths Mom and Dad articulate, this one contains a kernel of truth—but only a kernel—and is ultimately dispelled as the story unfolds.

Custody Battle Myth #4: “With divorce so common, “the children won’t be embarrassed by ours.”

This is the 4th of 8 myths voiced by parents David and Laura Sherwood in #TalktoStrangersFilm to rationalize their custody litigation. As the story proceeds, we  see how much the kids are humiliated and compromised by the process.

Nick is humiliated at being taken off the football field by Laura to meet with the attorney for the minor children (04:47) [1] , and again when he returns to try on the last team jersey left, which is ridiculously large (07:30). We also see Nick trying to conceal a stuffed animal from Family Services Officer Ms. Castillo during her home visit (13:21).  Even courthouse security procedures cause Emily discomfiture (15:30).

Settle Your Case Quicker and Cheaper with Empathy

Fifty years ago, a song called “What the World Needs Now Is Love” assured us that love was the only thing the world needed more of.

Not to nitpick, but love isn’t the only thing the world has too little of. These days, it seems there’s an increasingly short supply of empathy as well. And lack of empathy can be a serious hindrance to settling your case, whether you choose ADR or a court-based divorce.