The Different Kinds of Divorce

The Different Kinds of Divorce

The field of family law is evolving. Every family has options when it comes to moving through the divorce process. While the decision should be made on a case-by-case basis, with not every case best situated for a particular process, it’s important that families know they have options. 

Everything I chat about is legal education and information, not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. I am a licensed attorney in the State of California, but I am not your attorney unless a written Retainer Agreement exists with Nicole Cheri Oden Law. You should consult an attorney in your area to make sure you’re taking the right steps for you and your family.

can i file for divorce online

Litigation.

When people hear the word “divorce,” they typically think of litigation (i.e., the Court-based contentious process with the Judge making the decisions). Litigation can be both emotionally and financially draining. 

In litigation, parties can file motions with the Court and seek temporary orders (such as spousal support, child support, restraining orders, attorney’s fees and costs, etc.) for relief pending a final trial. A typical litigated divorce can take between 6 months and 1 day to 5 years, although the various California counties attempt to process divorces within 2 years.

And there are some situations where this type of divorce is necessary. However, 95% of family law cases settle before they reach trial. There are other options.

Limited Scope Representation. 

In Limited Scope Representation (or Unbundled Legal Services), an attorney handles only portions of your divorce (while the you handles the other portions).  Think a la carte menu.

Limited Scope Counsel can act as Consulting Counsel to assist a party in mediation or a Collaborative Law matter.

Limited Scope Counsel can also:

  • Draft pleadings, 
  • Assist with settlement negotiations, 
  • Offer legal strategy and hearing preparation, 
  • Appear for specified court-appearances, or
  • Handle a particular issue (such as property division while you handles child custody, as an example).

Collaborative Law.

The Collaborative Law process is an out of court option that uses a team-based approach. The parties commit to the process by executing a written agreement that indicates they will use good faith in negotiations and disclose all relevant documents and information. 

Each party is represented by collaboratively-trained counsel. Other members of the team may be a:

  • Financial Neutral (accountant or financial advisor to help provide a clear picture of the family’s finances, which is especially helpful for complex estates);
  • Communications Coach (mental health professional for support in having hard conversations); or
  • Child Specialist (mental health professional for assistance with parenting plans).

The Collaborative Law process can be cheaper than traditional litigation – unless the parties decide to pursue litigation. The hallmark of the Collaborative Law process is if either party resorts to the traditional litigated model, Collaborative counsel must withdraw and the parties must retain new counsel (the exclusionary provision of the Collaborative Agreement).

Cooperative.

The cooperative process can be similar to Collaborative Law BUT with the option of court intervention if negotiations are at a standstill (and without the exclusionary provision).

A cooperative case can involve a team or be structured as lawyer to lawyer negotiations.

Mediation.

Mediation is an out of court option that features a neutral facilitator.

The most common misconception about mediation is that the mediator acts as an attorney for both parties. She or he doesn’t. The mediator educates about common court practices and general family law principles and facilitates discussion between the parties. 

The mediator does not make decisions, but guides the couple to make their own decisions. 

Mediation can result in a resolution that is both faster and more cost effective. And it allows both parties to be in control of the final outcome. HOWEVER, for mediation to be successful the couple must be reasonable and able to compromise.

Divorce is not black and white. Every family is different. So, choosing a divorce process that makes the most sense for your particular situation is an important conversation to have with your family law attorney.

If you’re ready to chat about process for your divorce case in the state of California, schedule a consultation here

This post is an attorney communication under Rule 1-400 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California and Business and Professions Code Sections 6157-6159.2.

Limited Scope or Unbundled Legal Services for Your Divorce

Limited Scope or Unbundled Legal Services for Your Divorce

The thought of handling your divorce may seem overwhelming and confusing. 

Many people think they either have to hire an attorney to handle their entire case or represent themselves. Hiring an attorney can be expensive, but having legal guidance throughout the divorce process can make a noticeable difference in the outcome. 

Still, approximately two-thirds of family law court filings in California are submitted by those representing themselves.

 Judicial Council of California, Statewide Action Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants (Feb. 2004).

As a limited scope attorney offering unbundled legal services, Nicole Cheri Oden Law offers an additional option for family law litigants.

Please note that everything I chat about is legal education and information, not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. I am a licensed attorney in the State of California, but I am not your attorney unless a written Retainer Agreement exists with Nicole Cheri Oden Law. You should consult an attorney in your area to make sure you’re taking the right steps for you and your family.

limited scope representation divorce

What is Limited Scope Representation (or Unbundled Legal Services)

Limited Scope Representation, or Unbundled Legal Services, is an alternative to full-scope representation. 

Instead of handling every aspect of your divorce case, the attorney handles only certain parts of the case while you remain responsible for the others, like an ala carte menu. This allows you to benefit from the legal expertise of an attorney while only paying for the services you need most. 

What are the Different Types of Unbundled Legal Services?

A limited scope attorney can:

Provide specific legal advice and strategy. Your limited scope attorney can answer any questions that arise during the family law process in terms of your specific situation and provide customized guidance and options that help you move toward your goals in a strategic manner.

Offer legal coaching. Family law matters involve intense emotion and uncertainty. Negotiating for yourself can be intimidating or difficult. A limited scope attorney can help put your mind at ease to help you feel more confident and prepared by providing insight on courtroom procedure and behaviors.

Review documents. Pleadings, financial disclosures, and settlement agreements can be confusing to prepare and understand. A limited scope attorney can review the paperwork to ensure that all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed to ensure there are no misunderstandings or potentially costly mistakes.

Draft legal documents. A limited scope attorney can also prepare pleadings, financial disclosures, and settlement agreements on your behalf

Advise you during mediation. If you have chosen to mediate your case with your spouse, the mediator is a neutral facilitator who is unable to provide you specific legal advice. Your limited scope attorney can act as a consultant and do all of the aforementioned during your mediation process.

Make a limited appearance. If you have a hearing, settlement conference, or trial set, your limited scope attorney can make the appearance on your behalf.

The divorce process can seem daunting, but enlisting a limited scope attorney to provide unbundled legal services can be a tremendous help. 

If you’d like to explore whether unbundling legal services would be a good fit for your divorce case, you can book a consultation here

This post is an attorney communication under Rule 1-400 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California and Business and Professions Code Sections 6157-6159.2.

What are the benefits of hiring a virtual law firm?

What are the benefits of hiring a virtual law firm?

In today’s day and age, you have more options to work with an attorney than just the traditional stuffy law firm environment.

Case in point? The virtual law firm.

what is a virtual law office

A virtual law firm has no brick and mortar location but instead attorneys work remotely to deliver services using teleconference and videoconference communication software and cloud-based operations. Virtual law firms are redefining the legal landscape, creating a win-win for attorneys and clients alike. 

This set-up results in:

Less overhead costs. 

Lean operations means more competitive fee structures with the same high quality legal service so that you don’t have to break the bank to cover your legal bases. 

Easier access to an attorney. 

This less traditional attorney’s office set-up provides more flexibility to communicate with you around your schedule which ultimately results in better legal service.

Increased confidence. 

The atmosphere is less stuffy, formal, and nerve-wracking. And you have confidence in knowing your matter has an attorney’s attention. 

Entrepreneurial agility. 

While traditional firms are slow to adapt, a virtual practice provides flexibility that allows us to be more agile to keep up with our clients’ needs.

virtual law firm

Nicole Cheri Oden Law is a virtual firm, offering family law and contract law services. If you are looking to hire a California attorney who can leverage technology while remaining attune to your needs, please schedule a consultation.

This post is legal education and information, not legal, business, or financial advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. I am a licensed attorney in the State of California, but I am not your attorney unless a written Retainer Agreement exists with Nicole Cheri Oden Law. You should consult an attorney in your area to make sure you’re taking the right steps for you.

This post is an attorney communication under Rule 1-400 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California and Business and Professions Code Sections 6157-6159.2.