Thomas Ferreira here, your top-flight divorce lawyer and mediator serving Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and surrounding cities. I’ve had some experiences lately that have moved me to write about how to save costly attorney’s fees and confrontation in court. Here’s a hint: usually it’s best not to hire the most aggressive divorce attorney in town, or the one who vows to “protect your rights.” Many divorce attorneys are more than willing to fight your ex with every last drop of your resources.
Here’s some sage advice: If you’re trying to save money, avoid grief and stay out of court as much as possible, it’s usually better to choose a lawyer committed to cooperation, problem solving and mediation. It’s best to have a conversation about your divorce with your soon-to-be-ex before you go to a lawyer. If you can’t agree on anything else, agree that you’ll submit your case to an attorney mediator, or at the very least that each of you will hire settlement-oriented lawyers, rather than the “I’ll fight for you” lawyers.
Here’s an iron-clad rule of family law and child custody: cooperation in your case always sinks to the level of the most aggressive attorney. Think about it. Your soon-to-be-ex hires Dewey, Cheetam and Howe to be her divorce attorneys. You can expect that you’ll find out about the litigation via a process server, who will ruin your Saturday afternoon gardening or ball game by serving, not only a Petition for divorce and a Summons to court, but also a court date for motions. Expect to answer written questions (“interrogatories”) under penalty of perjury and also expect a demand for 3 years worth of monthly bank statements, credit card statements, deeds, mortgage statements, e-mail transmissions, Facebook accounts and any other type of document they can dream up.
And, expect them to make life difficult at every turn, by filing motions for every little disagreement, refusing to change a motion date when you’ll be out of town, extending deadlines or agreeing to waive certain nagging procedural rules. If you want something, you can be sure that Dewey, et al will demand if for their client. Expect to have everyting you say twisted beyond recognition and then used against you.
If you have this situation, my condolences. Call me immediately, as California Legislature has declared its preference for amicable tactics (see Family Code section 271), and there are ways to counter unreasonable tactics if we act quickly and decisively.
But, it’s better to do things the easy way! You may ask, why not sit down with your soon-to-be-ex and work out how you’ll share the children, how you’ll divide the assets and debts, and how you’ll handle support? This is how mediation works. You and your spouse come in, and we’ll have 2 sessions where we facilitate a discussion on how you’ll share child-raising, how you’ll divide up your assets, and how you’ll survive during the process, and long after it’s over.
And, we’ll save you 90 percent of what the aggressive lawyer would charge, get you court orders you can live with and keep you from ever setting foot in a courtroom.
Give me a call or send me an e-mail if you think mediation will work for you. Or, call for an immediate consultation if your’re facing the lawyer from hell. Until then, I remain …
Very truly yours,
Thomas D. Ferreira, Esq.
Disclaimer: Thomas D. Ferreira is an attorney licensed only in the State of California. The information set forth in this blog or on our websites are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor are they intended as legal advice on your specific matter. This information is not intended to apply to cases or jurisdictions outside the State of California, and those viewing this information outside of California, or having business before jurisdictions outside of California, should consult a local professional or lawyer. The information in this blog is not a substitute for the advice of competent counsel, and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the results of your legal matter.