Category Archive: Tips for Self-Represented Parties

Tips and advice for those who are handling their own divorce cases without a lawyer

Feb 02

CAN THE COURT REALLY HELP? SAGE WISDOM FROM YOUR CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER AND MEDIATOR

I see it all the time—someone goes into family court for a solution to their problem, and finds that everything is worse after the hearing than it was before. If you need proof, go and watch any Request for Order calendar at your local California Superior Court’s family division. This is not to disparage our …

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Jan 18

TWO STEPS TO GET ANY SPOUSE INTO DIVORCE MEDIATION (NO MATTER HOW RELUCTANT THEY ARE)

If you are a regular reader of this blog you already know the value of divorce mediation, as compared to plunking down a big retainer for a divorce lawyer, trying to DIY it or burying your head in the sand. “But,” you say, “you’ll never get him in to mediation.”  Or, “there’s no way I …

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Aug 18

WHAT TO DO WHEN HE/SHE WON’T PAY THE CHILD SUPPORT: A CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE

After a brief detour last week, here is my next installment in my series on child support.  Many of you out there owe some child support arrears.  Many of you have a court order for child support, but the other parent just won’t pay. There are some parents who spend more than half their waking …

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Jul 26

CALCULATING CHILD SUPPORT FROM THE SUPPORTED PARENT’S POINT OF VIEW

Last week I discussed child support arguments from the payer’s perspective.  But what about the struggling parent who is charged with caring for the child and providing financially?  What about daycare and medical care?  Am I entitled to help with ball shoes, or clothes, or fees for extracurricular activities? To reiterate what I told the …

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Jul 19

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE A CHILD SUPPORT PAYOR: SAGE ADVICE FROM A CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER

Last week I gave you some basics on child support, so that you can understand what you’re up against.  I talked about the origin of the current confiscatory child support rates in the politics of bashing the so-called dead-beat dads.  But here’s the irony:  the divorce system tends to split up families without requiring the …

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Jul 15

WHAT PARENTS MUST UNDERSTAND ABOUT CHILD SUPPORT: A CARLSBAD DIVORCE LAWYER’S PERSPECTIVE

Thomas Ferreira, your child custody and divorce lawyer and mediator in Carlsbad, California, here.  Today I want to talk about child support. Have you ever been laying awake at night wondering how much you’re going to have to pay in child support?  Or perhaps you’ve done some child support calculations and you’re wondering how to …

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Jun 16

DIVORCE NEGOTIATION SECRET NUMBER 5: The Power of Trust

As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.—Mahatma Gandhi Today’s is a low trust world.  That’s why there’s so much bullying, fighting and litigation.  Don’t you wish you could live in a better world?  You can.  I’ve seen it happen in divorce cases over and over …

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Jun 07

DIVORCE NEGOTIATION SECRET NUMBER FOUR: Avoiding the “A” Bomb

Thomas Ferreira here for this installment of my five secrets to successful divorce negotiation.  Today I want to talk about dropping the “A” bomb.  The “A” stands for “attribution.”  Dropping an attribution can produce a 5 megaton explosion guaranteed to blow up your negotiations. How many of you have been trying to influence someone, and …

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Jun 01

DIVORCE NEGOTIATION SECRET NUMBER THREE: The Curiosity Stance

May 25

FIVE SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION. Secret 2: The Magic of Converting Positions to Interests

May 10

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ATTORNEY (IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK).

How to Find the Right Attorney – It’s Not What You Think The usual attorney sales pitch starts and ends with the attorney’s credentials, the attorney’s education and attorney’s accomplishments.  It proceeds through a proven sales formula involving fear of loss, a fear that is already front and center for most of you. But if …

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Apr 19

SECRET NUMBER TWO FOR AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: HAVE THE CONVERSATION

Apr 12

FIRST OF FOUR SECRETS TO AN AMICABLE DIVORCE: Don’t Be a Hater.

Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer and Divorce Mediator discusses How to Have an Amicable Divorce – Don’t be a Hater Have you ever wished that your divorce case could be amicable?  That you could cut through the BS and the fighting and just get your ex to accept reason? The difficulties are structural, that is, built into …

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Mar 13

SAGE ADVICE FROM YOUR CARLSBAD DIVORCE ATTORNEY AND MEDIATOR

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 …

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Apr 03

PLAYING THE FAMILY COURT GAME TO WIN

This is Thomas Ferreira, your lawyer for child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony) and property division serving Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido, helping you and your family stay out of court,and out of the poorhouse. I also serve clients at the Riverside and Hemet courts. Picture this scenario: you come home …

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Jul 13

Proceeding Without a Lawyer: The Response

You’re watching your favorite baseball team on the TV, when suddenly there’s a knock at the door.  It’s the marshal, and he has a present for you:  your divorce papers.  There’s no need to hide from him.  It’s best to accept the inevitable and respond to the papers. In this installment of Proceeding Without a …

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Jun 14

POST-DIVORCE FINANCE AND MONEY–HAVE A PLAN

Too often I see people rush head-long into divorce without a plan.  As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst(tm), and as the office manager, co-mediator and wife (current, thankfully) of a top-notch divorce attorney and mediator, I can help you plan ahead, and make our financial transition to your post-divorce life a smooth one. At the …

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Dec 20

PROCEEDING WITHOUT A LAWYER: THE ANATOMY OF A DIVORCE PETITION

This is the second installment in the series on doing your own divorce, if you have to. In the simple case, you can prepare much of the paperwork yourself, and use a lawyer for spot services, such as preparing complex pleadings, appearing at motion hearings or preparing a marital settlement agreement. You can use a mediator to assist you in negotiations with your spouse.

To get started, click here to open the San Diego Dissolution Package. Then, click here for a sample Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, and print this out so that you can follow along. I’ll give you some tips that will prevent you from making several trips to the court clerk and getting documents returned. In later installments, I’ll cover the summons, service of papers, pre-trial motions and disclosures. You can use an attorney or contact my office if you get stuck.

Dec 02

PROCEEDING WITHOUT A LAWYER: HOW TO HAVE “THE TALK” WITH YOUR SPOUSE

This article is the first in a series of posts on what to do when you have to do it yourself. My hope is to point you, the lawyerless litigant, toward some resources that will help you to “do it yourself.” There are ways of using lawyers for “unbundled services” that can get results at relatively low cost, using the lawyer only for what’s essential.