Do It Yourself Divorce/Family Law – Free California Resources

There has been a huge upsurge in the number of people who represent themselves in their divorce and other family law cases. Those other types of Family Law cases include paternity, domestic violence, dissolution of domestic partnership, annulment and custody cases. In some California jurisdictions, 80% of the filings have at least one person who is representing themselves. To help the courts handle so many people unfamiliar with the legal system, the courts, other state agencies and some non-profit agencies have established programs to help the DIY (Do It Yourself) litigants. This article will be the first of two to refer you to those resources for California family law cases. If you must file in another state, check your state court web site, that of your state bar association and visit your local law library. You will find similar information for your state there.

The web site for the California courts is a great source of information. Remember, though, that all of the government sites provide only general information, not legal advice on how to best present your particular case and that the information is available to both sides. Keeping this proviso in mind, the official sites can be very helpful.

FORMS

The court web site offers all of the forms that are used in California. They can be viewed, printed and often may also be filled out electronically before they are printed. The site has a drop down menu which groups the forms by topics. In the “self help” section, there are some articles which tell you what forms you need specifically for different purposes, but not for all. There are many on-line businesses which also offer the forms and help you fill out the correct ones. However, they have their limitations. Besides charging money, they do not provide legal advice on what is best for you to say in your individual case. Also, they often limit their services to uncontested cases, those in which everything is settled, in which there are no disputes. If that is your case and you are willing to spend around $300 in addition to the court costs, use one of them. If there is a dispute or you don’t want to spend the money, there are other alternatives. A paragraph on the court web site reads:

Going to Court Without a Lawyer? Need Help? The California Courts Self-Help Center can help you find the right forms – and provide other assistance with your case.

THE COURT’S SELF HELP CENTER

The court’s web site is at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov. The self help center at that site has more resources than I can list here. There is a section on Links and Resources which offers dozens of pamphlets and videos on the family law court experience including how to choose the right forms, what to do with them, how to prepare the domestic violence paperwork, what to do if you are served with that paperwork, what the child support and custody mediation processes are like, and more. There is a section on Free and Low Cost Help which can’t give specific referrals, but which points you in the right direction. There are sections on Getting Ready for Court and on the court fees. Spend time here and you’ll come away with a good idea on how to proceed.

FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/lowcost/

Every California family law court has an office of the family law facilitator connected to it. Their function is to help the do it yourself, self represented client get through the court process. They help you fill out the forms, though again, without giving legal advice, and tell you how to file and serve them. Since the service is free and, given the state’s budget crisis, there may be a wait to get help. So long as you remember that their service is neutral, that it supports neither your side nor the other, that they can also help the other side, and that you don’t expect direction on the substance of your case, the facilitators are very useful.

Family law lawyers are just beginning to realize that many people either can’t afford to, or simply don’t want to retain them. People now often simply want to use an attorney as a resource to provide the legal advice that the state services cannot. Legal support, rather than legal control, is a new form of service that is just beginning to appear.

Tips for Hiring a Family Law Attorney

A family law attorney is helpful resource when it comes to legal matters concerning familial events. These lawyers handle a variety of legal cases involving marriage, minor children, and elderly parents. Some law firms specialize in one specific field of law while others represent all types of cases.

Selecting a family law attorney should be given careful consideration. This is of particular importance when retaining lawyers to represent minor children or establish guardianship for parents suffering from conditions that limit mental capacities, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

It can be beneficial to consult with three or more law firms to meet lawyers and staff members face-to-face. Clients often spend considerable time with legal counsel, so it can be helpful to work with an attorney whose persona puts them at ease.

Taking time to interview candidates can help clients select the most appropriate lawyer for the task at hand. It can also minimize the potential to change lawyers in the midst of the case.

There are many options available for finding a good attorney. Many people obtain referrals from family and friends. Others use lawyer referral networks or conduct online research. Some utilize telephone directories.

One common mistake people make is selecting lawyers based on the size of their phone book advertisement. It’s important to realize that large ads do not necessarily equate to being the best attorney.

One option for reducing time spent searching for an appropriate law firm is the American Bar Association. Although the ABA does not provide direct referrals, they do publish a list of nationwide lawyers in good standing with the organization at AmericanBar.org.

Lawyer referral networks are another option for locating family law attorneys. Some referral networks assess a fee while others offer complimentary services. It is rarely a necessity to pay anyone to assist in locating lawyers so proceed with caution when fees are assessed.

Once 3 or 4 law firms have been located it is time to setup an initial consultation. Law firms often provide complimentary meet-and-greet sessions, but some assess a nominal fee. Be certain to determine fees before making the appointment.

Ask to meet with all staff members who will work on the case. It is common practice for attorneys to enlist help from paralegals and administrative assistants to reduce legal fees. Clients should feel at ease with all staff members, but especially those whom they will work closely with.

It is important to establish legal fees before hiring law firms. Legal fees are usually based on the type of case involved. One-time events, such as drafting prenuptial agreements or filing legal name changes, are usually billed at a flat fee. Ongoing cases that require court appearances or extensive research are typically billed at an hourly rate.

Most lawyers require an upfront retainer fee for representing ongoing cases. This fee is usually around 25-percent of anticipated fees. Attorneys oftentimes require payment in full when services are rendered, while others send monthly invoices.

Clients that require payment plans must discuss terms ahead of time to ensure timely access to legal counsel. It is crucial to stay current with payments; otherwise, lawyers can refuse to provide legal counsel.

One way to reduce legal expenses is to always be organized and prepared for meetings. It is helpful to keep case documents organized in a dedicated file folder. Always keep record of phone conversations, face-to-face meetings, and email correspondence that take place with the family law lawyer and staff and retain copies of all documents related to the case.

The Role of a Family Law Solicitor

The purpose of this article is to explore the role of a Family Law Solicitor, what type of legal work they are involved in and what to look for when choosing the right Family Law Solicitor for you.

Family Law Solicitors are involved in all areas of law which concern family matters. More specifically, cases in which a Family Law Solicitor is required, include:

Cohabitation – Family Solicitors often deal with cases which have arisen as a result of cohabitation, advising their clients on their rights and what their options are if things don’t work out.

Civil Partnerships – Following the Civil Partnerships Act of 2004, same sex couples can register as Civil Partners. Family Solicitors can advise couples on this process, the legal implications of it, and also in the event that the partnership doesn’t work out.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements – Pre-nuptial agreements protect the financial interests of one or both partners within a marital agreement. Commonplace in the U.S, pre-nuptial agreements are less frequent in the U.K, where they are often difficult to enforce. A Family Solicitor will be able to advise you on whether or not your marriage is eligible for a pre-nuptial agreement, and whether or not it would stand up in court.

Separation and Divorce – When a marriage or partnership goes wrong, the first thing one should do is consult a specilaist Solicitor who will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.

Residential and Contact Arrangements for Children – When a marriage ends, custody of the children is often a contentious issue. When applying for custody, a Family Solicitor is vital to ensure that your case is represented as effectively as possible.

What to look for in a Family Law Solicitor

Due to its very nature, family law is, both mentally and emotionally, one of the most demanding areas of the legal profession. It is of paramount importance, therefore, that the Solicitor you choose has the ability to remain impartial and fully detached from your case. Before choosing a Solicitor, you should check that they are fully accredited by the Law Society, and ask for examples of similar cases to yours, where they have had success in the past. A genuine Family Solicitor will be happy to provide this.

If you’re having relationship problems, are considering a divorce, or want to know more about the legal implications of civil partnerships, see how a Family Law Solicitor could help you.  

Family Law Attorney – Their Services

This is a branch of the law that deal with domestic relations and family matters like marriage, adoption, child abuse, child abduction, property settlements, child support and visitation, and more. It is also referred to as matrimonial law. In many jurisdictions, family courts are the ones with the most-crowded court dockets. The attorney who handles these types of cases is called a family law attorney or lawyer. The main two issues that this lawyer would handle are legal separations and divorce. During these issues, the attorney would attempt to dive marital property, advocate the amount that should be paid for alimony and child support, settle child custody issues, and set visitation rights. In divorce and separation cases, each party will have their own family law attorney. If no settlement can be reached for any issues they could be taken into the court and they judge would usually issue the final order on the issues.

Adoption is another field that a family law attorney handles. The attorney will help the couple through the many steps that has to be taken in order to make the adoption legal. In every jurisdiction, the laws are different and may vary according to how old the child is. In some locations the birth parents will always retain some rights while in other jurisdictions, all of their legal parental rights have been given up completely.

Another duty that a family law attorney does is create documents to help prevent foreseeable future issues. One example is creating a prenuptial agreement that will set forth how the assets would be divided if the couple were to divorce. It could also be a post-nuptial agreement that not only how assets would be divided but also how child visitation, custody, and support should be arranged. They may also set up a trust fund in the name of children or a spouse if they have that level of expertise. In some situations, a family law attorney may have to handle criminal issues. The attorney could specialize in specific areas like domestic violence or juvenile law.

A family law attorney can work in a law firm or open their own offices. To become an attorney you will have to attend law school and then pass an exam in order to become a practicing attorney. Before going on to law school, you will have to have a high school diploma or the equivalent as long as it is jurisdiction accepted. While in college, you need to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in any major but it is helpful for preparing for a law career if it is a business major, law-related, or in political science. To help gain some experience work as a clerk or intern in a law firm that specializes in family law.

Finding One Of The Best Personal Injury Lawyers

Do you wish to find a good personal injury lawyer in Kelowna who can help you get the best possible compensation for any injury you have suffered? Accidents can happen at any time, and they can leave you with incapacitating injuries. Imagine how bad your financial situation can become if you are no longer capable of working, particularly if you cannot utilize any particular skill that you otherwise need for your work. A good personal injury lawyer will be able to ensure that you get adequate compensation for any trauma that you have suffered.

You can get injured at any place or any time due to the negligence of others. Your accident can take place at work or at leisure in the most unexpected circumstances. The problem is that you will be left to deal with the consequences in the form of medical bills and reduced ability to work for a living or to enjoy life to its fullest extent. The only way that you can get redressal is to be paid a substantial monetary compensation.

Finding the right personal injury lawyer is of the utmost importance. There are many BC injury lawyers but only a select few who can go to the greatest extent possible to secure your rights by holding the people who caused the accident to be accountable for their actions. In fact, you should start looking for the right lawyer as soon as you have the accident so that your lawyer can collect all the relevant facts of the case.

One way that you could find a good personal injury lawyer is to ask your relations, friends and co-workers for any good leads. If you are lucky you will get the contact of an attorney who can fight for your rights so that you receive your due. However, this method of looking for a good lawyer to represent you will not necessarily yield results especially if the people in your social and work circle do not have sufficient information about such matters.

One very effective way of finding a good personal injury lawyer is to use the internet. Not only will you find plenty of listings of lawyers on the internet but you will also be able to read up about them. It is important to collect as much information about a lawyer so that you are certain that they can help you get a fair deal for the stress you have suffered as a result of some other person’s carelessness.

Make sure that the personal injury lawyer you select from an internet listing has adequate experience in handling a variety of cases, and especially cases such as yours. This will ensure that there is a greater possibility of a good settlement in your favor. It is also a good idea to hire an aggressive lawyer who has the backing of a good legal team so that they can do proper research on your case and present all that facts that are in your favor. Having a good lawyer on your side will also ensure that the opposition settles the case early by offering you a good amount in compensation.

You will certainly find a good personal injury lawyer on the internet without too much trouble. This is the best way of ensuring that you get the largest amount of compensation possible within the shortest time frame. Many of these lawyers will not even charge you for an initial consultation, as a result of which you have nothing to lose. You will be able to carry on with your life with aid from a good lawyer.