Frequently Asked Questions...
Why would anyone want to settle with an opposing party?
Coming to an agreement with the opposing party in your civil or domestic proceeding can save you time, money, and the stress that accompanies the long and expensive experience. An amicable scenario almost always yields better outcomes than a hostile one.
Does the fact that my ex cheated on me affect child custody or child support?
Because California is a no fault state, in a divorce case, the court will not blame or penalize either party for cheating.
Does a new spouse’s income affect the amount of child support ordered?
When determining the amount of child support your ex-spouse should pay, your new spouse’s income is not taken into calculation. However, when filling out your Income and Expense Report, there will be questions which ask who you live, whether or not these people contribute to expenses, and how much.
How are the services that DIY legal sites offers any different than that of an attorney?
Fast and cheap is not always the best route to go. Whether you wish to form a business, create a will, or draft a prenuptial agreement, a local attorney can complete your documents no matter how complex and fact-specific your particular situation. Most importantly, an attorney will ensure that you completely understand everything by taking the time to explain and educate.
What are my options if I cannot afford an attorney?
In domestic and civil matters, there is no equivalent to a public defender or district attorney as in criminal law. The costs of legal representation relating to domestic and civil cases can be very costly. Your first option would be to seek an attorney who is willing to work on your case pro-bono, meaning at no charge. A second option is to seek an attorney who is willing to work on your case lo-bono, meaning at a much-discounted rate. Many local bar associations have a program that puts clients in contact with attorneys who are willing to work lo-bono. Finally, most attorneys offer a free initial consultation at which point you may be able to discuss any payment plans they may offer.
What is a retainer and is it mandatory?
A retainer is a lump sum payment upfront from a client to an attorney to ensure payment towards the legal services rendered to the client. As the attorney charges the client hourly, it will be charged against the retainer. When the attorney has completed the work sought, any unused balance will be credited back to the client. Depending on the legal matter at issue, different attorneys charge clients in different ways (i.e. contingency, hourly, flat)