Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Advice on opening a California divorce case

A friend wants to get divorced and I've gotten enough exposu trickydick04/19/17
He may not be your friend after you represent him. Nature of adamb04/19/17
It's more of a casual acquaintance so I don't really care. B trickydick04/19/17
...If it's an uncontested default judgment, why does he even flo2017bartkr04/22/17
Be careful. Many divorces that start out simple can develop elle30104/19/17
Time to talk specifics. You can do a limited scope on a flat cocolawyer04/20/17
Hi Coco. Can you please email me your standard MSA? My throw guyingorillasuit04/20/17
Sure will send it over in a bit. cocolawyer04/21/17
Email bounced...bad address. cocolawyer04/21/17
Sorry, it's gigsjdu@outlook.com. guyingorillasuit04/21/17
Be careful in the following cases: 1) One or both parties ow guyingorillasuit04/20/17
trickydick (Apr 19, 2017 - 6:04 pm)

A friend wants to get divorced and I've gotten enough exposure to family law cases to feel like I may be able to handle this if I can do it as an uncontested default dissolution. Assuming I can, what can I charge for something like that? I can get a template retainer off the State Bar website, but are there any particular provisions I may want to include that you only learn about after a few years of practice?

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adamb (Apr 19, 2017 - 6:31 pm)

He may not be your friend after you represent him. Nature of the beast.

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trickydick (Apr 19, 2017 - 7:01 pm)

It's more of a casual acquaintance so I don't really care. Besides, if it's an uncontested default judgment, there shouldn't be anything to cry over. I figure if they don't own a house or other real estate and they don't have kids, it could be a relatively bloodless affair I can take care of within a year.

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flo2017bartkr (Apr 22, 2017 - 8:41 am)

...If it's an uncontested default judgment, why does he even need an attorney?

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elle301 (Apr 19, 2017 - 7:49 pm)

Be careful. Many divorces that start out simple can develop complications really quickly.

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cocolawyer (Apr 20, 2017 - 8:12 pm)

Time to talk specifics. You can do a limited scope on a flat fee basis or a replenishing retainer. If you do the flat fee be very specific that you are doing "paperwork only" and are not the attorney of record. If this is the case you can do it for $3,000.00. If you are doing a replenishing retainer and you are the attorney of record do it for $5,000.00.

The reason why you need that protection is that in my experience non-contested cases often evolve into contested cases. If the case is contested the case could end up being several thousand more then expected. If you have an email address I can email you a standard retainer and MSA (you will need it).

Here is the standard forms you will need:

1. Open the case: FL-100, 110, 105 (if children). Be specific on the community property and separate property portion. Don't be the average loser who just recites the family code...which potentially could lead to malpractice.

2. Do disclosures: FL-142, 140, 150 and file your 141 with the court. Again be specific as failure to do so could lead to a fiduciary breach of duties claim and failure to completely disclose. Mired with possible malpractice. I would also suggest to mail a demand for compliance with Family Code Section 2104 and a date production of disclosures are due.

3. After 31 days from service file your notice of default.

4. Once you have gotten disclosures, and got a settlement offer look at FL-182 for all Judicial Form Requirements for judgement. You may have some local forms too.

God Speed to you!

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guyingorillasuit (Apr 20, 2017 - 11:01 pm)

Hi Coco. Can you please email me your standard MSA? My throwaway is gigsjdu@live.com. I would appreciate it.

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cocolawyer (Apr 21, 2017 - 4:21 pm)

Sure will send it over in a bit.

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cocolawyer (Apr 21, 2017 - 4:59 pm)

Email bounced...bad address.

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guyingorillasuit (Apr 21, 2017 - 6:24 pm)

Sorry, it's gigsjdu@outlook.com.

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guyingorillasuit (Apr 20, 2017 - 10:57 pm)

Be careful in the following cases: 1) One or both parties own a business; 2) One or both of them own a home; 3) There is unvested deferred comp - options or RSUs; 4) retirement accounts need to be split. If any of these situations exist, post on here.

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