Understanding the Attorney-Assisted Divorce Option

Often times attorneys consult with prospective clients who have very limited funds to expend on their divorce case, who are only interested in receiving minimal assistance with their divorce case or perhaps just need help getting started. An Attorney-Assisted Divorce provides the option for clients to receive top-notch legal consultation, advice and document preparation while saving the most amount of money possible. Bickford Blado & Botros now offer an Attorney-Assisted Divorce option.

Attorney-Assisted Divorce differs from traditional attorney representation in two main ways: 1) the amount/type of services provided and 2) the cost. Attorney-Assisted Divorce is a unique form of “consulting” based legal services in which the attorney merely advises the client, helps correct legal paperwork and oversees the divorce process. The attorney will not appear on behalf of the client in court proceedings nor be available on a constant basis for phone calls and emails from the client. Since Attorney-Assisted Divorce does not involve formal representation, there is no retainer or hourly rates. Rather, the client is charged a flat fee for particular services.

For instance, if you are at the beginning stages of your divorce, an Attorney-Assisted Divorce package may consist of the following:

1. The client will first have a free 30 minute confidential consultation with a highly experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney to determine eligibility for the attorney-assisted divorce option and the scope of the case;

2. The paralegal will prepare your Petition/Response, preliminary disclosure documents, and, if there are minor children, a UCCJEA form. All of these documents will then be reviewed by one of the attorneys;

3. The paralegal will file your Petition or Response in court;

4. The paralegal or attorney will inform you on how to serve your spouse or offer for you to use our process server; and
5. If the client and his/her spouse agree on all of their issues, a Marital Settlement Agreement can be prepared for an additional fee.

Going through a divorce can be a complicated yet expensive process. Thus, many individuals appreciate the option to get advice and oversight from an attorney and also get the necessary paperwork and documentation completed all for a flat fee. In addition, many clients appreciate not having to endure the long lines, congestion and potential rejection notices that often come with simply going through the Family Law Facilitator’s Office. However, the client must understand and be comfortable with representing himself/herself. The client’s name will still appear on all of the paperwork as a self-represented litigant to indicate that he/she is not being represented by an attorney, despite the fact that the attorney may be assisting with preparation of documents and filing within the appropriate court.

If you are interested in the Attorney-Assisted Divorce process and would like to get more information or proceed with your case, please contact Bickford Blado & Botros at (858) 793-8884 to schedule a free consultation. Also, for additional information regarding the Attorney-Assisted Divorce option please see our FAQ page. Attorney Nancy J Bickford, Esq. is the only divorce lawyer in Del Mar representing clients, who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS). Nancy J. Bickford also has experienced and knowledgeable paralegals available to help with your Attorney-Assisted Divorce.



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