By: Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Divorce Arbitrator, Mediator & Collaborative Lawyer
Divorce Month is almost here. In 2016, I saw one of the saddest, unnecessary, adversarial divorces ever. The cost in emotions, future harmony and money was enormous and unnecessary.
So again, I urge everyone who is facing divorce to consider seriously staying out of the public adversarial divorce system. It will hurt and it will hurt way into the future.
Staying out of the “system” generally means choosing one of two processes, either confidential mediation or confidential Collaborative Divorce. Take the time to read about these important confidential divorce approaches at The Three Approaches to Divorce.
If the two of you agree on only one thing, let it be that you will use confidential mediation or confidential Collaborative Divorce.
Hand in hand with the right approach is the right lawyer. Not all divorce lawyers are qualified to do divorce mediation or Collaborative Divorce. Mediation requires training and success. Collaborative Attorneys need to be certified. Believe me, this is not the time to go to your third cousin’s friend’s real estate lawyer.
For more information about Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce:
If you are facing divorce, you may be feeling a lot of uncertainty. If you are also having financial difficulties, you may feel more uncertainty. This post is intended to provide information and resources to help you understand a different alternative when facing divorce; an alternative that may give you more certainty.
What is Limited Assistance Representation (LAR)?
Limited Assistance Representation allows you to hire me to help you with some, but not all, of your divorce proceedings. In a written agreement, you and I outline exactly what I am expected to do. Here are some areas in which I can help you:
Limited Assistance for a Court Appearance: This allows you to hire me to go with you to court and “appear” for you, one appearance at a time, for example, appear at a Pre-Trial Conference.
Limited Assistance for a Service: This allows you to hire me for one type of service, for example, to review a separation agreement.
Limited Assistance for Document Preparation: This allows you to hire me to prepare a document to be filed with the court, for example, a Pre Trial Memorandum.
Limited Assistance for Help in Negotiating: This allows you and I to focus on those issues and approaches that will most likely achieve settlement.
Benefits of Limited Assistance Representation For You:
Limited Assistance Representation can be helpful if you have financial restrictions keeping you from hiring an attorney for the entire divorce process. With Limited Assistance, you only pay for the services you need.
Limited Assistance Representation allows you to hire an attorney for “game changing” events such as the Pre-Trial Conference with the judge when an attorney’s experience can make a difference in the outcome of the Conference.
Is Limited Assistance Representation Appropriate For You?
Limited Assistance Representation is appropriate when you do not wish to represent yourself and cannot hire an attorney for the entire case, but you still need representation for a specific matter.
Limited Assistance Representation is appropriate when you feel comfortable taking on certain responsibilities, for example, the preparation of the Financial Statement and the gathering, organizing and producing of financial records.
Limited Assistance Representation is appropriate for an existing court matter or a matter soon to be filed with the court.
Under the law people who represent themselves are not entitled to special considerations or leniency. This is important because many people believe that if they represent themselves the judge must “go easy” on them.