By Anthony C. Adamopoulos, Divorce Mediator, Collaborative Divorce Representation, Divorce Arbitrator.
In a matter of weeks, the world has changed for those facing divorce, not to mention that the family/divorce court has all but closed.
What do you do when you cannot afford a full-service divorce mediator?
Use a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) attorney to save money. .
Your LAR attorney, who must be certified, will offer you “a la carte” legal services. In other words, you will select and pay only for specific tasks, for example, preparation of a Settlement Agreement.
A Settlement Agreement is an all-encompassing written agreement that addresses issues related to a couple’s divorce. When parties settle their divorce issues with a Settlement Agreement, they avoid divorce litigation.
A LAR attorney only represents one party.
There are various ways of arriving at a Settlement Agreement when you retain a LAR lawyer. What follows is a possible scenario:
You get from your LAR attorney the documents needed to properly help you.
The attorney then advises you as to what issues have to be addressed for your particular Settlement Agreement.
You tell your attorney what you and your spouse have agreed to so far. Your attorney then prepares a draft Settlement Agreement addressing the issues on which you and your spouse agree.
Then you address with your attorney areas of disagreement you have with your spouse. Your attorney ask questions, refers to the documents you gave him, considers possible approaches, and then makes suggestions to you.
You then go back and negotiate with your spouse and the two of you reach agreement.
Your attorney then prepares a final draft Settlement Agreement.
You accept the draft and show it to your spouse. If your spouse accepts the draft, the two of you have a final Settlement Agreement.
If you only hired your LAR attorney to prepare a Settlement Agreement, you now have one to use when you file for divorce.
You decide how much or how little you will use your LAR attorney.