Many family law firms around the country are now offering different ways to obtain legal advice. It is important to know what options are available so you may choose the most appropriate approach for your situation when resolving your divorce, custody or other family law matter.
Traditional representation in a divorce or other family law matter is when you retain an attorney to handle your case from start to finish. Generally, you will be required to pay a retainer in order to initiate your case. Be aware that you may need to replenish your retainer depending on the amount of work your case requires. The biggest advantage of this approach is that you will be able to rely on your attorney to represent you throughout your case to completion. The attorney will need your assistance in providing information, documents and your input, yet the attorney can prepare any correspondence and legal documents and can handle negotiations and present your positions to the Court.
The Collaborative Divorce is a fairly new approach to handling family law matters. In this approach, both parties, attorneys and other professionals agree at the commencement of the action that they will resolve all matters outside of court. The parties voluntarily sign a contract that binds them to the process such that if either party breaks the agreement by taking the case to court, both attorneys are disqualified from representing their client. Although the parties agree to resolve the terms of their matter outside of court, the pleadings and final paperwork will need to be filed and approved by a Magistrate or Judge, but the resolution of the issues in your case will be reached without going before a judge. In this approach, it is not unusual for each party to have an attorney, a facilitator of the process, and often other professionals such as a certified divorce financial planner, or a child psychologist who may assist in determining what is in the child’s best interest.
As the cost of litigation increases, more individuals are turning to unbundled legal services to assist them to handle their own divorce or family law matter. Unbundled legal services are where an attorney limits the scope of their involvement in your case. An attorney can do so by providing you with coaching throughout the process, limited representation on a specific issue or by completing a separate task for you. Alternatively, an attorney can provide you with coaching and legal guidance during the pendency of your matter. The important thing to know is that you will be representing yourself with the limited assistance and guidance from an attorney. By defining the scope of an attorney’s involvement, you can limit the overall cost of your case.
At The Harris Family Law Firm, we are available to discuss your divorce or family case and the types of services we provide. Our award-winning attorneys serve clients across Colorado, and prioritize personalized working relationships that help protect what is most important to them. Call or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.