Q: Do you offer consultation on family law matters?
A: Yes. A consultation can be arranged without any requirement or expectation that you retain us to represent you. We are often contacted for consultations by people who just want to get information about divorces, but have not yet decided whether or not to undergo a divorce, or for second opinions on the status of an ongoing case, or to consider further services, such as "unbundled legal services" or "full representation".
Q: Do you offer consultation on mediation of family law matters?
A: Yes. We have advised and coached a number of clients as that particular client's legal advisor, while he or she is undergoing mediation. If you desire to have us possibly act as a neutral mediator in your case, then you and the other party should arrange a Mediation Orientation meeting with Mr. Moore. If you wish to get advice as to how to handle your approach to negotiations during mediation with another mediator, then you would want to set up a consultation for that purpose.
Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation is a process in which a neutral person (the "mediator") attempts to facilitate communication between the parties, to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
Q: What is "family law mediation"?
A: In our office, this involves mediation of disputes that arise out of family law issues, including child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support, community property debts, property division, and modification of previous agreements or court orders. We also offer services in "preventive mediation".
Q: What is "preventive mediation"?
A: In our office, "preventive mediation" involves mediation between the parties who might not yet be in a dispute, but want to make arrangements for their future legal relationship. This could include a mediation between a husband and wife who do not desire to undergo a divorce proceeding, but want to have a "Post-Marital" Agreement. It could also involve people in a non marital relationship who wish to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement, or who desire to get married, but wish to have a "Prenuptial" or "Premarital" Agreement.
Q: Do we have to be involved in litigation, or not, to undergo mediation?
A: Mediation can be appropriate for parties who are amicable but want to resolve their differences, and are not involved in litigation; but it can also be appropriate for parties who are in an adversarial litigation but desire to resolve their differences through settlement, communication, and agreement.
Q: What if the parties have retained attorneys?
A: In our office, we encourage people who are considering mediation to also get independent legal representation or advice. We are happy to make arrangements to communicate with the attorney for either party and/or to have that party's attorney participate in the mediation. As a family law attorney with years of experience in litigation and settlement negotiations, Mr. Moore is comfortable in communicating with the attorneys for either party.
Q: How do I find out more about mediation?
A: If both parties are willing to at least consider mediation, we encourage you to attend an "orientation session" with Mr. Moore so that both parties, together, can learn about the mediation process. Contact our office to find out more about, and to schedule an orientation meeting.
Q: What are "Unbundled" Legal Services?
A: In traditional practice, an attorney is retained to provide full or complete service on a particular matter. If the attorney is retained to represent a party in a divorce case, the attorney advises the client, prepares all legal pleadings, conducts discovery, manages settlement negotiations, makes all court appearances, and performs numerous other tasks. This approach, while comprehensive, can often be expensive, and depending upon the circumstances, beyond the needs of the client. "Unbundling" is a process whereby the client is in charge of selecting one or several specific lawyering tasks to be performed by the attorney. These "separate tasks" to be performed by the attorney might include such things as (for example):
A key point is that in an "unbundling" arrangement, the attorney is assigned specific tasks, and the client remains in charge of selecting the task the attorney is providing, and otherwise handling other services or matters himself or herself, apart from the tasks the attorney is conducting.
Q: How do I determine if "unbundling legal services" is right for me?
A: A number of factors must be considered in determining whether to use an "unbundled approach". These factors might include what the client can afford, or wants to pay for particular services. It can also include the extent to which a particular matter is suitable for "unbundling". We recommend that you have a consultation with Mr. Moore to discuss the "unbundled" approach to your matter. We believe you will find the consultation process helpful, enlightening, and cost effective. There is a flat charge for consultations.
Q: What is full representation in family law litigation?
A: Our office is available in select cases to represent clients in litigation. This includes not only handling the procedural aspects of preparing and filing court papers, making court appearances, and so forth, but also negotiating for settlement of the clients' issues. This includes custody and visitation disputes, child support, spousal support, divorces, legal separations, property disputes, and post-Judgment modification proceedings. We also represent clients in family law appeals by special arrangement.
If you are interested in using our services for these services, we suggest you schedule a consultation with Mr. Moore. The consultation is confidential, and we believe you will find it informative, whether or not you retain our services. Feel free to call our office to find out more about the consultation process.
Q: What is Collaborative Law?
A: In the collaborative law approach, two parties and their attorneys agree, in concept, to commit to attempting to resolve their matter through settlement negotiations. The collaborative lawyers, by agreement, participate for purposes of resolution through settlement and negotiation. If their efforts do not resolve the matter, or if either party chooses to proceed with litigation, the collaborative lawyers do not participate in the litigation as they have committed not to represent the client in litigation. In that event, each client might hire separate attorneys for litigation. The key to the collaborative approach is commitment to resolution by settlement, hopefully coupled with reasonableness, and a willingness to compromise on both sides.
If you would like to learn more about the collaborative approach, or whether your case is suitable for a collaborative approach, we suggest that you schedule a consultation with Mr. Moore. In the consultation, he will discuss not only the concept of collaboration, but the detailed issues in your case, and suggested approach as to resolution. We believe you will find the consultation helpful, informative, and cost effective
Q:What does it mean to have preparation of family law agreements or orders?
A:Very often the people involved in a family law dispute reach a verbal agreement as to how to resolve their differences, but need to put that agreement into a written form. Our office is experienced in preparation of such legal documents, whether they are in the form of a Marital Settlement Agreement, stipulated Judgment, Stipulated Order for modification of custody, Stipulated Order for modification of support, Prenuptial Agreement, or otherwise.
Sometimes people have a good idea of what they want to accomplish, but are having difficulty with "how to word" the written agreement to carry out that goal. Mr. Moore can assist the parties in mediating and discussing appropriate language to carry out those goals.