Customized Limited Services Menu
Many people choose to go through the divorce process without representation from a lawyer, the courts refer to this as proceeding pro se. People who choose to be self-represented give three primary reasons for going it alone: 1) the cost of having a lawyer involved 2) a belief that lawyers will just make things worse and 3) many people just want to maintain control over the process.
All of these reasons are completely legitimate and understandable given the typical divorce lawyer/client relationship and the fees charged by the typical divorce lawyer. At Church Watson, we’re not typical. At Church Watson, we recognize that you don’t want to waste your limited funds on unnecessary actions and that you don’t want your lawyer creating messes where none otherwise exist. For that reason, we offer a Customized Legal Services Menu that allows you to pick and choose what services you want or need from us. We can be involved as little or as much as you need. Unbundling our services allows you the client to specifically target what areas and tasks you need us to help with and to best allocate your funds to those specific needs. Under this structure, you’re in complete control over the direction of your case and we’re your coach and support team.
Our customized legal services menu falls into several categories of unbundled legal services. Those categories include:
If you have one question or a hundred, we’re here to help counsel you and work on a plan to navigate the divorce process. Our coaching services are provided on an hourly basis at the rate of $250 an hour. We can be available at a time that’s convenient to you and can meet in person, chat via e-mail or teleconference – whatever you feel is best.
If you’ve chosen to represent yourself in court, we can work with you to be sure you have any important case law or statutes to hand your Judge during your hearing. Sometimes, having just the right case to show the Court makes all the difference. Our experience allows us to find the most applicable cases quickly and efficiently. Our legal research services are provided on an hourly basis at $250 an hour.
Assisting with Discovering Information or Responding to Discovery Requests
There may be information you need from banks, health-care providers or schools to proceed in your case. We can work with you to be sure this information is properly obtained so that you can use it in Court if that is necessary. We can also assist you in sending information requests to your spouse or in answering those you have received. These services are provided on a flat-fee basis that is negotiated and set before we start work. The fees for this work typically range from $500 to $1,500.
Hopefully you and your spouse can resolve matters quickly and amicably. If you are negotiating with them directly and just need some reassurance that you’re headed the right direction, our coaching services would be a perfect fit. Our coaching services are provided on an hourly basis at $250 an hour.
Most family law cases are now required to go through an Alternate Dispute Resolution process (or Mediation). Mediation is required in all child custody cases and equitable distribution cases. Whether it’s mandatory or not, mediation is often the best way to resolve your case. We can coach you through the best way to approach mediation and help you define your goals and strategies. Of course, if you want us by your side during mediation, we will be there. Having an attorney with you for the mediation may be the best money you could spend – 90% of the time, cases are resolved during the process. If you just need some coaching prior to mediation, our fee would be billed hourly at $250. If you want us to be a part of the entire process, we will set a fixed fee with you beforehand; typically that fee is $5,000.
Drafting of Legal Documents
Whether you need a Prenuptial Agreement, Separation Agreement or a pleading to be filed with the Court, it’s crucial that the documents be accurate. In our practice we spend a lot of time fixing mistakes that were created by bad documents that people drafted themselves. We can work with you to be sure that the documents you’re using meet both your short-term needs and long-term goals. If you’re involved in litigation, we can work with you to be sure the pleadings you are filing are accurate and present the information you need to the court in the best way. Our drafting services are provided on a flat-fee basis that is set based on the document needed. For example, a typical fee for a Prenuptial Agreement is $1,500 and $2,500 for a Separation Agreement.
If you’re navigating the court system on your own and you have decided that you want an experienced advocate next to you during your hearing, we’re here to help. We have tried hundreds of cases involving a range of issues and we’re ready to hop in and help. Appearing in court alone can be a truly scary and risky decision, especially when so much can be at stake; let us stand beside you. We will work with you to set a fixed fee for our services prior to your scheduled court date. You will have the comfort of knowing you’re not alone without the unknown costs.
Parenting Coordinator Services
We can provide support as a parenting coordinator, an impartial third party that works with parents to make transitioning to the restructured family easier on everyone involved. Regardless of the level of conflict in your case; we will be an impartial neutral to help guide you and your spouse through the child custody process and will help you both remain focused on your primary goal: the happiness and well-being of your children. Our parenting coordinator services are provided on an hourly basis at $250 an hour.