Case Study: “I’m Starting to Research My Options” Month

The first of the year is when we reluctantly resume our normal routines after the excesses of the holidays, with kids home from school and lots of family time. Maybe too much family time for some couples. Psychologists and divorce lawyers tell us that January-February has become a very busy time for those in the divorce business. But one attorney has tempered this description by calling it the “I’m Starting to Research My Options Month”.

One such couple came into our Oakland office and met with Valerie Jackson, one of our family law specialists. “Sam” and “Julia” had been married for ten years, had 7-year old twins, a boy and a girl, and owned their own home. They both had stressful jobs and worked long hours.

Relationship had become troubled; children had begun acting out

The strain of raising a family a family in the Bay Area had taken its toll, and their relationship had become increasingly troubled. While both Sam and Julia could be short-tempered, they had always worked through their differences. Lately, however, the fighting was more frequent and harsh. They knew they were creating an unhealthy environment for their children. They’d tried couples counseling and individual therapy, and while it had helped for a while, they’d fallen back into their old patterns, often screaming at each other. The breaking point came when their son’s teacher called to tell them that he was acting out in class and had begun punching other children—a disturbing behavior these parents had never seen in their affectionate, loving child.

Sam and Julia realized they were creating a toxic environment for their children, and it was time to talk about a divorce. Their initial meeting with Valerie was to find out about the process—they wanted to know how we work with our clients, the timeframe for getting a divorce and the costs.

An uncontested divorce

California Document Preparers specializes in uncontested divorce. If you can work out property and custody issues yourselves, you will save themselves and your families considerable time, money and distress. You will also spare your children the agony of an extended legal battle and disrupt their routines as little as possible so they adjust to the new family reality.

What to expect from California Document Preparers

Your first visit to a California Document Preparers office is for the purpose of information gathering. You will meet with one of our dedicated family law specialists who are kind, compassionate and caring.

  • We will collect information about you, your family and your financesin our “First Steps” and “Preliminary Disclosure” workbooks. Many of our clients take these workbooks home, where they have access to their online banking accounts and financial records, so they can complete this information in privacy and without feeling pressured.
  • Second visit: Signing your petition and other disclosure documents. You’ll carefully review and sign your petition and all the documents that go along with it. This meeting is usually when you’ll pay the court-filing fee.
  • Serving documents. This is the formal process of delivering the documents to your spouse, which can be done in person, by mail or by publication.
  • Figuring out settlement: Division of assets and a parenting plan. This may be the hardest part—developing a comprehensive plan for division of assets and debt and support and custody of your children. Some couples do all of this relatively easily, but for those for whom this is a challenge, California Document Preparers has a network of excellent professionals to whom we can refer you, including local attorneys, financial advisors, accountants, mediators, and other trained professionals.

One more thing you’re going to like

There’s just one set price for an uncontested divorce, and that includes filing fees, copies, notarizing and servicing documents. No surprises.

If you’ve made the difficult decision to get divorced or are still considering your options and would like to talk to one of our family law specialists, make an appointment today at one of our three Bay Area offices.