Attorney C. Chan, Esq. Affordable Family Law,Strategy-Driven, 4.7/5 Ratings! Free Consultation, Butte county Family Law Attorney C. Chan 530.359-8810

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Best Attorney? What You Might Want-- Might Not Work for Your Case+ How COVID MIGHT IMPACT YOUR CASE...



The correct word is probably more like "appropriate", since each case has the claimed facts, and each side has some type of emotional deal that goes with it.


However, not all attorneys are the same even if we are supposed to all use California law....many attorneys are very strict with their minute by minute charges, which includes everything they do on a case. Attorney herein has never been like that, because it reminds me of working for the government, and I never liked working for the government (trust me, it was even worse than I thought it would be..)

There is no typical family law case, even if  some cases have typical issues, because each individual litigant brings both negative and positive to the table in nearly all cases. My job is to ascertain the type of individual I am dealing with so as to do the best job possible for that person, as not all people will have the same preferences in very individual situations. 
 
Because I have a social work background, I am familiar with most of the pitfalls involved with the demise of relationships, personality issues, husband and wife issues, children and their issues, etc.  The main difference is that my job always involves the understanding of each litigant's personal outlook and how it affects the case; I then attempt to use my experience with both litigants and past cases to devise a strategy that best suits each client. This may sound absurd, but a case can be handled in many different ways. There are some things that may never need to be done whereas in other cases nearly everything will be required. Litigation can be expensive if you are paying to litigate things that really don't require that? 

I used to work as a volunteer for the San Diego family law self help section (this is before the courts even had the SHARP type pro se help division.......) Now nearly all family law courts have some type of clerical help program, although the larger counties tend to have better programs. Because about 70% of litigants CANNOT afford attorneys, one can see that about 70% of people at least in California, do not likely understand or know their rights unless they did the research, or hired an attorney only for selected issues. (It is possible to hire attorney herein to only do certain parts of a case, this is known as limited scope and there is a court form for it..)

Family law attorneys may focus on divorces, but child custody does not require a divorce in the first place?  Whether married or unmarried, the issue of kids is common, and the issues involving kids is also commonly a point of problematic issues.



COVID tends to come up when one parent wants to take advantage of another parent's timeshare, visitation, vacations, and typically it will be one of the parents that is receiving the support, rather than the one paying it, who will try and use Covid as some type of excuse for not doing something, not allowing something, etc.  OR one  parent will try and claim that due to Covid, there should be no visitation, because the other parent cannot meet the devised requirements set up by the parent who has the larger timeshare.

Covid in family law is just another excuse for why parents won't let the other parent see their kid or kids, and I know it because I knew that was going to happen when Covid started...it would start to snowball and just keep going until it becomes a mammoth ball that can't be moved?? 
Knowing this, each parent who is not the one with physical custody ... must immediately start thinking about how to address all of the potential roadblocks that will be thrown your way.  If you think about every time the other parent made excuses, write it down, with the dates. Over time you will see a pattern and practice which basically will become rather obvious. What is apparent, is, will you rise to the occasion and tackle the issue or get rolled over on???? 





While many attorneys can handle custody issues, and financial issues, and legal issues, there really is not one type of person,  attorney wise, that will be the best fit for all clients. Having knowledge of procedure in family law is a given, but pretty much the way family law attorneys handle divorces and cases can vary.  Some may like to focus on mediation and settlement, and that's pretty much what they do.

It does not take a litigator to focus on settlement. It does not take a real fighter to focus on mediation.


So for those who wish to settle everything, and they can actually agree to work out something, that's great. Should they have to pay $3k, $5k; or even $60k, $200k, or close, to work it out? Maybe, if there are serious numbers in the portfolio, many issues with properties, and tax issues. Or large businesses and valuations (let's say a dentist wants to sell the practice; or doctor wants to divide the practice,etc.) Would that require an attorney or a tax person? Could be both but seems more like tax to me.....

However, for the not so rich  people who don't get along and couldn't work out a plan if you paid both of them, and for any couple that has long been fighting about various issues, of which money might only be one small issue, it may not be the mediator type attorney that can work anything out.

In many cases, clients will not back down for varying reasons, and some of those reasons are definitely valid? and why not? Maybe they are actually being ripped off? Maybe one party has no parenting skills whatsoever? Maybe one parent is on drugs?


What attorney commonly sees, is that one parent is really off base in his or her attitude toward the kids, or whatever they are fighting about, and the other parent will not give in-- and often times, rightly so...  On the other hand, sometimes one person is dead set on some type of action he or she wants, and will not let that go (say, one wants to keep a house but the other wants it..) Or, commonly seen, is that one parent is the better caretaker of kids but is always working, leaving the not so  good parent taking care of the kids--but doing a terrible job?

Then there could be domestic violence issues and not any money issues? OR one or both parents have their own issues inherent to their personalities, and that will fuel more fighting. For the record, attorney herein has done a lot of domestic violence cases successfully.

For the most part, the non financial workouts are often much more difficult emotionally, and the financial ones can be maddening rather than depressing.  You don't usually need litigation for financial workouts if people can agree upon numbers or certain assets. Sometimes there will be fighting because no one will agree on actual numbers, thus there is no agreement on who gets what.

There could be deceit or huge discrepancies used in the financial holdings, in which case tracing would be used and investigators or CPAs if needed. Litigation might have to be used if there is fraud or something close. It could be that spousal support would be an issue as one side claims he/she doesn't make the amount the other side claims?     



Normally -- fraud doesn't just get mediated away? There is a lot written in the family code concerning finances because historically, some people have chosen to try and swindle the spouse; therefore, litigation is usually required. Large dealership sales, acquisitions and larger transfers can be very big litigation issues, especially if they were done without oversight.


As for the children and custody fights, sometimes both parents have some fairly common beliefs and not every parent is wrong. Sometimes a mediator can decide what is in the best interest of the kids, but other times we have seen some decisions that are not exactly what we would call fair...



It might be when some people look for attorneys, they really want a fighter and not a weak advocate. It is true that some attorneys are not able to actually litigate because they really have little skill at trial advocacy. Others may have better skills at settling issues, because they can find some common ground to parcel out to each side.  In choosing an advocate, each client probably needs to feel confident to some degree, that whatever type of action they are trying to get--that the attorney can actually do that action for them.  

The best way for an attorney to find out whether they are suited to a case is to ask a lot of specific questions.  It takes more time, but in the long run it will help the client, and the attorney can better perform the duties required. Hopefully that would lead to success for the client's case!