Cheap Divorce Attorney Berkeley
If you’re headed towards an uncontested divorce in the Berkeley area, one thought you might be trying to avoid is that of hiring a cheap divorce lawyer in Berkeley. Hiring a cheap divorce attorney may bring to mind the analogy of hiring a cheap brain surgeon. You don’t want to do that.
However, the analogy with hiring a cheap divorce attorney in Berkeley is not valid. In fact, if you have an uncontested divorce, you DO want to hire a cheap divorce lawyer! Handling an uncontested divorce has its skillset, but it is not brain surgery. You just don’t want to hire a bad or inexperienced divorce lawyer. So you want to make sure that you hire a cheap divorce attorney that handles a lot of divorces. When you handle a lot of anything, it makes you good at it. It also makes you cost-effective. So in an uncontested divorce, good and cheap often go hand in hand. That is unlike many other professional services, such as brain surgery or handling a contested or complex divorce.
So while you can tell your friends and relatives that you got a smart divorce or a low-cost divorce, if you prefer, let’s face it. What you should be looking for in order to get the best uncontested divorce possible is a cheap divorce attorney who handles a lot of cases in Berkeley.
If you’re still having trouble with the concept of a cheap divorce attorney in Berkeley because you think that professional services must be reassuringly high in order to be of high quality, there’s one additional factor I haven’t yet mentioned. And it is breaking the taboo of cheap divorce lawyers all over the country, not just in Berkeley.
If your case really is uncontested (you and your spouse/partner are in agreement on all issues of the divorce and will remain so), the best way to proceed is to keep the costs down with (1) an online divorce in (2) an unbundled (sometimes called “limited scope representation”) hiring of a local divorce lawyer right there in Berkeley. That’s the factor that changes everything in your favor – unbundled legal services, but you do have to know about it, and now you do. Read on.
Let’s look at what each of these two components means – online divorce and unbundled services.
Online Divorce Lawyer in Berkeley
From the perspective of the divorce consumer, the primary component of online divorce is a secure online divorce interview that can be completed on any Internet-connected device from the comfort of your home or office in one or multiple sessions. Your data is securely stored and passed only over an encrypted connection so that when you leave the online interview, your info is saved and will be secure and waiting when you log back into the online interview using your secure password. The traditional alternative to an online divorce interview would be an insecure 20-page hard copy questionnaire, much of which would not have applied to your case, to be filled in by hand by you.
Online divorce interviews cut down drastically on clerical errors in your data and with a proper help system built-in, they guide you through the process of what information is required, thereby empowering you in your own divorce case. You know your data better than anyone else and if there is a help system and a local lawyer standing by on email to answer any legal or strategic questions, an online interview is cost-effective, empowering and more accurate.
Additionally, an online divorce interview is interactive. If you have no children of the marriage, you don’t see any interview pages that ask questions about children, custody, support, etc. If you have property and debt to be added to your case, you will see a page on which to do that. Online divorce interviews don’t waste your time on unnecessary screens or data requests. It asks you only for what is needed in your case based on the information you’ve already entered,
The other major component of online divorce is the cloud-based app that takes all of the data you’ve entered into your interview and populates it accurately across the state of California’s and your local county’s divorce forms. It does so correctly, on the correct number of docs and in the correct sequence of docs. Online divorce software has become much better and more powerful over the years. It crunches the huge California divorce paperwork load and keeps the costs way down. It also knows all of the logic that is required to prepare the dozens of complex multi-page docs that are involved in all California divorce – uncontested or contested.
And now recently, a very few Berkeley divorce lawyers are finally beginning to use wicked-cool online divorce software to fight back against the completely unregulated, unlicensed and completely incompetent online divorce mills that have controlled California uncontested divorce for the last 20 years. California divorce lawyers are using that online divorce software to offer you, the Berkeley divorce consumer a much better, cost-effective and more efficient service. And they’re doing it unbundled.
Unbundled Divorce Services in Berkeley
Unbundled legal services are not new. The California Bar Association had ethics opinions and other materials telling lawyers how to offer unbundled services as far back as January 2004. Even individual Superior Courts are touting the value of unbundled legal services.
However, lawyers were slow to recognize the opportunities. They preferred to think narrow-mindedly that unbundled services would simply mean a lower fee per case. They failed to realize that unbundled services would take less of their time and that therefore unbundled could be as profitable on an hourly basis as a traditional full representation. Also, more unbundled clients would mean a larger and more quickly developed client base to which other legal services can be offered ethically. Approaching a former client to offer services is not considered unethical soliciting because there has been a prior professional relationship. Cross-selling legal services to former clients is also highly profitable. Lawyers should be more interested in the Lifetime Value of you as a client and not just the quick short-term profit, no matter how good it is on an hourly basis.
Lawyers’ traditional reluctance to embrace technology and adapt it to their law business also served to slow down their acceptance of unbundled services until quite recently, just like their reluctance to use online divorce software. The two go hand in hand. If you don’t have online divorce software, the unbundled service makes less sense. And while a lawyer could certainly use online divorce software on a full representation basis in an uncontested case, both the lawyer and the consumer are somewhat missing the point of keeping costs down and handling the case efficiently.
So what are unbundled services? I’ll let the American Bar Association tell you that: “Unbundling, or limited scope representation, is an alternative to traditional, full-service representation. Instead of handling every task in a matter from start to finish, the lawyer handles only certain parts and the client remains responsible for the others. It is like an à la carte menu for legal services, where: (1) clients get just the advice and services they need and therefore pay a more affordable overall fee; (2) lawyers expand their client base by reaching those who cannot afford full-service representation but have the means for some services; and (3) courts benefit from greater efficiency when otherwise self-represented litigants receive some counsel.
Typically, in an uncontested divorce situation, unbundled will mean that you complete the online interview, file your case at your local Superior Court and, under the instructions of your online divorce lawyer, arrange for service of the divorce case upon your spouse. You do the legwork where no legal input is needed. That’s where the savings are. The online divorce lawyer will check your interview for legal correctness and to forecast any potential problems in your case. After appropriate discussion with you, s/he will then download your batches of divorce docs (there are three batches in most cases) and provide instructions how to file (it’s easy – if you can go to the DMV, you can do this) at your local Superior Court and serve process on your spouse. You are using the lawyer only where legal insight and advice is needed. That’s where the efficiency is.
The Best of Both Worlds – online divorce by a Berkeley divorce lawyer
However, a small problem is that Berkeley divorce lawyers who offer unbundled services are still not standing around on street corners. Most local lawyers will not know what you’re talking about (or at least will claim that they don’t know) or will tell you that unbundled services are somehow dangerous. Yeah, they’re dangerous to the bottom lines of Berkeley divorce lawyers who do not want to provide uncontested divorce services in Berkeley at a competitive price. And the reason unbundled services are dangerous is that they are slowly putting old dinosaur lawyers out of business. In other words, unbundled is dangerous to such lawyers, not to you.
If you have an uncontested divorce in Berkeley, don’t waste your time with lawyers who do not respond positively, even enthusiastically, to your inquiry about unbundled online divorce. Also, don’t educate them. They don’t get it in more ways than one.
Instead, click to call 1-800-DIVORCE to be connected to your local Online Divorce Lawyer or if you prefer to have them contact you, just complete the form below. Remember that each online divorce lawyer you find is independently owned and operated. So be sure to check what is included in the unbundled service and what will be the cost.
This is the best of both worlds – online divorce by a local Berkeley lawyer. Online and unbundled are great features to keep your costs down, but there are two additional factors that make hiring an online divorce lawyer in Berkeley a no-brainer:
- Online Divorce Mills Are Crap: When California divorce lawyers failed to take advantage of the Internet’s opportunities circa 1999, the result was that the usual Internet con-men rushed in and have controlled the California uncontested online divorce industry ever since. They are bad. They are unlicensed, unregulated, unaccountable, usually fraudulent and fundamentally incompetent. There are about 2 dozen of them. They are almost all out-of-state. Some of them are in India and Dubai. They use rampant price fraud and trickery, never-ending up-selling and they know nothing about your local Superior Court’s rules or practices. They provide no legal advice or legal rights checkup at all. They know very little about the law, and you will pay for their mistakes forever. Your local Online Divorce Lawyer is licensed, bound by a strict heavily enforced Code of Ethics, is educated in the law and is subject to strict continuing legal education requirements. Your local Online Divorce Lawyer will be well aware of your local Superior Court’s rules and policies.
- The Insurance Policy Provided by Hiring a Local Online Divorce Lawyer in Berkeley: Sometimes things will go wrong – even in an uncontested case. Unforeseen problems arise that will either cause the case to blow up into a contested case or one that requires mediation or some additional legal advice. These are not things you want to dwell on, and they probably won’t happen. But if it does happen, you’ll be prepared with an online divorce lawyer. You’ve already got a local lawyer on your team. Your online divorce lawyer knows your case from the beginning. Yes, it will be on a different pre-agreed fee basis, but your online divorce lawyer is now your divorce lawyer and will hit the ground running. You do not have to hire a Berkeley divorce lawyer from scratch and wait for him or her to get up to speed on your case.
Online Divorce Lawyers in Berkeley are bold, creative, business-savvy, want your business, have a modern business profile and in short, have earned your business. Please reward them. Thanks for reading. Hope this has helped get you on track.