Rob: Hello everyone, we are here with Santa Clarita family law and divorce attorney Rand Pinsky. Hello Rand.
Rand Pinsky: Hello Rob.
Rob: Now Rand, there are people who might want to try handling a divorce on their own. Let’s face it, a lot of folks try to do this on their own. They hire outside help, a forms processor, maybe a paralegal something like that, or they just try to do it on their own. What kind advice would you have for folks like that?
Rand Pinsky: Well first of all, there are many tools available, depending on the type of complexity of the divorce that you have. So, if you have a case that has no children, no property, very short time period, you can probably get around at not having to go to an attorney to have the process completed.
Rob: You mean the marriage is short lived?
Rand Pinsky: Short lived . . .
Rand Pinsky: Two years, three years something like that.
Rob: All right.
Rand Pinsky: So here are some of the tools that are available to you. Every courthouse has something called the self help center. You can go to the self help center, and for free, these people there will assist you in preparing initial divorce papers, settlement agreements, anything that is necessary to complete the divorce process. And in fact, quite a few times in court a judge will say to the people, "I think you should go to the self help center to obtain help and assistance in getting your divorce processed."
A second thing that you can do, there is a provision in the law called Limited Scope Representation. Limited scope representation is a great concept. This is where an individual can work on the divorce themselves, but when they come to an area that needs extra attention, let’s say there's a custody argument or a support argument, you can hire an attorney specifically for that one particular issue. That way you get the expertise of an attorney on that issue, but you're not having to pay them for the entire divorce process, which sometimes can be costly.
Rob: So do you offer that?
Rand Pinsky: Absolutely. It's a wonderful service and it's something that I utilize quite often.
Rob: And can that help keep some cost down?
Rand Pinsky: Yes it does.
Rob: Okay. What about mediation as an alternative to hiring a lawyer?
Rand Pinsky: Mediation is another wonderful tool that's been in existence now for 10 or 15 years. Under mediation you get both, husband and wife to come to an attorney or to a mediator and the mediator works as a neutral, in trying to resolve the issues. So you'll work with both sides. You'll advise them as to what the law is and then you'll help and guide them in making decisions as to what is unique and special to their particular divorce.
Rob: So when you say a neutral party, you're not taking one side or the other.
Rand Pinsky: You're not taking one side or the other. And of course, you need, I think, special people to do this. You need both parties that are agreeable and willing to work, because it's a hard process. It can be a stressful process, but it can be a very successful and fulfilling process also.
Rob: So you should be ready to give and take?
Rand Pinsky: Absolutely.
Rob: Do you also . . . aside from limited scope representation, do you also offer yourself as a mediator?
Rand Pinsky: Yes I do.
Rob: Okay, well that's terrific Rand. Listen, thank you very much for the time that you spent with us today about these alternatives to hiring a lawyer and doing that very formal process. And if people want to get in touch with you, how do they go about doing that?
Rand Pinsky: Best way is to go to my website, RandPinsky.com or you can always call me, (661)295-4644.
Rob: Thank you very much Rand.
Rand Pinsky: Thanks Rob.