Attorney Services & Dispute Resolutions Alternatives
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Divorce & Legal Separation Options

Divorce is a difficult time in anyone’s life. While we can’t change the circumstances, we can help reduce the stress during this time by educating you about the process and informing you about various options. The choices you make now will impact your family and finances for years to come. Making the best choices can happen only after knowing all of the options available to you. Each family is different and, therefore, what you read online, or hear that your neighbor, friend, or co-worker did may not apply to your situation because of your unique set of circumstances. This may be in terms of finances, debts, ages of your children, or yourselves, retirement options that are available (commonly misunderstood area in divorce) and tax consequences of each of these options. Our attorneys can guide you through the process either with al a carte legal coaching, full representation, or mediation or collaborative divorce or legal separation.

The court process for divorce and legal separation are quite similar. Therefore, our services noted below can be used for either divorce or legal separation. You may use either service below or a combination of services.

Traditional Attorney Services / Divorce Litigation

The traditional approach to divorce or legal separation can be costly given that the parties rarely talk in this approach, leaving the attorneys to negotiate the disputed items. This can increase the emotional toll, financial toll, and send the case to a place that neither party intended. If you are certain that you need traditional services due to your unique circumstances, rest assured that our attorneys are aggressive, thorough, and fair. We strive to look for common ground, to reduce the emotional and financial toll, while still advocating effectively for your rights. We offer a limited initial consult at no charge and we take the time to explain your options and the required steps along the way. We also offer alternative approaches to proceed through your divorce. Those options are listed below.

ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS

1) Divorce Mediation Resolve your disputes amicably and save money. Mediation is an effective way to settle your divorce related matters without prolonged litigation (and the cost and emotional drain) and yet still with the legal guidance from an experienced family law attorney. The mediator (attorney) acts as a neutral party, to help the parties reach mediated agreements on any or all issues in their divorce, including property (asset) division, debt division, child support, maintenance (alimony), and child related matters such as placement, custody and health insurance. The mediator will review your total current financial pictures, and discuss options for dividing finances – even options parties may not have thought of. This is where experience matters. Mediation will also cover child custody, placement and support. Mediation can be effective even where there is much disagreement on many issues. We offer a flat fee mediation package that includes assistance with the required court forms from start to finish of your matter, or hourly services as well to fit your individual needs. A mediator does not represent either party and cannot mediate any dispute where one party has been represented by that mediator (or law firm). Attorney Michelle Fitzgerald is certified in mediation and has mediated divorces for over 12 years as part of her divorce practice. In addition to her certification, she teaches Mediation Advocacy at Marquette University Law School as an adjunct professor, and has completed prior coursework in negotiations and settlement techniques, and was a previous high school teacher. Call today to explore your mediation options 262-432-3600.

2) Collaborative Law for Divorce Collaborative Law is another option that allows parties to go through the process of divorce without the hurtful baggage that could go along with it. In a collaborative case, both parties chose a collaborative attorney and both parties agree up front to not litigate the case through court. The parties also sign an agreement to accomplish this commitment that becomes a court order. If either party then later decides to litigate, each party must seek new counsel and new professional advisors. It is common in a collaborative case to involve financial experts and mental health professionals. To learn more about Collaborative Law, go to the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin. You will note that Attorney Michelle Fitzgerald is a member of the Council.

3) Divorce Forms Assistance / Self-Representation This is also called Pro Se, a Latin term meaning no attorney on record with the court for your case. If you and your spouse agree on all terms, our uncontested divorce forms service takes away the hassle of understanding the divorce forms and going to the courthouse to file your documents. We do all of that for you! Unlike other pro se divorce services, we provide full service, not a tutorial or instructions for creating your forms. You will save hours and hours of your own time wading through the forms. Keep your evenings and weekend time for your family and friends, instead of stressing over forms and court procedures.

Our pro se forms service works best for parties who already agree on how to settle their issues and have little to no questions on division of assets, child placement, etc. Call today for an appointment or for more information about this service. 262-432-3600 .

If you or your spouse cannot agree on terms or do not understand certain issues, we provide attorney services where you can consult with an attorney one or more times as needed, or hire one of our attorneys. We also provide options such as Mediation or Collaborative Divorce under both hourly or flat fee options.

4) Coaching and Consulting Services You can use a combination of our services, such as our forms service AND consult with an attorney as needed. Or if you are handling your divorce on your own, you can use our attorney services as needed. What types of things can we assist with? Review of finances. Settlement ideas. Settlement response to spouse/spouse’s attorney. Discovery assistance. Brief to court. Preparation of Exhibits for court. And more! You will be pleasantly surprised at how you can receive the assistance needed, yet continue to advocate for yourself. Coaching and consulting (unbundled services) during your divorce can be very effective if you choose to not hire full legal representation.

Take-a-Lawyer-to-Lunch™ Too good to pass up! For the price of a lunch, you can have an hour of a lawyer’s time. This is a great way to get to know a lawyer before hiring him/her to handle your sensitive legal matter.

 


Related Areas Divorce Process   |  Collaborative Law & Mediation   |   Paternity   |   Post-Divorce, Support, & Placement

Self-Representation