San Diego


1901 First Avenue, 2nd Floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Los Angeles


355 South Grand Avenue, #2450
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Education Negates Fear: Divorce Process 101

Education Negates Fear: Divorce Process 101

Separation and divorce is an emotional process that involves feelings of guilt, rejection, embarrassment, and anger.  Many people fear the legal process of divorce due to the fear and uncertainty of the outcome.  The best way to overcome that fear is to educate yourself about the process.  Hiring the right lawyer is the first step to become aware of your options so you can see what is in the road that lies ahead. 

Dissolution generally involves these five main issues: property division, spousal support, child support, custody/visitation, and divorce.  Each of these issues can be resolved through mediation or settlement or can ultimately be contested in court.  The most important thing about finding the right attorney is that you communicate well with each other and that you have confidence in the lawyer’s ability to handle your case.  It is also important to hire a lawyer who practices in the particular field of law.  Your attorney has the duty to: (1) allow you to make major decisions in your case, such as pleading guilty in a criminal case or accepting a compromise or settlement in a civil case; and (2) remain open and honest with you in all aspects of your case, including your chances of success, the positives and negatives of your position, and the time and fee required.

The cost of divorce is dependent on which route is taken to complete the process.  Generally, costs can be reduced through mediation or collaborative divorce.  Fees can be set in a number of ways, most commonly domestic cases are through flat-rate or hourly billing.  A flat fee is generally paid in advance and does not vary depending on the time or work involved.  An hourly rate is most common when the client’s work will be substantial, but difficult to estimate.  Lawyers generally charge an hourly rate in a contested custody or alimony case.  It is common for lawyers to have a partial payment made “up front.”  This up-front cost is called a retainer; and is essentially a deposit or down payment to make sure that the client is serious about seeking legal counsel and is financially prepared to take on the case. 

When you first meet with your attorney, be sure to share the important facts of your case and outline your goals.  It is extremely important to keep the goals of your case reasonable and achievable; don’t expect your case to resolve quickly if your goals are to embarrass or financially break the opposing party.  Your lawyer will be able to assess the pros and cons of each decision as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  With the facts of your case, you will be able to consider your finances and ultimately decide “how much case you can afford.”  If you are unsure or unclear about the information that your spouse is providing, your attorney can request certain papers, receipts, titles or deeds from the opposing party. 

Going to trial only happens if the alternatives are unable to provide a favorable settlement to both parties.  Other options such as: mediation, collaborative law, arbitration, coaching, and negotiation are sometimes less expensive as well as less time-consuming as opposed to going to trial.  These options do require both parties to be willing to negotiate in an amicable manner, while keeping the best interest of both parties in mind.  Often these options will not be available for cases involving domestic violence.

Ask Us a Question

  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. NOTE: The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. By clicking “Send” below I acknowledge, understand and agree to the following: I may receive a response to my inquiry from an attorney; I am not forming an attorney-client relationship with Scales of Justice, LLP (SoJ) and understand this law firm does not represent my legal interests; Scales of Justice, has no duty to keep confidential the information I am now sending to the law firm; and I may only retain this firm or any of its attorneys as my attorney by entering into a written fee agreement and I am not hereby entering into a fee agreement.

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Connect With Us

Scales of Justice, LLP on Twitter Scales of Justice, LLP on Facebook
AILA Member 2011
 Scales of Justice LLP BBB Business Review

Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

*In compliance with CRPC 1-400, this website acts as an advertisement for Scales of Justice, LLP. Scales of Justice, LLP is the title of the law offices of Rebecca Ritchey, Esq. and Pablo Zamora, Esq. This website is a public resource of general information concerning Scales of Justice, LLP. It is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete and up-to-date. Links on this website are not intended to be referrals to or endorsements of the linked entities. The attorneys at Scales of Justice, LLP are licensed to practice law in California and Washington D.C. Scales of Justice, LLP does not intend to represent anyone desiring representation in a state where this website fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.*

Safeguard Privacy Policy
Scales of Justice, LLP strives to protect any data collected against mishandling and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of customers regarding the use of their information. As an accredited business we agree to:

Respect Privacy. Any and all information supplied to us through this website is confidential. This information is not shared with any other individual, organization or entity. It is strictly used for responding back to questions submitted to us by individuals who contact us through the Scales of Justice, LLP Contact Us page.

Secure Sensitive Data. We do not collect sensitive data through this Contact Us page portion of our website (such as credit card, bank account numbers, social security numbers, medical history or records, etc.). Should any of that information be sent to us through the Scales of Justice, LLP website, we will ensure that it is transmitted via secure means and make efforts to comply with industry standards for the protection and proper disposal of all sensitive data, both online and offline.