C. Eric Schmidt is a family law attorney who has vast experience with all three different types of divorces processes:
Flat Fee Uncontested Divorce
This is the easiest and cheapest type of divorce. We suggest that if you can come to an agreement with your spouse on the division of your property, that you consider this option first.
This method requires that your spouse agrees to sign a Waiver of Service (which our office has CUSTOMIZED to protect his or her rights) and that your spouse will sign an Agreed Final Decree of Divorce. Because we have customized our Waiver, your spouse can rely on the fact that you can both work towards your own settlement agreement without their worrying that a "default" would be taken against them because they did not have their own attorney. With our guidance, you and your spouse define your own settlement terms on all property issues, including any real estate or retirement, if applicable.
If you or your spouse have pensions, 401-K plans, SEPs, ESOPs, stock options, etc., we have our own retirement consultant with 30 years experience who will for a minimal fee make absolutely certain of the following:
-- that all retirement accounts have been considered, (We can't have undistributed property. This is important for the protection of BOTH parties.)
-- that the accounts are described accurately and the language written in the divorce decree regarding retirement accounts is correctly written,
-- that if a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or Agreement Incident to Divorce (AID) is needed, that it is drafted correctly so that it will be approved by the Plan Administrator.
You may consult directly with our firm consultant at any time if you have any questions regarding how retirement is divided, his services, fees or the process involved.
If you have kids, we also help you agree on Custody, Child Support, Visitation, Parental Rights & Duties, and Medical Support issues.
We know every issue that needs to be addressed -- including tax issues -- and we make certain that everything is included in your divorce decree (or final order if you are not married but have kids).
In addition, we prepare all ancillary documents so that you can rely on the fact that your real estate and vehicles will be properly transfered. Further, if you have kids under 18, we make sure you are appropriately set up in the child support system.
The Collaborative Divorce process has been uniquely developed for people facing divorce who:
Your divorce is considered "contested' if one of the following circumstances is true:
1. Your spouse has already hired an attorney.
2. Your spouse has served you with a divorce petition by a process server.
3. Your spouse has set a Temporary Orders Hearing.
4. You and your spouse are fighting about custody of a child.
5. You are a victim of domestic violence and require injunctions or a protective order.
6. Your spouse refuses to provide you with financial support while your divorce is pending, and you cannot support yourself.
7. Your spouse refuses to allow you to visit with your child.
8. Child support is not being paid, and your spouse refuses to include it in the final divorce decree.
9. You or your children are without medical insurance and your spouse refuses to obtain it for the kids or reimburse you for carrying them.
10. Your spouse will not provide information needed to calculate child support or to divide community property, such as retirement benefits information or financial information concerning an ownership in a business or his or her monthly income.
If your spouse refuses to sign a Waiver of Service, your case is not technically "uncontested," but we can discuss your options for proceeding. We may be able to keep you from reaching full "contested status!"
While this is not an exhaustive list, it reflects many common issues inhibiting an uncontested case.
If we are able to help you resolve the issue(s) in contention, we may be able to proceed on a FLAT FEE basis.
However, if your case is going to be a contested one, you can be assured that we will do our very best to fight for your rights and a fair settlement. We will let you know what to expect; how different issues are normally resolved; and what your risks are if no agreement is reached and the case goes to trial.
We will explain the discovery and mediation processes and let you know our strategies for preparation and also the ways we work with you to keep down our attorney's fees. We have a reputation for coming up with flexible and creative settlement options!
If all that fails and trial becomes necessary, you can rely on us to be organized, thorough and prepared to elicit from the Court your best possible result!!!