Anaheim Divorce Law based in Orange County - Attorney Bio - Miranda Family Law

FAQ

What are Unbundled Services or Limited Scope Representation?
What is Full Scope Representation?
What Do I Say When I Get Into Court?
What is A Proof Of Service?
Will the Judge Hold Me To an Attorney Standard In Court?
What are Judicial Council Forms?
What are Customized Templates?
What is Discovery and Why Do I Need It For My Family Law Case?
What is a DEMAND/REQUEST TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS and why do I need it for my Family Law Case?
What is a DEMAND TO ANSWER SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES and why do I need it for my Family Law Case?
What is An Uncontested Divorce?
What Documents Do I need Before a Paternity or Divorce Trial?
What If I Get Into My Trial or Hearing and I Don’t Know What To Do?
What are Unbundled Services or Limited Scope Representation?

 These are two different terms for basically the same thing. These types of services are typically done by an attorney for a flat rate. The client remains self represented and the attorney may just prepare paperwork or may substitute into the case on a limited scope to assist the client with a hearing or trial. The client remains responsible for any part of the case he or she has not contracted the attorney to help with.

What is Full Scope Representation?

This is a term to describe an attorney who substitutes into a client’s case and becomes the “attorney of record.” That means the attorney handles all aspects of the client’s case, from all communications, paperwork preparation, and court appearances, through to the conclusion of the case.

What Do I Say When I Get Into Court?

 

It all depends on the specialized facts of your case and what opposing party has put into his or her paperwork. We can guide you on what to say to the judge, what the judge wants to hear, and the legal elements you need to meet to prove your case. People representing themselves often find it extremely difficult to understand some of the specialized legal mumbo jumbo and latin terms that the attorneys and judges throw around like it’s everyday speak. This is made even more difficult for litigants when they feel overwhelmed already with anger, frustration, and sadness because of the emotional upheaval in what they are going through already. Miranda Family Law Docs can help you with this in our Orange, County, California office or over the phone if you are out of state. Please review our fee schedule for consultation/legal advice services.

What is A Proof Of Service?

The proof of service is very confusing to most people. What is it? This is the document that must be filed with the court AFTER the opposing party is served with your paperwork. It tells the court that you have given (served) the other party with your paperwork within the TIME required by the court, and in the WAY required by the court. But you can’t serve the other side with your paperwork, you have to get someone else to do it for you. Already confusing right? And that is just ONE of the rules involved. After litigating family law cases for fourteen years, one of the most common things I would hear in court when there was a self-represented party, was a proof of service problem. There are very specific rules that pertain to filling out and filing proofs of service and many people misunderstand this process. We can help you understand the proof of service, prepare it for you, and drop your divorce documents or other family law documents in the mail. We can even file the proof of service on your behalf.

Will the Judge Hold Me To an Attorney Standard In Court?

“A litigant has a right to act as his own attorney…but, in so doing, should be restricted to the same rules of evidence and procedure as is required, of those qualified to practice law, before our courts; otherwise ignorance is unjustly rewarded. Doran v Dreyer (1956) 143 Cal.App.2d. 289, 290, 299. This is the law, however it is also the law that judges must do everything to remain impartial and ensure a fair hearing for both parties. This can mean giving a self-represented party ample time to speak, overlooking small technicalities, and explaining its orders in plain speak. There are many judges who do this, however, there are also many judges who don’t. It is better to be fully prepared before you walk into court, with paperwork done correctly, understanding what the judge will be looking for, and knowing what you should say. We can help with that too. We can guide you through what Orange County judges are looking for from you for your particular case. Having spent over 14 years in family law court Ms. Miranda is skilled in litigation from start to finish.

What are Judicial Council Forms?

 

The Judicial Council is the policymaking body of the California Court System. They decide what forms should be used in family law and when to make changes in the forms. Most of the time the forms are mandatory and have to be used. Sometimes, the court requires use of one of its local forms. However, there are other times when custom made forms are to be used in family law such as for discovery. We can provide ANY form you need within the family law system, including, divorce, paternity, and domestic violence forms. These forms are provided to you in their original form, which is PDF. Please take note that these forms are provided free of charge at courts.ca.gov, however it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which forms you need without guidance.
What are Customized Templates?

 

Customized templates are Word documents that have the provisions already written for you as well as optional or “extra” provisions that will allow you to delete the provisions you don’t want. Keep in mind that the provisions will contain the necessary required language but you will have to insert some of your own language to customize the document. The template will have blanks for you to fill in and will have highlighted or bold portions for you to use optionally.
What is Discovery and Why Do I Need It For My Family Law Case?

 

Most of the time in a family law case, particularly divorce, you will want to do DISCOVERY. Discovery is the process in a legal case where you try to obtain information about the other party. The information can be financial, job related, or pertaining to any non-private issue you need to help your case. Often times you want to find out how much money the other side has, what they are doing with their money, where are they keeping their money, and whether they have more money than they say they do. Property and financial issues are very big in family law because child and spousal support are often an issue. Other times you may need different information, such as whether a person has been looking for work. Unfortunately, the discovery laws and rules are very complex and it is very difficult for most non attorneys to craft a discovery document without errors. Usually these errors are significant enough such that opposing counsel will object to the discovery on the basis of the error and not give you the documents you requested. This can be very frustrating for the self-represented litigant who is trying to get information to help his case. It can also stall the case and protract it. If you are self-represented and wish to serve discovery on the other party, Miranda Family Law Docs has several discovery templates already prepared for you. We give you specific and detailed instructions on how to fill in your own information into the template, sign and date and drop it in the mail. This takes the guess work and error out of trying to figure out the correct discovery template on your own. Alternately, we can prepare the discovery for you. Please see our fee schedule. With the exception of the Form Interrogatories, Discovery template documents are custom crafted documents. We offer three types of discovery templates:

1.DEMAND FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS - $100.00 per template
2.SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES -$100.00 per template
3.FORM INTERROGATORIES – if you are buying one of the other discovery templates this form is included for free. If you simply want the FORM INTERROGATORY DOC on its own the cost is $10.00 for us to email the document to you.
What is a DEMAND/REQUEST TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS and why do I need it for my Family Law Case?

 

A Demand for Production of Documents is a custom crafted request for documents. The documents can be anything you think might be under the possession or control of the other party. Often the request will include bank statements, property documents, credit card statements, and many other categories which you may need in order to prove your case. You can then use these documents at the hearing or trial to prove for example that opposing party makes 100,000 a year instead of $50,000, or that he spends money gambling instead of paying support, or that she doesn’t need more spousal support because she has sufficient disposable income. A document request is one of the most important tools to have in your arsenal, but you also must understand, once you have the documents, how you have to use them at trial or hearing. Miranda Family Law Docs has a detailed sheet that explains how to use your documents at trial/hearing.
What is a DEMAND TO ANSWER SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES and why do I need it for my Family Law Case?

 

A demand to Answer Special Interrogatories is another custom crafted document, customized specifically for your case after consulting with you about the kind of questions you want the other side to answer. These are questions that you need answers to before the hearing so that you can prepare FOR the hearing. These questions have to be written in very specific ways and pursuant to the guidelines of the discovery code, otherwise the other side need not answer them.
What is An Uncontested Divorce?

 

An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties sit down together prior to meeting with an attorney and decide how they want to divide their assets and debts. They have also worked out any support issues, child custody and visitation matters. The job of the attorney is then meeting with the couple to obtain the proposed division of marital assets, and preparing a judgment based upon the agreement of the parties. As part of this process, the attorney can give you some advice if the agreement does not appear to be workable or may result in problems. The attorney can also recommend other options the parties may not have thought of that might be more helpful to them. The party who contacts the attorney is technically the client. The attorney will stay neutral and not give advice to either party over the other in an uncontested divorce unless one party only wishes to retain the attorney while having the other party hire his/her own attorney to review the uncontested divorce prepared by our office. In California, even if it takes only a few days to finalize the divorce paperwork, once the attorney files your judgment with the court, it often takes six to eight weeks for the courts to process the paperwork. Additionally, by statute, the State of California will not divorce you until six months have passed from the date that the other party is first served with divorce papers.
What Documents Do I need Before a Paternity or Divorce Trial?

 

Often before trial, the court will ask the parties to prepare a Trial Brief. The trial brief should give a summary of the background in the case, the orders in the case, and the current issues to be resolved by the court at trial. It is difficult for a self-represented party to prepare a trial brief correctly because it requires a custom document preparation. This is not a judicial council form with a check the box. The court may also require that you submit witness and exhibit lists for any witnesses and documents you wish to present at trial. Non-compliance with these rules can sometimes result in the exclusion of evidence. Don’t go to trial without making sure you are prepared. Miranda Family Law Docs can give you advice and make sure you are ready for trial.
What If I Get Into My Trial or Hearing and I Don’t Know What To Do?

 

For a nominal flat fee, Miranda Family Law Docs can provide you with a sheet of 100 common questions that you can ask for custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support, as well as debt and asset issues. Each sheet has 100 common questions that will give you examples of what you should ask. In the event that you wish us to prepare custom questions for you, specifically tailored to your case, we can do that as well, after we consult with you about the specific facts pertaining to your matter. Additionally keep in mind that it is perfectly normal and common for self-represented litigants to be confused about legal terms and procedures while in court, especially Orange County, California court, where full evidentiary hearings and testimony are very standard. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to tell the judge that you are confused about a term used or a procedure. If the judge can help you, he will. He can’t give you legal advice but he CAN explain the law and the procedure.

Testimonials

“I had the pleasure of meeting Julia Miranda in one of my greatest times of need. I had what I thought was a very hard case, especially being that I was 2100 miles away. Not only did she reassure me that there was hope, but she was also very professional and during my greatest time of need helped me see that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Not once, did I ever hang up the phone with questions still left on my mind.”

J. Hawkins