Colorado Family Law Project offers a wide range of services for clients who need help with their family law cases and can’t afford a traditional attorney and/or law firm. While we do not fully represent you in your matter, you can book appointments with us as legal issues come up and you want to meet with a lawyer. The purpose of unbundled services is to keep you in control of your case. Our staff of attorneys are here to make the process easier and help clarify any confusion you may have about your family law case in Colorado.
Some of the things we can help you do:
- Help you draft and review legal documents, including initial Petitions, Separation Agreements, and Parenting Plans.
- Consult with you regarding their family law issues.
- Coach and prepare you for hearing, mediation, and other court appearances.
- Assist you with the creation and disclosure of your Sworn Financial Statements and financial documents.
- Help you initiate or respond to discovery requests in anticipation for trial.
- Help you with trial preparation (e.g., identification, organization, and finalization of exhibit notebooks, witness outlines, and meeting pre-trial deadlines).
- Accompany you to or prepare you for mediation or other non-courtroom related activities.
- Assist in development of your negotiation techniques with the other party in order to encourage and reach resolution as to disputed issues in your case.
Contact us today to find out all the ways we can help you take control of your family law case.
What are unbundled legal services?
Unbundled services, also known as “limited scope representation”, are a way that an attorney can help you with part of your case while you do the rest of your case. For example:
- You can consult with an attorney to prepare or review your paperwork, but attend the hearing yourself.
- You can represent yourself through the whole case, and periodically consult with an attorney who can coach you on the law, procedures and strategy.
- You can do the preparation yourself and hire an attorney just to make the court appearance for you.
- You may want to do your own investigation of the facts (“discovery”) and ask the attorney to assist you in putting the information in a format which is useful to the court.
- You may ask the attorney to be on “standby” while you attend the settlement conference yourself.
With limited scope assistance, you may be able to handle the whole case yourself, except for a few technical areas, such as pension rights, where the attorney can help you. It really is between you and the attorney how much of your case you hire them to do. If you do this, it is important to keep returning to the same attorney. Otherwise, you’re paying a new person to get up to speed on your case each time that you consult.
Some areas of the law are extremely technical and it is rare for non-attorneys to effectively handle them. Among these are pension rights, stock options, and business interests. You will almost certainly need the assistance of an attorney if your case involves any of these issues.
Why it is important to discuss your case thoroughly with your attorney
It is important to thoroughly discuss all aspects of your case (even those which you think are simple) with your attorney before deciding which parts you want to do yourself and which ones the attorney will assist you with. It is equally important to realize that there may be important issues presented by your case that you aren’t even aware of. You could be at serious legal risk about an issue you don’t even realize exists. If you don’t discuss them with your attorney, how will you know?
Never make assumptions about the law which applies to your case. The law shows you’ve seen on TV are rarely accurate, and just because you’ve “seen it on TV,” doesn’t mean it is correct, or even “legal.” The only way you know this is to talk it over with a qualified attorney.
Sometimes new issues will pop up after your case is started. If they do, it is important to advise your attorney and discuss them, so that you know the potential legal consequences to you. Remember that your attorney can only advise you on matters you tell him/her about, so it is essential that you provide complete information about your case.
Remember, you and your attorney are working as a team. That means good communication and a clear understanding of each person’s assignments is essential.