Dual Representation During Contested Divorce Mediation
Applicant: Mr. Zhou
Nationality: US Citizen
Applying for: Marital Settlement Agreement, Dual Representation Divorce Filing
Case Type: Contested Divorce Consultation and Marital Settlement Agreement
Time: less than 8 hours
- Client’s wife had already hired a divorce attorney and the negotiations were going very badly
- Our client believed he should be able to handle the entire divorce process by himself and at this last juncture is not able to continue
- Client was searching for an attorney that was willing to help negotiate a simple matter but no one was willing to until he found us
Like many engineers, Mr. Zhou preferred his design projects at work to be precise and cost-efficient. Living his regular life to the same exacting standards may have been one of the irreconcilable differences he had with his wife. After years as a married couple, he was facing a new project — filing for divorce. As expected, Mr. Zhou wanted his divorce to be just as precise and cost-efficient. His hopes quickly ran off the rails. His wife had immediately hired a pricey divorce attorney and he was stuck paying for her legal fees. He did not want to pay another set of lawyer fees so he just did everything himself. Everything was going painstakingly long and costly, but at least he was saving himself 50% of the legal fees and was feeling cheerful until the other lawyer wanted him to sign the marital agreement and he was overwhelmed with negotiating a contract. Each session with the wife’s lawyer costed him over $1000 for the lawyer to explain to him what the contract meant and he had to pay for the fees and he felt like he was being tortured and tricked. He desperately wanted to find his own lawyer that would be able to guide him and finalize a very simple agreement that he and his wife already agreed to. But what he didn’t expect was that no lawyers were willing to represent him to review this marital agreement and negotiate with the other attorney for the payments he was expecting to pay. Fortunately, he reached out to the legal experts at Tsang and Associates.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
While Tsang and Associates doesn’t handle contested divorce cases, it does offer a cheaper and easier alternative: “Dual Representation” mediation. Under “Dual Representation” the firm negotiates a Marital Settlement Agreement without charging enormous legal fees and without the normal acrimony between the couple. The mediation process involves sitting down separately with both parties and if both sides can agree on 90% on the parameters of divorce, then the process can move forward and amicably towards creating a Marital Settlement Agreement and then a Dual Representation Divorce Filing. After hearing about Dual Representation Mr. Zhou’s expressed disappointment he hadn’t contacted Tsang and Associates from the very beginning or else all of this could have been done at a fraction of the price he paid.
Nevertheless, Tsang and Associates could still provide Mr. Zhou with help. Even though Mrs. Zhou had already hired a divorce attorney, the firm offered consultation services to advise Mr. Zhou on how to finalize a Marital Settlement Agreement between himself and his wife’s legal representative. Tsang and Associates drafted a preliminary settlement and discussed strategy on how to proceed with his wife’s attorney. The firm prepared a notice of “Limited scope of Substitution” to discuss with her attorney the settlement terms. Those terms included listing all of their assets, the division of assets, an agreement not to provide spousal support, and that Mr. Zhou would continue to live in the home. Throughout the proceedings, Mr. Zhou would continue to represent himself.
This was everything Mr. Zhou wanted and it was billed at a standard consultation rate, which was minimal compared to what the other attorney was charging him per negotiation. He was super relieved and thankful when all of this was over and appreciated the way we applied engineering mentality and efficiency to the legal work.
While the end of a long-term relationship is never pleasant, Mr. and Mrs. Zhou felt Dual Representation had been a positive experience. Each of them is happily pursuing separate lives and enjoying the money they saved by going through the mediation process.