Retain this attorney today.
I retained attorney April Seo for a divorce with minor children. My former spouse and I were in complete disagreement about the amount and duration of spousal support. We both vowed to hire attorneys, and my first thought was I wanted the better attorney.
Called April Seo on a late Friday evening. Didn't expect a response until Monday, but she was in contact with me the same evening, and gave me confidence in her initial assessment.
April had the right reviews and credentials (and Super Lawyer "Rising Star", etc etc.), but it was most clear to me at our consultation that she has great competence.
Our marriage was greater than ten years (a so called 'Long Term marriage'), and I was the higher earner. Lots of risk here for me, but April was able to define and minimize my support exposure.
I also wanted a 50/50 custody split. April understood the custody issues, and I felt instant relief that she'd back up my position.
April was organized and prepared for either settlement or litigation (and more prepared than opposing counsel, which gave me an advantage).
Good social skills with both client and opposing counsel. The process of working with this attorney was pleasant because she is engaged in what she does, and strongly advocates her client's interests. She moved things forward.
Attorney told me what records to keep to help the case. Record keeping was tedious, but then these same records became a key tool in encouraging former wife's acceptance of a settlement.
Client gets access to a case management portal. I liked logging on to see my case docs and status, to upload docs back to the attorney, and then also to see monthly invoices and my current trust account balance.
Monthly billing is itemized, and understandable. This attorney works efficiently so that I always saw the value of the work done.
Speaking of money, this attorney handles numbers and knows the Dissomaster support software; she sends for her client's review a Dissomaster report, which breaks down the monthly support amount.
In less than three months, we had a favorable marital settlement agreement in place, signed by both the parties and the attorneys. This is about as fast and smooth as it gets for this type of divorce.
Alameda County courts are busy, but after a delay by the court on the paperwork, the agreement was signed off neatly, as is, by the judge. The agreement contains a well-written 37 pages, she included specific provisions I wanted, and it covers all important areas in good detail.
What a success. Thank you.