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Divorce Frequently Asked Questions Virtual and Online Law Office

Q. What is an Online Law Office? A virtual online law office is designed with your convenience in mind without any compromise to the quality of legal representation that you are entitled to receive. Once you register, you will have your own secure, private client portal from which you can interact with Ms. Garrett to obtain the legal services you need. In addition, you can confidentially check the status of your case, receive your legal documents, provide us with a document to review and even pay your invoice from the comfort of your home or office. The beauty of the online law office is that it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

Q. Is an Online Law Office secure? Absolutely! The online law office provides clients the same protection used by online banking. Communications through the online law office are done over Secure HTTP, which provides you with the highest industry standard protection available on the web.

Q. What is a “Virtual Law Office? A virtual office is an office that is geared towards the online user. It’s designed with convenience in mind—for the consumer. The Law Office of Linda C. Garrett is not a brick-and-mortar law office. Less overhead translates into lower legal rates. Unlike attorneys who have high overhead and the pressure of (and temptation) of generating high legal fees, Ms. Garrett does not have this pressure. As a result, she can afford to charge reasonable fees—based solely on the needs of her clients. If a bank can be an online bank (such as Ally or ING Direct), why can’t a law office?

Q. What if I want to meet Ms. Garrett in person? Great! If you are local, you can meet Ms. Garrett at local winery-and talk privately while eating cheese and crackers. If you are not local, then Ms. Garrett is equipped to Skype with you—the second best thing to meeting in person.

Q. Nothing personal, but how can I get assurances that Ms. Garrett is trustworthy? First, check Ms. Garrett’s status with the State Bar of California to determine if any disciplinary action has been taken against her; second, check Ms. Garrett's Better Business Bureau Rating to determine her rating with the BBB; third, Google Ms. Garrett’s name to determine if any negative statements have been made by others. In fact, it’s important that a consumer do a background check on anybody or company before they do business with them.

Limited Scope versus Full Scope Representation

Q. What is full-scope legal representation? This is the traditional type of legal representation that an attorney provides a client. Specifically, the attorney represents you throughout the entire legal process and it is his or her name on all legal documents. For example, a full-scope attorney prepares all legal documents and, represents you in court. In a divorce case, for example, the attorney represents you in connection with all issues related to your divorce, such as dissolving the marriage, dividing all assets and debt and retirement accounts, resolving custody issues, visitation issues and child and spousal support issues.

Q. What are unbundled (limited-scope) legal services? Unbundles legal services are also known as “limited scope” legal services. In this scenario, the legal services are “unbundled.” That is to say that the attorney provides less than the “full” legal services as outlined in the “full-scope legal representation”. Document preparation and/or legal coaching are examples of limited-scope/unbundled legal services. In another example of unbundled legal services, the client may represent himself regarding the simple, uncontested matters, such as dividing assets and debts, and hire an attorney to represent him in complex matters, such as custody and support matters. Whenever possible, it is recommended that you hire an attorney to provide full-scope legal services; however, if you can’t afford to do so, this is an excellent alternative. Unbundled services are not only good for the consumer, but also good for the overly-burdened court system. As it currently stands, approximately 70% of individuals are not represented by legal counsel. As a result, these unrepresented “pro se” individuals make numerous legal and procedural mistakes—causing undue delays and continuances for the pro se party and the overly-burdened judicial system.

Q. What can legal coaching do for me? In a word, lots! Let’s say, for example, your spouse refuses to voluntary pay child support, resulting in the need for you to file a motion for child support. As a coach, Ms. Garrett is able to explain the procedural process in connection with filing your Motion or Order to Show Cause Regarding Child Support. The procedural process includes, but is not limited to, when to file, how to file, documents you need to attach to your motion, and so on. Ms. Garrett could also coach you to prepare for your hearing—explaining, step-by-step, what you can expect on the day you go to court; and, explaining how and when to make legal arguments. Legal coaching is like having a legal angel over your shoulder so that you are not going to court totally confused and in the dark. Legal coaching is an excellent alternative when you cannot afford full legal representation. Legal coaching works great in all areas of practice listed on this website.

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