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Success of Pro Se Divorce Assistance: Illinois divorce law

Woodstock family lawyer

Limited scope representation can help you reduce fees and obtain a better divorce settlement

Today I completed my representation in a case that I believe shows the value and benefit of limited scope legal representation.  While not widely used, limited scope representation allows lawyers to represent a client in a limited capacity.  In this case, I took on the role of advisor, utilizing my expertise in Illinois divorce law, McHenry County divorce procedure, and background with Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and other financial and retirement instruments.

My client needed help in what he anticipated was going to be a mostly uncontested divorce.  However, he needed to keep his fees low while obtaining the best result overall.  The first version of the agreement he brought drafted by opposing counsel was, unfortunately, a mess.  Opposing counsel simply had every asset divided equally.  This included several small IRAs and small 401(k)s.  While other attorneys may not have realized it, the structure of the agreement put my client at a disadvantage from a tax standpoint and was going to result in both clients paying a small fortune in legal fees and other fees (to financial institutions) to administer the terms of the agreement.

With my advice and my assistance in selecting additional legal language, my client was able to negotiate a settlement that included many terms beneficial to him that were initially excluded, significantly simplify the financial division while creating a more equitable division of the tax consequences, and structure the agreement to minimize the administrative costs of carrying out the division.  All-in-all, I estimate the fees he paid me to assist him were approximately 35% of what the fees would have been to just administer the previous proposed division.  In addition, the custody, visitation, and financial resolution seems to me to be more orderly and more favorable to my client.

While limited scope representation is not right for everyone, we are seeing a variety of outcomes in McHenry County divorces.  It is nice to be able to share a very clear story of the success of such representation and its ability to provide better service at lower costs.  If you are involved in a divorce in or around McHenry County, please contact the Stetler Law Group for additional information and advice.