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June 29, 2011 8:45 AM   Subscribe

How to find a good divorce lawyer/mediator in San Jose? And what is good?

I'm normally a do it yourself kind of guy - but this seems beyond my limits.

The situation: no kids, no real estate, no physical abuse, no affairs. Married for ~5 years. I'm game for splitting our savings 50/50 even though I earned much/most of it.

I think I'd like a mediator approach - I'd really like to keep this civil and... well... cheap. Honestly I'm not sure how the spouse will respond to this - though I don't think it will be a surprise.

So... the questions:
1. What defines a good divorce lawyer?

2. What defines a bad divorce lawyer?

3. What should I ask in a consultation?

4. Or... does anyone have any references for the San Jose area?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm game for splitting our savings 50/50 even though I earned much/most of it.

Whether you're "game" isn't really the issue here. California is a community property state, which means that half of whatever you earned or acquired during the marriage is rightfully your wife's.

Honestly I'm not sure how the spouse will respond to this - though I don't think it will be a surprise.

Whoa, wait. You haven't told your wife you want a divorce yet? I think a good step toward civility would be to tell her before you hire a lawyer.
posted by liketitanic at 8:51 AM on June 29, 2011


I don't have a lawyer to refer you to in San Jose, but go the mediation route if at all possible. It will save you thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. If at all possible, get a mediator who only does mediation and doesn't also do attorney work. That felt less biased to me.

I used attorney (not mediator) Bob Lewis on The Alameda for a short time because my wife wouldn't comply with the decree, and he was accessible, got me in quickly, seemed to know his stuff and was a nice enough guy. He charged an absolute arm and a leg for the work he did, but I have no basis for comparison, so I assume his charges were normal.
posted by cnc at 12:00 PM on June 29, 2011


I recommend perusing the AAML website (the American academy of Matrimonial Lawyers). AAML Fellows are the best of the best. There are several fellows from the South Bay Area.
posted by chaoscutie at 6:28 PM on June 29, 2011


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