Contact & Hire
HOW TO HIRE ME
When enquiring about hiring me, do not give me any details about your family law matter or dispute because I am to be a neutral party. If you want to hire me, then do not share information with me upfront that will cause me to lose my neutrality.
If I am conflicted out because I hear details from one party that tend to sway or influence a reasonable person, then I cannot take your file. Your opportunity to give me your position on the facts will come later after I am hired, and after I complete the intake and screening processes I have described under the “services” headings.
There are other forms to complete at later stages of hiring me depending on your circumstances and type of services, such as the:
A copy of everything I receive is also provided to the other party to preserve that neutrality, except the confidential intake and screening forms you will provide to me. The obvious rule is to not disclose to me in these early stages any information that you do not want to share or is not known to the other party.
Ideally, if you have a lawyer, you can direct your lawyer or both parties’ lawyers to contact me directly on your behalf in a joint letter. Equally ideally, if you have no lawyer and both parties are in agreement to approach me to ask about hiring me, then you should tell me that information and I will contact you both, and I will work through your questions jointly and proceed from the point at which I decide that I shall be your mediator, arbitrator or parenting coordinator.
Ideally, send me a joint email, from both of you, or cc’d to both, that gives me the same details that I request in my “Contact” form: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practically speaking, you can have me appointed by the Court in any of these capacities. It is quite common that I am court appointed as a parenting coordinator, for example, and more often than via mutual agreement because that is the nature of such files.
Seldom is there agreement reached in the absence of trust between the parents, so in the earliest stage of most appointments, it is usually one party that advocates most strongly for a parenting coordinator appointment.
I can provide a sample Court Appointment draft court order terms, or you can access draft court appointment terms from your lawyer or many government online information sites.
The wording differs according to the service type (parenting coordinator, mediation, arbitrator), and court order wording differs according to the presiding judge or justice’s preferences, so there is some variation on the wording. Simple is always best. I can help with that wording too.
HOW TO PAY ME
I prefer to be paid via online payments in response to my emailed invoice with a “pay now” link embedded in the email.
This method is simple. Each party receives an invoice, and each pays its share, which is usually 50% of the amount indicated.
Payment be electronic funds transfer is also ideal as it is simplest. The participation agreements contain payment terms in each agreement, so you will look to your contract with me to know how to pay me.
Generally, billing and payments are done monthly and are completed in the most straight forward way.
Time Tracking In Invoices
My invoices are always detailed by time and charges specifics, so you can verify that my invoice reflects my time and costs accurately. I keep time records using my Clio time management software, with an “on” and “off” time button, and I enter time usage specifics as I go along for immediate time recording.
Fees & Disbursements
In addition to my hourly rate charged for my services, I also invoice out the out-of-pocket costs I incur and pay for the operations of your file. If I run a DivorceMate calculation, there is a fixed fee that I must pay to access DivorceMate’s calculator on a file by file basis, and I pass that “per file” fee along to you.
You will pay the out-of-pocket costs as and when invoiced along with the monthly invoice for my time. Out-of-pocket costs are reasonable and necessary costs incurred to do my job and keep your file on track, such as occasional photocopies or fax that could not be sent by email.
E-Signature on Documents and Zoom Technology
I am keeping up with advances in technology by using current cost and time-saving devices such as e-signature for obtaining everyone’s signature on documents and Zoom to hold meetings.