Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and answers:
Q: How long has Kimberly Cole been an attorney?
A: Since 1986.
Q: Does Kimberly Cole ever go to court?
A: No, Kimberly Cole does not handle contested situations requiring court appearances or formal representation. The last contested family law case handled was in 1989.
Q: How does this type of service differ from a paralegal?
A: Paralegals are not licensed to provide legal advice, nor have most of them completed law school. They are not trained in the substantive law and therefore cannot advise you on your legal rights or any other legal matter. They are only "document preparers" without the legal knowledge required to provide a full service. They also have no malpractice insurance.
Although Kimberly Cole does not represent clients in the traditional sense, she is a fully licensed attorney with many years experience in family law. The services provided by Kimberly Cole are intended to provide a thorough and complete analysis of the facts and issues in your case, detailed explanation of the procedural choices available to you, and a review of available settlement options or ideas, all of which is designed to assist you in making the necessary decisions and reaching an agreement with your spouse which resolves all issues in your case.
Q: How much of a retainer is needed?
A: Kimberly Cole does not operate on a "retainer" basis, but rather has a "pay as you go" arrangement. You pay for your consultation at the conclusion that day. Documents are a flat rate which will be quoted to you, and you pay for documents before they are prepared for you. Any outside costs are paid directly to the provider (such as court filing fees, notary fees, recording fees). Visa and MasterCard are accepted, as well as debit, ATM, checks, or cash. Please email or call to get the current fee schedule.
Q: Can Kimberly Cole help both my spouse and I?
A: Please thoroughly read the section on Mediation on this site, and also email or call to get the current fee schedule. You and your spouse will need to select the type of mediation you prefer, and there are differences in Kimberly Cole's ability to communicate with you later. Kimberly Cole often works with both spouses in going through the process of concluding a settlement of your case.
Q: How many times do my spouse and I have to come into your office?
A: That depends on how much time is needed to resolve all your issues. Some people need only one afternoon, some need five or six afternoons, but both of those examples are the extremes in either direction. The most common time spent is two or three afternoons and we are done working out all the details of the agreement.
Q: Do my spouse and I have to agree to exactly the same thing the Judge would order?
A: No. You and your spouse can agree to anything you want, as long as you are both informed about the laws and other issues about the subject of your agreement. You also must comply fully with the Disclosure laws.
Q: What if I can't talk to my spouse at all, and we are unable to communicate. How does mediation work then?
A: The only thing you and your spouse need to agree on is the process. In other words, you need to agree that you don't want to go through the court system, and that you do want to somehow reach an agreement. If you can agree on that, you are a giant step in the right direction. Then, you simply need to agree on which process you wish to use. There are several options, including mediation and collaboration. You and your spouse only need to agree on the choice of a process, then begin that process and continue until you have completed all tasks necessary. At the end of this process, you very likely will have worked out the details necessary to reach an agreement., and you have then completed the hard part of the process. You do not have to communicate outside my office, if that is difficult. All communication can be done here, if necessary.
Q: Can Kimberly Cole help me with out-of-state legal problems?
A: No, Kimberly Cole is licensed only in California and can advise only on California cases Kimberly Cole can assist with cases throughout the entire state of California, however, depending on the circumstances.
Q: We were never married but have a child together. How can Kimberly Cole help?
A: The legal issues regarding a minor child can be resolved by an agreement, or through mediation, just like any other case. The procedural steps are slightly different than in a divorce, but the basic process is the same.