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Can A Paralegal Do My Divorce?

November 9, 2013

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A little over 30 years ago the State of California created a sanctioned designation of ‘Legal Document Assistant’. These were individuals with legitimate paralegal training and credentialing who could assist, without any lawyer required, self-represented people who were needing to utilize the Court system, or negotiate their way through it without having to pay a lawyer.   These L.D.A’s needed to be properly trained and registered in the County they did business out of.  They also needed to be bonded.  Today there are thousands of LDA’s across the country assisting self represented individuals move their cases through the court system without lawyers.

Of course, like any other profession, there are skilled practitioner’s and not so skilled ones.  At Go Divorce Clinic, it’s founder Robert Revel is a credentialed paralegal and mediator cum L.D.A. who’s business model specializes only in divorce.  The unique business focus allows Go Divorce Clinic to provide what many see as not only the most affordable, but also the best divorce service available, bar none.  It provides divorcing couples information and help along with competent document preparation.  “It’s fast, easy, affordable and a better process than any other divorce model out there – including lawyer assisted divorce”, says founder Robert Revel.  He recalls the existing confusion out there around paralegals and divorce:

“Many times a client will come into my office claiming that they had their previous marriage ‘done by a paralegal’.  The statement always makes me cringe a bit, as I wondered just who it was exactly that did their divorce!  You see, most everyone assumes that a ‘paralegal’ divorce is a legitimate alternative to a family law lawyer.  The fact is that by law no ‘paralegal’ can perform any legal document preparation work directly for clients unless those paralegals are working under the direct supervision of an attorney!   So either the clients that referred to divorce paralegals were confused about who they had hired, or the person who ‘assisted’ them was not legitimate and was operating illegally.  That is a scary thing to realize when you are considering something as important as when you need someone to help you with your divorce”.  Robert Revel should know, he has been in the family law trenches with his new model of self-help divorce that is taking over the bay area and northern California by storm.

While many family law attorneys seem very adept at drawing out divorces, making them drag on and on, Revel focuses on the quickest resolution possible, and he is top in his field at getting couples to a reasonable agreement.  “If I can’t get a divorce resolved in under 4 hours of mediation, I’d say it can’t be resolved outside of the courtroom”, he testifies.

Before founding Go Divorce Clinic, his successful mediation practiced evolved to retain quite a celebrated reputation.  His secret?  “I credit Dr. Marshal Rosenberg’s Non Violent Communication model a lot.  I also never caucused (isolated talk with either party away from earshot of the other party) in my mediations, even though they taught that at the University, because I saw it bred distrust and suspicion at the conference table.  I could see caucusing was utilized by mediators who could not handle high conflict clients, but there was always a price to pay for using it”.

Revel’s most radical mediation technique was one that led him to found the Go Divorce Clinic – he keeps lawyers out of the mediation chamber.  He cites two important reasons:  “First of all I could see that the attorney presence was more often than not toxic.  They poisoned the pool every time I managed to get goodwill to build momentum between the disputing parties.  It was almost as if the lawyers were uncomfortable with the Parties shedding the adversarial posturing.   Second I knew to make progress I needed to be the only authority in the room because unlike the lawyers, I was truly neutral and truly safe.  The lawyers wanted to run the show, and too many chiefs, as the saying goes… is not a good thing”.

Today Revel continues his razing of divorce protocols in family law.

“I’m an innovator at heart.  There are personal reasons why I chose to target family law for for a major overhaul.  But one thing I know, the field is changing not merely because Go Divorce Clinic is providing a healthier way to take care of divorcing couples, but because so many people are affirming our business model now.  Our market share is so much now that the family law lawyers have to stop and look at what we are doing right, and hopefully they will begin adopting some of our protocols.  I see it as a dance between client and service provider that is nodding to the most basic tenants of supply and demand.  Meet the actual needs of the client, perform ethically, and you will eventually dominate your market niche.  In this case dominating means we get to reach more families who can ill afford the typical bitterness, resource depletion, and utter exhaustion that accompanies traditional contested divorce with lawyers”.

If you would like to learn more about Robert Revel and the Go Divorce Clinic you can visit:  www.GoDivorceClinic.com