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February 2020 Newsletter – MFLG 2020 Resolutions

Now that we are getting into the 2020 swing of things, MFLG and its Rock Stars are dialing in on firm-wide and individual New Year’s resolutions.

Resolutions are usually about out with the old and in with the new, however there’s so much about 2019 we want to carry on but in a more automated and grander scale. In 2020, MFLG wants to implement more automation. What does that mean? Many clients have similar issues, and when they meet with their team for the first time to go over their goals, those goals often include very similar advice or processes. For example, child custody matters include court hearings, which require a session with the court’s Child Custody Recommending Counselor [aka Mediation]. Attorneys cannot attend mediation with their clients. Prior to every mediation appointment, the attorney meets with the client to prepare them. This is a very important meeting for a parent in a custody battle. Whenever a client has child custody issues, it is imperative to remember you are at mediation to discuss what is in the best interest of the child(ren). It is not about your spouse controlling the bank account, being a narcissist, or his/her indiscretions. Those things may make your spouse a bad spouse, but not necessarily a bad parent in the court’s eyes. So, the attorneys will advise the client and prepare them before they meet with the court’s mediator, whose report may have a huge impact on the  custody orders.

So, back to the firm’s resolution… to help keep fees down when it comes to mediation preparation, we are working on some great informative videos that clients can watch from home. They can then write down some questions prior to meeting with their attorney. Essentially, we are remotely prepping them for their prep meeting, which reduces time spent in-office and on attorney’s fees. This is just one example of MFLG’s greater automation resolution. MFLG’s second resolution is to spread the word about our Rock Stars. Ms. Moore has amazing staff who deserve the spotlight, and she is proud to put them center stage. From our Associate Attorneys to the Paralegals to our Legal Assistant and Client Relations Manager, Ms. Moore is relentlessly pounding the pavement to spread the word that she is creating your legal dream team. She couldn’t do this work alone, and in 2020 we will continue to grow the team.

Now that you have read a couple of the firm’s resolutions, here are some of the Rock Star’s personal 2020 resolutions:

Whether you have personal or professional goals, we hope you crush them in 2020. MFLG helps clients meet their goals. Sometimes a client’s goals are more than just a divorce or a court order, but an altogether brighter future. We care about your brighter future. If you or someone you know needs help meeting goals, accomplishing resolutions or seek a brighter future, call us today (951) 463-5594

In the legal field, it is a fact that law offices and courts are paper-intensive and family law even more! Some firms and even federal courts are doing their best to go “paperless.” Informal surveys of law firms indicate that law firms use 20,000 to 100,000 sheets of paper per year. Those amounts, though, sound extremely modest and are probably small firm numbers.

With most courts requiring a certain number of copies of each document submitted, and the other parties or their attorneys requiring paper copies delivered, our firm could easily print or copy 50,000+ pages per year, BUT we consider ourselves a “paperless” firm, which does not mean we are entirely “paper-free.” Being paper-free is simply impossible

Why does MFLG consider itself paperless then? Many reasons:

  • MFLG chooses to send correspondence, legal forms and pleadings electronically to clients, attorneys, and to courts. It is the goal of MFLG to generate paperless documents 100% of the time. Each family law case can generate hundreds of pages of original content.
  • We also submit documents to courts and other entities electronically every time possible to avoid paper consumption.
  • MFLG accepts, and even requests, service of documents on behalf of clients, by email rather than regular mail. When clients bring in banker’s boxes of documents to review and put in their file, we do not copy them — we scan them and store them electronically in a secure cloud.

We would be lying if we said we are entirely paper-free, but we do our best by reducing the purchase, distribution and storage of paper.

There are just some things we can’t control, such as other firms who demand we send them paper copies, and most courts that require wet signatures on documents and multiple copies. Also, we like sending you this nice, informative newsletter once per month.

Maybe paperless businesses aren’t something that you care too much about because there isn’t a lot of paper clutter in your life — lucky you! So, let’s jump into how this paperless endeavor passes cost savings to our clients.

  • For starters, we are one of few firms that does not charge for copies — because we try not to make them.
  • We do not use a traditional fax machine and so we do not charge per page for fax transmissions, and postage rates are at a minimum — you get it!

Clients save on those small expenses that can add up over the course of a case, especially a complex divorce where litigation is heavy, correspondence is frequent, and discovery is recurrent.

Another benefit to being paperless is the legal team can electronically access your case from anywhere. If a client has an emergency and the attorney is out of the office, the attorney can call their client and is able to access their file to discuss the issue at hand.  Also, an MFLG attorney will not embarrass a client by lugging boxes of paperwork to a court hearing leaving a trail of coffeestained documents behind. There will be no fumbling through  overstuffed legal-sized file folders during trial either.

The attorneys at MFLG can review a well-organized electronic file from our tablets during a court proceeding. Oh, and we help the environment in the  process! We are here to help you.

Give us a call. (951) 463-5594

Q: We have no community debt, but all the credit cards are only in my name. Am I stuck with all of it?

A: No, not necessarily. Community debt is debt acquired during the marriage (date of marriage through date of separation). So, if you have $30,000 in credit card debt, California’s community property laws say half of that debt is yours. The other half belongs to your spouse. That is the simple answer. Of course, during the course of settlement, debt in your name may be used as a negotiation tool to offset asset distribution. For example, you have $30,000 in your 401k plan that was acquired completely during marriage. You can say, I will take that debt, but hands off my 401k. Or, let me have $15,000 more of our house’s equity rather than divvying up half of a bunch of credit cards. You can get the extra $15,000 of your spouse’s equity to pay down those debts yourself. This helps especially if your spouse has no way of cutting you a check to pay off all those debts you racked up together.

I used to think that divorce meant failure, but now I see it more as a step along the path of self-realization and growth. – Alana Stewart

MFLG recently celebrated two anniversaries:

  1. Laura, our Rock Star Sr. Paralegal, celebrated two years at MFLG in December 2019.
  2. Valerie, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, celebrated one year at MFLG in January 2020. Valerie’s business/work relationship with Ms. Moore dates back to 2013. The two have gained a strong trust in one another and are working hard to encourage and incentivize the Rock Stars to celebrate many work anniversaries at MFLG. We all know good help is hard to find and we appreciate the Rock Stars hard work!

MFLG strives for excellence and has the highest expectations of its staff. MFLG is thrilled and appreciative that Laura and Valerie continue to be assets offering quality work, sincerest customer care, and ongoing reliability to the firm and its clients. Happy anniversary to Laura and Valerie. Thank you for the years of  service with us.

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