Family Law Mediation and Self-Representation Coaching

Mediate, don’t litigate.  6 weeks of collaboration is better 
than 6 years of litigation.  
Collaboration leads to healing.  Litigation leads trauma.  Trauma will harm you and your children.

Watch Overview

Why Mediate Your Family Law Dispute?

Family Law is a $50 Billion annual industry of individuals, professionals, corporations, and government profiting from suffering families. The legal industry has fooled parents going through divorce into believing that you must retain a lawyer to protect your rights, but court battles lead the parties to bankruptcy.

Mediation is an informal process where parties work things out without the hostility associated with court, and without a decision of who is right or wrong. The mediator helps each side to better understand their situation, promotes a problem-solving atmosphere, and lessens the temptation to fight with each other.  The mediator ensures that everyone has a change to be heard and understood, and encourages a solution that meets their needs.

When one party wants to mediate but the other party insists on fighting, we offer affordable legal coaching for parents with limited financial resources who represent themselves in Court.

Benefits of Mediation

Mediation involves several meetings of guided negotiations in which parties collaborate to resolve their dispute with the help of an independent mediator. Settling disputes through mediation can reduce the trauma to children, save money, and leave the parties in a better state of mind. There are a number of other significant benefits of mediation to the parties, and they include:

  1. GREATER CONTROL.  Each party is directly involved. No settlement can be imposed upon you. In contrast, in court the parties must accept the judge’s decision, good or bad. 
  2. CONFIDENTIAL. Unlike public court, it’s private.
  3. VOLUNTARY. Any party may withdraw at any time. 
  4. CONVENIENT. Mediation is arranged at a mutually convenient time and place, with private and joint meetings.
  5.  LESS EXPENSIVE.  The cost is a small fraction of litigation.
  6. FASTER OUTCOME.  Whereas divorce litigation takes years, mediation can be completed in weeks.
  7. Mediators are trained in working with difficult situations. Mediators facilitate, support, and guide.
  8. PROTECTS CHILDREN.   Preserving parental relationships is the key benefit of mediation. Mediation focuses on communicating rather than attacking each other so that children aren’t caught in the crossfire.   

What is Self Representative Coaching?

When you can’t afford an outrageous retainer for a lawyer to go to handle the whole case, self-representation coaching is a great way for you to have legal help while keeping costs down.

How does this work?

You will handle some parts of your case and we’ll handle others. We wont enter our appearance in Court or sign legal documents, but we’ll draft documents, keep you fully informed on the law, and coach you before your Court appearance.

EXAMPLES OF SELF-REPRESENTATION COACHING

  1. You can just consult with us and get legal information and advice about your case when you need it.
  2. You can hire us to prepare the forms and other court documents, but file them yourself and represent yourself at the hearings.
  3. You can hire us to coach you on how to represent yourself at the court hearings and help you prepare the evidence that you will present in court.
  4. You can hire us to help you with the more complicated parts of your case, such as legal research while you do the simpler tasks yourself.

Is Self Representative Coaching Right for you?

When trying to decide if a limited-scope arrangement is right for you, you should:

  • Discuss your case with us or another lawyer in depth, including areas that you want to handle yourself. If you don’t discuss the whole case, even the parts that you think are simple and want to handle yourself, you wont know if you have overlooked something that’s legally important. Once you’ve had this discussion, we can agree on whether a limited-scope arrangement will work for you and your case and you can be comfortable that you’ve identified any hidden complications.
  • Decide if you’re willing to take on full responsibility for those parts of the case you will handle on your own. Remember that lawyers have gone to school and have years of experience.  That means that we know things you dont about the legal process. If you instruct your lawyer not to take certain steps, either to save money or because you want to remain in control, you’ll have the full responsibility for the outcome in the parts of the case you do yourself, even with a lawyer coaching you.

About Us

Larry DeMarco is a partner in the law firm of DeMarco & DeMarco, P.C. and the founder of thelawcenter.NET. He is one of the few lawyers with an advanced law degree in trial advocacy from Temple Law School. Larry has been a sole practitioner in the Philadelphia 5 county area for 27 years and has served as a settlement master and arbitrator for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.  His past experience includes volunteering for the Support Center for Child Advocates, serving as a board member and board secretary for Comhar, Inc. (a non-profit serving special needs clients), and teaching Mock Trial with the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Larry’s passion is to reduce the trauma for families undergoing the pain of separation, especially for innocent children. Larry underwent a 10-year custody and support battle involving his own child and he experienced the vulnerability of parents in the family law court system first hand. He understands that parents must not only protect themselves from scorned lovers, but also from a financially motivated legal system that exploits the parents.

Larry believes that the best procedure to resolve a child custody, support, or property distribution dispute is mediation. When both sides don’t agree to mediate, self-representation coaching is a dramatically more affordable solution than retaining a private attorney for full scope representation. 

Watch to learn more

Affordable Services

Family Law is a $50 Billion industry annually.  Legal fees can be astronomically high and lead to bankruptcy.  However, unfamiliarity with laws and court procedures will create random, arbitrary, and unjust results that are harmful to you and your children.

We want to help. Our firm believes that fighting for the best interests of your family shouldn’t lead to bankruptcy.  That’s why we offer limited scope representation, also known as unbundled legal services– a more affordable billing system.  We will only bill you a one-time flat fee based upon the work that you need us to provide.  The more work that you can complete for yourself, the lower your bill and higher your savings.

We also offer a reduced rate ($100 per hour) for clients who qualify for the Philadelphia Bar Association Modest Means program.  People qualify for the Modest Means Program if their income is greater than 187.5% of the official poverty threshold (OPT) guideline but no more than 250% of the OPT or income below 187.5 % of the OPT who are nevertheless ineligible for free legal services.

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One-on-One Legal Support:

Initial Consultation:      30 minutes

Minimum retainer:        2 hours

Disclaimer:

Family Law Coaching is operated by Pennsylvania attorney Larry DeMarco of DeMarco & DeMarco, P.C. to give legal assistance for self-representation family law litigants. For litigants outside of Pennsylvania, always contact a state licensed attorney for legal questions for your local state laws.  We provide self-help representation assistance and do not go to court outside the Philadelphia area, but we can help you find a low cost local attorney to attend a hearing for you, where available. The availability of self -representation assistance is limited in some jurisdictions depending upon the ethical rules in your state.

For More Information:

Index of State Ethical Opinions limiting self-representation assistance.

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Contact Details

DeMarco & DeMarco, P.C.
1333 Race Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 
855-553-3627
215-735-6006 
Fax:  
215-315-3594

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