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San Leandro, CA – Importance of Hiring a Family Lawyer for Contested Divorces

SYNOPSIS: This article debunks common myths about hiring a family lawyer for a contested divorce in San Leandro and showcases the strategic guidance an experienced attorney provides.

Myth vs Reality in Contested Divorces

BY: Vonnah Bagner, Bagner Law

Many people going through a contested divorce in San Leandro do not realize the full value an experienced family attorney provides. Uncertainty about the process leads to myths and misconceptions. To protect confidentiality, all client examples have been anonymized.

In my 20+ years handling difficult divorce cases, I’ve helped clients by debunking some common myths:

Myth: Lawyers prolong the fight.

Reality: Skilled attorneys aim for resolution, not escalation. As counsel, I advise compromise when in your best interests, while firmly protecting rights in areas you need strength. For example, my client James was insistent on full custody due to anger toward his ex. I had many conversations about how shared custody could work with some reasonable boundaries. This shifted his mindset. Once we proposed joint legal custody with 60/40 physical custody, the ex wife was much more willing to cooperate. Taking extremes off the table resolved things amicably.

Myth: Judges mainly care about facts, not legal arguments.

Reality: Persuasive legal advocacy is crucial to court outcomes. I creatively use precedents and case law to make compelling arguments that bolster your position. For instance, my client Angela was afraid her disability would mean loss of custody. I successfully argued that her consistent role as primary caregiver prior to disability favored continuity in living arrangements. The judge agreed.

Myth: It’s best to represent yourself to save money.

Reality: The savings often never materialize as cases drag on for self-represented parties. My expertise resolves cases more quickly and favorably. For example, my client Robert chose to represent himself initially to save legal fees. But simple paperwork mistakes led to months of delays, eventually forcing a trial. After finally hiring me, I was able to resolve the case in mediation. The lengthy trial costs and stress for him and his family could have been avoided.

Myth: Hiding assets helps protect your interests.

Reality: Concealing assets will backfire, destroying settlement options and your credibility in court. I always advise fully disclosing all assets upfront so we can protect your rights through ethical, lawful means. For example, my client Sarah was tempted to not mention an inheritance she received during the separation. I counseled her on how concealment could be construed as deceit, strip her bargaining power, and even lead to punitive damages if exposed. Being transparent allowed us to still negotiate favorable terms.

Myth: Agreeing to unfavorable terms just to make it stop is best for kids.

Reality: While short-term relief from conflict may feel tempting, shortsighted agreements can mean long-term harm for your children’s stability. Especially with custody arrangements, I advise clients to take the necessary time to thoughtfully negotiate terms that will be sustainable and truly serve the kids’ needs. For instance, my client Thomas was ready to cave on having shared custody out of exhaustion. But the schedule we drafted gave his young kids too much back-and-forth. With guidance, he advocated for a fair plan that allowed more routine. This reduced family stress.

Here’s an example of how my strategic approach led to an exceptional result for a client:

Melissa was adamant that she wanted 50/50 physical custody of her two young children in the divorce. On paper, this seemed fair and equitable.

However, I gently asked her to walk me through a typical week and describe her work schedule in detail. As a successful surgeon, her job frequently required 12+ hour surgeries and emergency procedures at odd hours. Her schedule was always in flux.

I helped Melissa reflect honestly on whether a 50/50 timeshare truly created stability and met the needs of a 6 and 9 year old. The children needed consistency with school, activities, and bedtimes. I asked her to envision how the children’s lives would look shuffled back and forth so frequently.

Melissa thought deeply and realized the kids would have an easier adjustment living primarily with their dad, who had a more regular 9-5 office job. While difficult emotionally for her to accept, she recognized the value of putting the children’s daily welfare first.

We decided to propose joint legal custody with a 70/30 physical custody split in mediation. Because this demonstrated Melissa’s reasonableness and priority was the children’s wellbeing, her almost-ex was much more willing to negotiate on other terms. He agreed to generous visitation and virtual contact on her unconventional schedule.

This exemplifies the power of experience and strategic counsel. By taking an innovative big picture approach tailored to the family’s situation, I was able to help Melissa let go of what she thought she wanted. This led to an optimal arrangement for all parties.

Don’t face this alone. Together we can overcome obstacles and smooth the road ahead for you and your family. Contact me at Bagner Law in San Leandro and let’s get started on your case today. All client examples have been anonymized to protect confidentiality.

“Best Family Lawyer / Attorney in San Leandro, CA”

Top Rated Local Family / Divorce Law Firm

East Bay Area: San Leandro, Oakland, Hayward, Union City, Fremont, CA


“Best Family Lawyer / Attorney in San Leandro, CA”

Top Rated Local Family / Divorce Law Firm

East Bay Area: San Leandro, Oakland, Hayward, Union City, Fremont, CA

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Vonnah Bagner

Bagner Law

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2777 Alvarado Street, #E,
San Leandro, CA 94577, USA

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2777 Alvarado Street, #E,
San Leandro, CA 94577, USA



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San Leandro, CA – Importance of Hiring a Family Lawyer for Contested Divorces