Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I am no longer offering DO IT YOURSELF LEGAL KITS

I also no longer offer the DO IT YOURSELF DIVORCE KITS.  

It was a great concept that just did not work.

  • People made appointments -- but did not show up over 50% of the time. Even when I called to confirm their appointment the day before & they never called to let me know that they were not going to show.  For example, one day 4 people were no shows! 
  • People showed up -- but did not bring money to pay me for the kit -- they just wanted to talk for free -- this was AFTER I'd talked to them on the phone & told them what to bring & how much cash to bring with them.  
  • People showed up -- but did as we started to talk it turned out that they did NOT have an agreement.  
  • People showed up but had already bought a kit & they wanted me to fix their on-line piece of "junk" for free -- sorry - they bought a piece of "junk" and I can't fix "junk"!
  • People wanted me to "force" their soon to be ex into an agreement -- that is not an "agreed" divorce -- I cannot "force" a person into an agreement!  (One man actually said in front of me that he would beat his wife if she would not sign the paperwork -- I had my assistant keep him busy while I had her get in her car and leave & when he threatened me I told him that I'd call the police if he did not leave & I refunded his money back to him!)
  • People wanted to me to provide "marital counseling" for them - they needed counseling not legal advice.
  • Some couples wanted me to prepare agreements that violate the TX Family Code so I refused to even do the paperwork since no judge would sign their Final Decree of Divorce.  I was trying to offer kits at reasonable rates based on the TX Family Practice Manual - not re-invent the wheel. Some people wanted a custom-made kit -- but they did not want to pay for a custom-made product!
  • A couple of people had a lot of assets & really needed to hire an attorney to draft their legal documents -- these were not "simple" divorces -- I'm talking about people with over $500,000 in assets, a QDRO needed to be drafted & even profitable businesses -- but they did not want to pay an attorney to do the necessary paperwork -- they wanted to pay $200 for a "simple" divorce when they have $1million dollar businesses, retirement, and real estate investments  -- crazy!
  • And, the opposite was true with debts.  A few couples came in with complex and totally disorganized estates that needed someone to sit down with them and try to figure out their financial mess.  My kit was a one-time meeting that was based on both parties making full and complete honest disclosure to each other.  It was not designed for people with complex legal problems -- good or bad.  People with good or bad legal problems need to sit down with an attorney and have a long discussion about their future.  My one-time limited appointment was never designed for that purpose.
  • Women had men by several different men that required complex paperwork and several child support orders and visitation orders but they did not understand that they did not have a "simple" divorce & the fathers did not want to pay child support -- they had a real legal "mess" on their hands that required each father to be served with legal paperwork.  
  • Battered women came in & needed a protective order & they did not qualify for a "simple" divorce.
  • People bought a divorce petition with children for approximately $150 -- but they never came by for the final divorce documents so I don't know if they ever divorced or if they reconciled.
  • I charged under $200 for a divorce kit with no kids, no property (except vehicles) and I included all required TX forms, Power of attorney for motor vehicles, Waiver of Service and Final Decree and I even told people where to park downtown and what to say to the judge.  I made all copies - people still could not afford to pay for that divorce kit.  

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