DIVORCE? DON’T PAY EXCESSIVE ATTORNEY FEES -$175 Hr., $1,499 DOWN* (Serving Entire Los Angeles County)

offered virtually
Protect your rights without paying excessive attorney fees. My retainer fee (down payment) for my services is only $1,499*, and my hourly rate is just $175* per hour. With many attorneys in this county charging $3,500 retainer fees and $400 per hour or more, shouldn't you talk to me first to see if I can help you save some money?

I serve the entire Los Angeles County area, so no matter where you live in the Los Angeles area, I can help you for the same low fee.

I also promise not to raise your hourly rate as long as I represent you.

I charge less than the other guys because I keep my overhead expenses down to a minimum. I also have a hard time justifying charging my clients the incredibly high amounts of money other attorneys charge their clients in this town. Finally, I work for myself, so I don't have anyone pressuring me to bill my clients a certain number of hours each month. I only charge you for work that needs to be done.

Please call me at (818) 812-0717 for a free half-hour consultation over the phone. You can also email me with your questions at the email REPLY shown on this ad, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

And please check out my Frequently Asked Questions section below to give you an idea about how the divorce process works in Los Angeles County, and to get answers to the following divorce questions:

*I have questions about the whole divorce process. Can I get a free 20 minute phone consultation?
*I want to get a divorce (or I've been served with divorce papers). What do I do?
*How much will a divorce cost me?
*What is your hourly fee and how much do I have to pay you initially?
*Who gets custody of our kids?
*How do I get child support?
*My spouse makes a lot more money than me. Can I get spousal support (alimony)?
*I earned everything we own. Does this mean I get to keep it all?
*I live pretty far away from your office. Does Mark take cases in different parts of Los Angeles County?
*I don't want to spend any money for my divorce. Why shouldn't I just go to a paralegal/document preparation company and let them draft the divorce paperwork for me?
* Free 20 Minute Phone Consultation
* Low Hourly Fee - $175*
* Low Initial Retainer Fee - $1,499*
* Aggressive, Experienced Attorney (Over 27 Years Practicing Califonia Divorce Law)
* Patient, Friendly Representation
* Divorce
* Child Support
* Child Custody/Child Visitation
* Spousal Support/Alimony
* Division of Marital Assets and Debts, Including:
Family Home
Rental Property
Cars, Boats, Other Vehicles
Retirement Accounts, Pensions, 401(k)'s, Etc.
Furniture and Furnishings
Stocks, Bonds
Savings Accounts, Certificates of Deposit, Money Market Accounts
Credit Card Debts, Other Debts
* Restraining Orders
* Enforcement of Judgments
* Enforcement of Support Orders
All Other Divorce, Paternity, Support, and Custody/Visitation Related Matters

*Offer expires on 6/15/2024.

Welcome to the divorce, paternity, child support, and child visitation/custody law practice of Mark Milstead, Attorney at Law. Mark has handled a wide variety of divorce cases in California over the past eighteen years, and has helped his many clients deal with a wide variety of divorce-related issues including child support and spousal support, child custody and visitation, restraining order requests and defenses, move-out orders, reimbursement of money paid by the marital community during marriage, pre-nuptial agreements, and the division of marital assets, including homes, pension plans, 401(k) plans, stocks, mutual funds, automobiles, boats, motorcycles, furniture and furnishings, and the division of marital debts, among other issues.

Mark's goal is to make the divorce process as painless and understandable as possible for his clients. He knows that people can be confused, worried, and even scared about ending their marriage, whether they are initiating the divorce themselves, or just responding to their spouse's desire to end the marriage. He tries to explain the process to his clients in simple, easy-to-understand language, so that they will know what their rights and choices are throughout the divorce. Mark has represented both men and women throughout his practice, so he understands the positions and issues that both sexes face in a divorce.

At the law practice of Mark Milstead, Attorney at Law, you'll find an attorney who has the experience to know how your case needs to be handled, but you won't be taken advantage of by outrageous legal fees. You will get aggressive, determined representation at a fair price, so that you can protect your rights throughout a process that has been called one of the most stressful times of a person's life. Remember, divorce law is the same for everyone in California, no matter how much you pay your attorney.

Please browse this website to find out more about Mark's practice, and then call him directly to arrange for a free 20 minute consultation. Thanks for your interest.


1. I have questions about the whole divorce process. Can I get a free 20 minute phone consultation? Yes. Mark will first talk with you over the phone about your situation to get a good understanding about the issues in your case. If your spouse has already started a divorce, or any other related proceeding, against you, you will send those papers to Mark by email before the consultation. Mark will ask you important questions about your case, like how long you have been married, whether you are currently living apart from each other, how many children you have, what assets you both have, including real estate, retirement plans, savings, stocks, bonds, furniture, automobiles, and any other property either of you might have that needs to be divided, what debts you both have, whether you are both working, and if so, how much you each make, who the kids currently live with, and who they will live with during the divorce process and after the divorce in finalized, and a host of other questions designed to help Mark determine what issues there are in your case. After hearing about the details of your case, he will recommend the steps you should take to help you resolve your divorce in a way that is fair to you. This initial consultation will help you decide if you feel comfortable with Mark, and whether you want to hire him to represent you.

2. I want to get a divorce (or I've been served with divorce papers). What do I do? Your first step is not to panic. It's pretty simple for Mark or any other experienced divorce attorney to help you fill out the papers you'll need to actually get the divorce process started. Once the papers are ready, they have to be filed with the court clerk in your county. In Los Angeles County, the divorce filing fee is currently $435. After the papers are filed with the clerk, you have to arrange to have someone other than you, who is 18 or older, give the papers to your spouse, so that they are aware that you have begun the divorce process against them. A professional process server can do this for you, for a small fee. If your spouse has had you served with divorce papers, you should read them carefully. Don't ignore the papers. You usually have 30 days from the date you are served to file your response (answer) to your spouse's divorce papers. An attorney can help you do this, and the charge for filing your response in Los Angeles County is $435. If you are served with divorce papers, your spouse may have also filed, and served you with, a request, called a motion, asking for things like temporary custody of your kids, that you pay child or spousal support, that you move out of the house, that you pay various bills while the divorce is in progress, or any number of other things. The motion will have a specific hearing date, and you want to make sure you file a written response to your spouse's requests within the required time, which is usually about 11 days before the date of the hearing on your spouse's requests. Again, Mark will be able to help you with the appropriate responses to your spouse's requests. In addition to responding to what your spouse is asking for from you, you may even want to ask for some things of your own, to make the whole process fair to you, too. Again, you don't want to ignore the motion papers, and you definitely want to show up on the date of the court hearing so you can protect your rights. If Mark is your attorney, he will be right there with you throughout the hearing, aggressively fighting for what is fair for you.

3. How much will a divorce cost me? Since divorces involve so many issues, it's almost impossible for any attorney to give you an exact cost for your divorce. The more issues your case has, like who will have custody of your children, how much visitation the spouse without custody will have with the children, whether one of you will ask for spousal support or child support, and the extent of the possessions, assets, and debts you both have acquired during marriage, the more costly your divorce will probably be. However, having a lawyer who doesn't charge you excessive fees will certainly help to keep your costs down to a reasonable level, no matter how many issues your case has.

4. What is your hourly fee and how much do I have to pay you initially? Mark's current hourly rate is $175*, and his initial retainer fee is $1,499*. Mark's current hourly rate is much less than most attorneys with his experience charge in Los Angeles County, or anywhere else in California, for that matter. Your retainer fee will cover approximately the first 8.5 hours of work Mark does on your case, and then you will receive a regular bill for any further work he does for you until your divorce is finalized. Costs in your case, such as the filing fee and process server fees, will be paid by you separately from his legal fees.

5. Who gets custody of our kids? There are two types of child custody in California; legal and physical custody. Whoever has legal custody of the kids makes decisions on their medical care, where they go to school, religious issues, and other similar issues. Courts frequently let the parents have joint legal custody of the kids so that each parent can take part in making these important decisions for the children. Physical custody refers to who the children actually live with most of the time. The courts usually like to keep custody arrangements in place that have been in place since the initial separation of the parties, so if one of the parents moves out of the family home, the parent who stays in the home with the children will usually get primary physical custody of the children, with visitation rights to the other parent. Visitation rights can vary greatly, but a common visitation schedule might be for the parent without physical custody to have the children every other weekend, from Friday evening until Sunday evening. The court will often decide that the parents should split the major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving with the children, where one parent gets them for Christmas one year, and the other parent gets them for Christmas the following year, and so on. Courts also sometimes allow the children to decide where they want to live, especially if they are old enough to make rational decisions about which parent they want to live with. However, the courts are usually reluctant to put the kids in the tough situation of having to choose one parent over the other. If custody and visitation with your children can't be agreed upon in your case, the court will first make you both go to a mediation session with a family counseling expert at the courthouse, where you will each try to work out a custody/visitation agreement concerning the kids that you can both live with. If you can't agree, the judge will decide for you, or the judge may first order a professional evaluation of your situation, where an expert in custody and visitation matters reviews your case, and then recommends to the judge who the kids should live with, and when visits with the other parent should take place.

6. How do I get child support? Once custody of your kids is determined, child support is calculated. However, it's important to ask for support early in the divorce process, if you're the parent with the kids. You won't start getting the child support you're entitled to until your attorney files a motion asking for it. Generally speaking, the parent who has the children most of the time gets child support from the other parent. How much support you get, or how much you have to pay, is figured out with a computer formula that all the courts in California use. The judge finds out how much each of you make each month, what type of tax deductions each of you has, who gets to claim the kids as dependents, whether one of you is paying support for kids or a spouse from another relationship, and how much time each of you actually has with the kids (for instance, dad has the kids 20% of the time, mom has the kids 80% of the time). Once all these numbers are put into the computer program, the program tells the judge how much child support one parent must pay the other. This number can be quite shocking to the parent who has to pay the support, and it's made even more painful because child support isn't tax deductible by the person paying it. If child care is being paid for the young kids in the family so that the spouse with the kids most of the time can go to work, the judge will probably order each parent to pay half of those day care costs, which can add hundreds of dollars to the amount the parent without custody has to pay overall. Most attorneys who regularly handle divorces have this computer program, including Mark, and he can give you an idea at your initial consultation about how much support you may expect to get from your spouse, or what you will have to pay your spouse, if he or she has the kids most of the time.

7. My spouse makes a lot more money than me. Can I get spousal support (alimony)? If one spouse makes more money than the other spouse, that person may have to pay the other spousal support, which is sometimes called alimony. However, temporary spousal support, which is usually awarded at a court hearing near the beginning of the divorce process, doesn't happen automatically. The spouse who needs support must file a request (motion) with the court asking for it. Until that is done, the higher-earning spouse has no legal obligation to pay spousal support. To determine how much spousal support should be given to the lower-income spouse, judges in California usually use a standard computer program. Each spouse's income is put into the program, and other factors like tax write-offs are figured in. If the parties have minor (under 18) children, child support payments are usually factored in at the same time, and the computer comes up with the amount the higher-earning spouse has to pay the other. Once these spousal support orders are made, they remain in effect until the divorce is finalized.

When the divorce is finalized, the judge may order that the higher earning party continue to pay spousal support to the other person, or the parties may agree that he or she will continue to make spousal support payments. If the judge decides on spousal support, he or she will consider a variety of factors in determining how much money the supported person will get. These factors include the standard of living of the parties during marriage, whether the supported spouse worked during marriage, how old each of the parties are, and how long the marriage lasted. California law usually says that spouses receiving spousal support should make every effort to become self-supporting as soon as possible, and this sometimes translates into the judge making a support award for up to half the length of the marriage, which gives the lower-earning spouse time to become able to provide for themselves. If they are already able to support themselves, the court may order spousal support for a shorter amount of time, or not at all, depending on the circumstances of the case. The amount of permanent support one party pays the other can vary widely, and that's why it is important to have an attorney who can argue your position effectively in court.

8. I earned everything we own. Does this mean I get to keep it all? Unfortunately for you, no. California is a community property state. Generally speaking, this means that you and your spouse each own half of all the assets acquired during your marriage, no matter whose job paid for those assets. It doesn't matter if your spouse didn't work a day of the marriage; he or she is still entitled to half of the marital assets. This includes your house, all your retirements plans, your savings, the cars and boats you own, your furniture and furnishings, and any other assets either of you earned during the marriage. An exception would be if one of you inherited money or other assets, or were otherwise given some asset as a gift during the marriage by a relative or friend. If the asset was given to you only, and not to both you and your spouse, it would be your property alone under the law, and you wouldn't have to split it with your spouse.

Just as each of you own half of the assets earned during marriage, each of you own half of the debts you both acquired while you were married, generally speaking. This means you are each responsible for paying half of all credit card debts, loan debts, and any other debts from the marriage. It usually doesn't even matter whether you knew about the extent of the debt that your spouse had piled up. You are still responsible for paying half of it.

The laws concerning the division of your assets and debts in California are quite complicated. Mark has a great deal of experience working with clients who have had issues just like yours. He has the experience and the know-how to help you figure out just what assets you are entitled to keep from your marriage, and he will make sure that you only have to pay the debts you are responsible for paying.

9. I live pretty far away from your office. Does Mark take cases in different parts of Los Angeles County? Mark handles cases throughout Los Angeles County. At his low hourly rate, it is usually worth your while to hire him to represent you no matter what part of Los Angeles County you live in, because you will probably save quite a bit of money in the long run.

10. I don't want to spend any money for my divorce. Why shouldn't I just go to a paralegal/document preparation company and let them draft the divorce paperwork for me? Unless your divorce is very simple, which means there are no custody issues, support issues, asset and/or debt issues, or any other possible issues, you should always talk to a lawyer about your situation. Lawyers experienced in divorce cases are highly trained to spot issues that paralegals or documents preparers might not even be aware of, since they haven't gone to law school. The lack of training of those non-lawyers could end up costing you thousands of dollars, because they might not even know what your rights are in a divorce, so it's almost always a good idea to at least consult a lawyer before finalizing your case. In fact, it's best to consult an experienced divorce lawyer at the start of your case, so you can get the advice you need early in the process. Mark offers a free 20 minute phone consultation, so how can you lose?

*Offer expires 6/15/24.

Mark Milstead, Attorney at Law
California State Bar Number 172663
5632 Van Nuys Blvd., #1172
Sherman Oaks, California 91401
Phone: (818) 812-0717

post id: 7759141049


best of [?]