I have created “Speak Legal” as a tool to help the non-lawyer have a better understanding of legal terminology. The content is not to be taken as legal advice, but only the opinions and comments of those who have contributed.

Have you ever wondered how attorneys – who are among the most eloquent users of the English language, with the ability to communicate and persuade judges and juries, but seem incapable of writing an ordinary comprehensible English sentence in any document?

Have you ever read a legal document and then scratched your head, saying “what does that really mean?” only to get a perplexed look like you must have a third eye or something. Well then, you’re not alone. Many of us have been in your shoes. That is why I am dedicating this week’s blog to deciphering the Legal Language Code.

Why do divorce agreements, contracts and real estate documents need to be so complicated? Wouldn’t it be easier just to come right out and say what you mean?

For example, have you ever bought or sold a house or piece of real property? If so, then you may have seen the following paragraph:

BORROWER COVENANTS that Borrower is lawfully seized of the estate hereby conveyed and has the right to grant and convey the Property and that the Property is unencumbered, except for the encumbrances of record. Borrower warrants and will defend generally the title to the Property against all claims and demands, subject to any encumbrances of record.

Convert that paragraph from Speak Legal to the English language and you get:

Should the Borrow discover any problems to the Property or Title (not already recorded) equals Seller will have to pay large amount of attorney fees to correct any problems to the Property or Title!

I hope you enjoyed reading this week’s blog, check back with me next week for more legal deciphering.

Many people may not have heard the term “closely held corporation” but are familiar with this type of corporation. A closely held corporation is a private corporation whereby the shares are not traded on any of the national securities exchanges. The closely held corporation is generally formed by a small group of individuals, such as close friends or family members who wish to protect the individual owners from liability. The organization of the closely held corporation is generally run by the owners or shareholders. Bylaws must clearly state that the shareholders have limited ownership to the initial stockholders in order to be considered a “closely held corporation,” and the original owners retain total control of the corporation.

Requirements to start a closely held corporation:

1. File the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office.
2. Prepare the Bylaws.
3. Elect the Officers and Directors.

In an uncontested divorce, both parties amicably agree that the marriage should end. Even in cases where only one party wants the divorce, it is still possible to go through the divorce process without paying for costly divorce attorneys as long as both parties can agree to all divorce-related issues, such as the division of property, custody, child support and visitation for minor children.

Getting Divorce without Legal Representation – Pro Se Litigants

The number of couples going through divorce court (pro se), representing themselves without attorneys, is on the rise. This can be for a number of reasons. Some couples cannot afford to hire an attorney or simply do not want to hire an attorney. But most often it is because both parties can agree to the terms of the divorce, which makes no sense hiring a high-priced attorney to only file paperwork, which can be prepared by a paralegal saving the couple significantly in the cost of getting divorce.

An uncontested (or amicable) divorce means both spouses agree that they want to divorce, they know how they will handle child custody, visitation and support, and they know how they will divide up the marital assets and debts. Please understand that uncontested does not mean that everything will be smooth and that the two parties will not argue. It means, however, that the couple will be able to solve any issues that crop up outside of a courtroom and without judges, attorneys, or mediators to act as go-betweens or negotiators.

Benefits of the Uncontested (or Amicable) Divorce and using a Paralegal

Besides the obvious saving of money for a divorce attorney, there are other benefits to an uncontested or amicable divorce, these include:

• Parties that are in uncontested or amicable divorce situations are more likely to be able to talk over issues and come to an agreement without giving in to feelings of anger or revenge, and instead focus on making sound and fair decisions.

• The proceeding for an uncontested or amicable divorce is relatively simple, especially if you plan on filing in Lincoln County where there is no court appearance required. A contested divorce involves lawyers, judges, mediators, and a long and ugly trial. An uncontested proceeding involves the two parties and the judge that issues their decree.

• Washington State requires that all counties use the same mandatory forms. Therefore, the forms that are prepared for an uncontested or amicable divorce are the same whether you hire an attorney, paralegal, on-line document service or you prepare them yourself as a pro se litigant.

• Because the parties are in agreement to the terms of their divorce, a paralegal can prepare the documents, ready for final signature in a matter of days.

The Washington Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician Rule, effective September 1, 2012. This rule authorizes non-attorneys (paralegals) who meet certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law. Family law matters such as uncontested divorces, legal separations and support modifications, are examples of the type of work that paralegals can provide to the public.

The Washington State Supreme Court recognized the value in paralegals assisting pro se litigants in assisting them with the preparation of their divorce or legal separation documents, because they believed there was a “wide and ever growing gap in necessary legal and law related services for low and moderate income people” and laid out the guidelines by which using a paralegal is in the best interest of the public.

If you have decided that you want to represent yourself in an uncontested or amicable divorce, and you are able to work out the divorce arrangements and agree on property and custody arrangement, using a qualified paralegal firm, such as Premier Paralegal Firm will not only save you money, but it will also save you time and emotional stress that would otherwise be unavoidable.

A hostile divorce is damaging to families, children and bank accounts. If a divorcing couple can reach an agreement, and resolve their issues amicably, they not only save themselves, but also save their children the emotional trauma of a hostile, contested divorce.

Divorces will drain you financially you always end up with less in a divorce than you started with. So why add a huge legal expense on top of that. Why not save what money you have left after the divorce for yourself or your children?

Premier Paralegal Firm is Washington’s Legal Alternative, for anyone who wants to end their marriage peacefully and amicably, and save money, time and frustration. We are uniquely different from other companies who sell divorce kits on-line. We provide our clients with personal attention, including the preparation and filing of your paperwork with the Court.

So if you find yourself in an uncontested or (amicable divorce) and want to represent yourself, then give us a call and let us show you how we can save you frustration, time and thousands of dollars.

An LLC is a Limited Liability Company. An LLC is a hybrid entity that can be operated by one person, like a sole proprietorship or operated by multiple people, like a partnership. While LLCs are not corporations, they do provide some of the same legal protections as a corporation without some of the restrictions. Owners are shielded from personal liability through the use of an LLC by keeping company assets and debts separate from the assets and debts of the owner or owners.

Because an LLC is not a corporation it is treated as a “pass through” entity for tax purposes and all profits and losses are taxed once on an individual level, although the entity itself may also be taxed by the state as either a partnership or franchise. In Washington, forming an LLC is a multi-step process that can be completed online or via mail.

Since an LLC is just one of the many business entities you may select to use during the formation or restructuring of your business, we would suggest that you explore the benefits and draw backs of each of your options before settling on a specific form.