Posts Tagged ‘Solano County’


Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Dissolution/Divorce:  If there are “50 ways to leave your lover,” as the song by Paul Simon says, there must be at least that many ways to end your marriage.  In California a court must grant an order which ends your marriage and people employ attorneys or do it themselves.  Do-it-yourself dissolutions–or divorces as they are sometimes called– is an increasingly common phenomenon. By some estimates, a marriage is terminated by the do-it-yourself  dissolution in over 60 percent of the cases.  As a result of the number of people involved in those cases the California legislature in its infinite wisdom has decided that the process should be “customer friendly.”  More about this in a post.

If your marriage is short–only a few months and you realize it was a mistake, a do-it-yourself divorce may be your best option,  because you may only need is a simple divorce decree saying you are no longer married.  They are called summary dissolutions.

But if you have been married for longer than a few months (or a few years) and there are children involved, or a business, or substantial marital assets including retirements and/or deferred compensation plans including IRA’s and 401Ks,  you should look at the cost of retaining an experienced attorney as an investment to protect the things you have that are at risk.  More importantly, even if you feel that you and your spouse are  “on the same page” about how to settle all the issues, you and your spouse should take them time and invest in a consultation with a qualified family law attorney.  Most of the time that can be accomplished in about an hour.

You might also consider using mediation to resolve the issues of your marriage.

Dissolution of marriage is not simply an event to treat with dispatch. It is a life-altering process with long-term consequences.

Knowledgeable, Competent, Cost Effective
E-mail or Call 707-999-0740

Richard’s approach to family law and the termination of a marriage and the marital relationship has been developed over 35 years and is based on  hard gained knowledge and experience.  He fully understands that dissolution/divorce for some is an emotional minefield. For others, it is a custody nightmare.  And for many it is a complete nightmare as they try to navigate the court system and try to end the marriage.

There are those who mistakenly think that the money matters involved in divorce — property division and support — are straightforward because of California’s community property laws and state-mandated support guidelines.  In reality, there is significant room for discretion.  It takes a dedicated professional with deep knowledge of marital and tax law to identify the possibilities in a timely and cost-effective way.

Richard believes that as family law specialist he has  a responsibility to educate his clients so that they fully understand their options regarding the issues which must be addressed.  He can guide them through the complexities of what they have to get through, and help them move on with their lives in the best possible way.  But he fully believes that the final decisions that are to be made belong to his client and should not be decided by anyone else–including the judge.

Richard knows from experience that settlement is generally the better course of action for all of his clients. Mediation is another option and in his opinion the best option if all the parties will commit. You do not need to spend a lot of money if you really want to resolve your case.  Nevertheless,  Richard Urquhart is a very experienced trial lawyer who is willing and ready to fight in court whenever it is in the best interest of his client.  But he believes that his clients should do all they can to settle before they enter that arena and let some individual in a black robe decide their future lives.

To speak with C. Richard Urquhart, CFLS  please contact Hubbard, Unger & Urquhart in Vacaville.  Richard has been serving individuals and families in Solano County and the surrounding region for over 35 years.

Knowledgeable, Competent, Cost Effective



Saturday, April 21st, 2012

C. Richard Urquhart  is a former partner in the Vacaville, California law firm of Hubbard, Unger & Urquhart.  Richard  has been serving people and families in Solano County and the surrounding region for more than 35 years. Richard’s  primary clients for the last 20 years have been in divorce/dissolution cases, both contested and uncontested, including custody, support and property disputes, as well as guardianships and conservatorships.

Richard started his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney and trial attorney in  Solano County.  After prosecuting offenders for the District Attorney’s office he went into private practice with Hubbard, Unger & Urquhart.  As a partner in the firm for 35 years he  was trial counsel in 3 major homicides as well as personal injury, business and probate cases.   He has multiple divorce/dissolution trials.  He presently provides contract services to the Office of Administrative Hearings as an Administrative Law Judge, Pro Tem and has served a Pro Tem Judge for the Solano County Superior Court.   He is a Family Law Specialist, having been certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist in 1998 and is a member of the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists.  

After years of representing people Richard undertook mediation training and as a certified mediator has successfully helped couples economically obtain  an  uncontested divorce/dissolution.

In his spare time, Richard shows Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.  Richard is also approved by the American Kennel Club to judge Soft Coated Wheatens.

Knowledge Tempered by Experience and Understanding

Richard is dedicated to helping clients solve their legal problems in a timely and cost-effective way.   Although he believes that all family law participants are better serviced by agreeing to mediation, he still provides both full and limited representation of individuals in divorce/dissolution cases, including constested support and custody cases.

Richard’s approach to family law, including all issues pertaining to divorce/dissolution of marriage, child custody and spousal support, is tempered by his experience and understanding.  He notes well that uncertainties and intense emotions are often involved in the divorce/dissolution of a marriage and everything that comes with it. Generally speaking, he firmly feels his clients are better served if he can help them to avoid high conflict.

Richard  knows from experience that resolution through settlement can be a less divisive and less costly course of action, especially when young children are involved.  Nevertheless, as a highly experience trial attorney he is  ready and willing to aggressively pursue litigation when appropriate to serve the best interests of his clients. Richard is an experienced family lawyer and legal counsel and  provides quality and cost-effective representation.  Richard’s  background and training enables him to approach the division of assets and debts in complex marital estates both efficiently and fairly and he has significant experience in high-asset divorce/dissolution proceedings.   He can and will work with accountants, appraisers, tax advisors and other experts, but only when it is needed and cost-effective.

Contact C. Richard Urquhart, CFLS at  707-999-0740.

Divorce and Dissolution of Marriage, Custody Conflicts, Establishment of  Support, Division of  Community Property and Protection of Separate Property:  Resolution by Trial/Settlement or Mediation


Friday, April 20th, 2012

Mediation offers several benefits to divorcing couples who have differences they need help resolving but want to avoid  an all-out legal war or hiring attorneys.  Divorce mediation is both less costly and less time-consuming, and generally leads to a better outcome for all concerned, due to the collaborative nature of the process. Furthermore, settlement agreements that are reached through mediation are highly likely to stand the test of time. More than 75 percent of the couples who commit to mediation reach an agreement and never see the inside a court room.  Another important part of mediation is that it is completely private and privileged.  No court,  attorney or  party can force the mediator or the parties or any other participant to disclose what was said or talked about in mediation. The goal of mediation is to reach a marital settlement agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

Typically, Richard  meets with couples in two-hour sessions.  It generally takes from four to six sessions to reach an agreement.  Richard is not retained by either party and does not advocate for either party. His role as the mediator is to be neutral and to concentrate on the following:

1.  Helping the couple to explore the problems and issues that must be resolved

2. Bringing the couple together by helping  them to equally talk about their own  interests, concerns and differences

3. Ensure that each gathers and discloses all the necessary information that they need to reach a fair agreement

4.  Help facilitate a settlement agreement  with which they both can live.

As a mediator,  Richard does not give legal advice to the participants, but encourages the parties to get such advice if they need it.  Some  have either discussed their “rights” and “obligations” with another attorney before they agree to mediation or they choose to meet with an attorney between mediation sessions.  Many choose not to consult with an attorney.  As Richard informs the participants:  there is no law or requirement that says they must follow the same law as a judge when ending their relationship.  It is their decision as to how they want to end their relationship and how to go on with their separate lives.

Mediation, like all forms of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), is a cooperative process.  For it to succeed, both spouses must respect the process and accept the notion that there are no wrong emotions, just wrong ways of conveying emotions.

Reaching Full or Partial Agreements:   Sometimes, but not often, the goal of reaching a complete agreement is not attainable through mediation.  In such situations, mediation is still beneficial.  It is possible to reach a partial agreement or agreements through mediation to get the negotiable issues off the table, and then to pursue the remaining issues with legal representation.  Doing so will still reduce the overall cost.

Who can Mediate family law clients:  Anyone can be a mediator in California. It is not necessary to be a lawyer. But the mediator should minimally have taken the 40 hour basic mediation course including a course that focuses on the issues that arise when couples end their legal relationship.  Richard has not only attended the appropriate mediator training but also has  35 years  of  experience in the practice of family law–including the representation of spouses in many high conflict disputes.  That real life experience cannot be overstated.

Mediation can and does help couples save considerable time and money. but they must commit to something very simple, but sometimes very difficult:  to sit down in the same room and talk–and listen.

To learn more about the advantages of family law mediation and how the Law Office of C. Richard Urquhart, CFLS can help you, please contact Richard today by phone–707-999-0740 or e-mail him at  Richard serves people and families in Solano County and throughout the surrounding region.