Frequently Asked Questions in Family Law
If you have a family law matter, you have come to the right place! We want to help you resolve your problem in the best way possible. Here are a few questions that we get as soon as potential clients give us a call:
Do you offer free consultations?
Generally, no. (Uncontested Adoptions are the only exception to this answer.) We charge a reduced rate of $150 for up to an hour. This is payable in advance and the information given during consultation is normally worth $400.00 or more. You are receiving legal advice from two different attorneys during our initial consultation. There are firms that provide free initial consultations, but those firms are usually personal injury firms, firms that do not charge by the hour, or they need the new business. If it is a firm that needs new business, be leery of this. This is normally a sign of consistent case turnover. We are very selective of our clients. We are too busy to take cases without any merit. Luckily, we do not need to give away our services.
I’m thinking of getting a divorce, what should I do?
Contact an attorney. Preferably, contact us. We will give you the proper guidance, whether it be to hire us or to seek a counselor. We are here to protect your family’s needs, not ours. Most importantly, we want you to hire us when the time is right for you. Divorce is a very serious step, and should be treated as such. If you want to contact us, click on the contact link and set up a consult today.
First things first, an “uncontested” divorce is one where both parties already have an agreement, or can work out one on their own. Neither of you will contest or challenge the settlement agreement. A “contested” divorce, on the other hand, is where the parties do not have an agreement, and probably cannot come up with one on their own. A contested divorce usually involves a lot of back and forth between the parties, whether it be about custody or finances. If you cannot come to an agreement on your own– it means it is contested.
What are some things I should talk to my spouse about if I want to have an uncontested divorce?
Uncontested agreements take cooperation on both sides. If you can’t get your spouse to agree to a property split, then it will probably end up being a contested divorce. Ask yourself and your spouse – what furniture do I want? My spouse want? What car will I keep? What real property will I keep, or sell? Who gets the debts arising from our marriage? Will we split them? Do I want alimony? Can we handle a joint custody situation? If not, who will be the primary caretaker of the children? Who will claim the children on their taxes? Will I be happy if we don’t go to court?
What do I need to bring for my consult?
Bring yourself, your papers (if you have been served or are seeking a second action on the same subject), any pertinent evidence you have, and your questionnaire emailed to you when you booked your appointment.
How does a retainer work?
It’s very similar to a prepaid cell phone. You pay the retainer and it goes into your designated retainer account. As we work on the case (use the minutes), we deduct that money from the amount in your retainer. However, unlike a prepaid cell phone, you will receive a refund for any money left in the account after the case is finished.
My friend told me that she received a million dollars for life as alimony and all the diamonds in the world, and her attorney was paid after the case by her ex, why aren’t you promising me the same?
Yes, that’s an exaggeration. No one has said these exact words, but we do get similar questions. Please realize every case is different, every judge is different, and every county is different. We cannot tell you that you will receive exactly what your friend received because outcomes are impossible to predict based on the differences in each case and the deciding authority.
Our attorneys may look young, but we have been preparing to be your family law firm for a very long time. Our backgrounds prepared us to take the domestic law field by storm. No matter how complicated your case may be, we are still passionate about the outcome of your case and have not become jaded. Our firm works hard with knowledge taught to us by very experienced attorneys in the field partnered with our passion and energy to fight for your case. We aren’t riding our own coat tails. We are here to make and keep a good reputation for our firm.
Why do I need a lawyer? Couldn’t I do it cheaper on my own?
There is a current misconception that merely because people who have used a search engine to look up a few legal terms and have friends who have given them a few tips, they can be their own counsel. The legal system is a complicated and expensive process. You don’t want to get bogged down and eventually have to hire a lawyer at the last minute only to spend more money to get yourself out of a bind. Make the smart decisions and research it, but go to a professional when it matters.