Farzad Family Law isn’t one or two lawyers who dabble in divorce and family law along with various other areas of law. We’re a team of dedicated family law attorneys and a highly rated and respected Southern California family law firm with three offices in Orange County, California.
You care about the quality of the legal representation. So do we. It’s our highest priority. You want that representation at a competitive price, not “cheap” work that comes with poor quality or foolish shortcuts. You want experience and intelligence in and out of the courtroom. That is what and who we are.
For you, we have created this list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Farzad Family Law’s services and fees. We will update this page from time to time as needed. Ready? Let’s get to it.
FAQ about our family law firm
Yes, our law firm exclusively handles family law matters.
Do you only represent clients with Orange County matters?
Our family law firm’s offices are in Orange County so most of our cases are in Orange County. However, as the firm has grown, we now take on new matters outside of Orange County, specifically certain Los Angeles county family courts and Riverside’s central court. We are selective about the types of cases we take on.
Also, our attorneys are licensed only in the State of California. We do not handle any matters outside of California.
Do you represent clients if they are located outside of California but have a family law matter in the counties you mentioned above?
We represent California residents who have an actual or potential family law case in the California counties we handle. We also represent residents of the United States or Canada who have an actual or potential family law matter in the same California counties. We do not consult with or represent any person located outside of North America and/or who is a resident outside of North America, even if that person has an actual or potential case in one of the above California counties.
What sets you apart from other lawyers I may consider for my family law case?
First, all we do is family law. When you do one thing and one thing very well, clients are rewarded with knowledge, skill and experience. We see other lawyers and law firms who sell themselves as family law attorneys when in fact they handle different areas of law like personal injury, criminal law, bankruptcy, and/or immigration, etc. We think hiring a family law firm that only handles family law matters provides more focused attention to a client’s needs.
Second, we are a larger family law firm, not just one or two attorneys with a secretary. We have the lawyers and resources to handle complex matters that need significant time and attention.
Third, we have a proven track record of success for our clients in and out of the family law court room.
Fourth, we have a reputation as honest, hard working, client and result focused family law attorneys.
FAQ about the types of cases we handle
What types of family law cases do you handle?
We handle divorce and parentage cases (parentage means child custody and child support cases for unmarried men or women). We handle cases pre-judgment and post judgment. Our cases range from simple to the most complex on all types of issues – from custody, child and spousal support, domestic violence, property division, separate and community property characterizations and disputes, business valuations and division, all from middle and modest income estates to very high income and asset ones.
Are there certain types of family law cases or clients you don’t handle?
We don’t represent (a) child abusers (b) spousal abusers (c) those who have willfully failed to pay child or spousal support and now want to unjustifiably negotiate arrears that are clearly owed and (d) men or women who intend to use the family law process for unlawful or improper reasons such as using children as leverage on financial issues, hiding assets or those who make false allegations of abuse, etc.
We also do not handle collection of support cases, adoptions, guardianships or dependency matters.
What if I am transitioning from a previous lawyer to you?
It’s not unusual to have more than one lawyer throughout the life of a divorce or parentage case. If you have had one prior lawyer, that doesn’t keep us from taking on your case although we would want to know why you are changing lawyers because that is an important consideration.
Our law firm however will not take over an active case if the prospective client has had two or more previous lawyers for that case or if the case has a prior history of litigation that makes it impractical for us to take it over.
Contacting our family law firm
The best and fastest way to contact us is to call us during business hours, 8am to 5pm. Our direct numbers are (714) 937-1193 for the Santa Ana office, (949) 616-3772 for the Mission Viejo office, (949) 478-7107 for the Newport Beach office or toll-free at (877) 857-6500.
Will I speak with an attorney about my case?
Yes, when you come in for a strategy session, you meet with one of our experienced attorneys. We prefer to have such sessions in person unless you are not local to us (even though your case is local to us) in which case we can handle it by phone. We do run a “conflict check” when you call or contact us through this website to make sure the other party (your spouse, ex spouse or other parent) has not already consulted with us.
How long will I have to wait for a call back if I leave a message?
Most of the time, if we missed your call, we contact you the same day you called us and left a message. Sometimes, it may go to the next business day.
FAQ about the initial strategy session
What is a strategy session?
A strategy session is a meeting between you and one of our experienced family law attorneys where we discuss the specific facts of your case (if one has already been filed) or matter (if a case is not open yet). The strategy session is all about you. We are here to answer your questions, discuss your concerns, educate you on how California law may apply to your facts and issues, etc. We will discuss both strategy and budget on your case. On complex financial or custody cases or those matters with a history of litigation behind it, it may require more than one session or a file review before we can answer your questions or discuss strategy. If so, we will give you a quote for that.
How long does a strategy session take?
That depends on the complexity of your situation. Most sessions take one hour. Complex cases can take more.
How much does the initial strategy session cost?
Typically, the initial strategy session costs $200 for up to one hour, although that price could vary and we reserve the right to change the strategy session cost depending on the case and its complexity. Either way, you will know ahead of time and before the appointment is set. In certain, limited situations, we may provide a free initial strategy session for up to 30 minutes.
If I retain you after the strategy session, will you apply the fee I paid for it toward my retainer?
Most of the time, yes we do. In most cases, we reduce your retainer (which is your retainer deposit you pay if you hire us) by the amount you already paid for the strategy session so, if you retain us, rather than paying the retainer deposit in full, we subtract from that deposit the amount you already paid for the strategy session. For example, if you paid $200 for a strategy session and the retainer would normally be $4,000 to hire us, your retainer deposit becomes $3,800 instead. We do this on most hourly rate and flat fee matters. It is similar to getting the strategy session for free.
Yes, as to those that can be reasonably answered. If you ask a question that we cannot answer at the strategy session, we will tell you what additional information we need to answer it. The question of course must be family law related. We don’t give tax, insurance, financial planning, business management or estate planning advice. We can refer you to professionals in these and related fields if your wish.
Can we discuss my situation at the strategy session without an obligation to retain you?
Of course. We are here to help you but we don’t sell or pressure you to hire us. It’s not our style. We want the decision to hire us to be yours and yours alone. We don’t influence that decision. We don’t have to.
Will you give me a fee quote at the strategy session to take over my matter?
Yes, we will. Since we don’t have cookie-cutter fees, the fee quote will be customized to your case. This fee quote will be for the initial retainer deposit. We cannot give you a fee quote for what the entire case will cost. There are too many variables in play to do that but we do tell you what the variables will likely be in your case.
Do you offer hourly rates, flat fees or both?
The majority of our family law representation involves hourly rates.
However, we do offer affordable, flat fee retainers on certain types of uncontested divorce, parentage (child custody and/or child support for an unmarried parent), post judgment and/or limited scope cases.
Will you take on my case if I can afford your services?
There is more involved than that. We need to also make sure we are a good fit for you and you are a good fit for us. We are selective about the clients we represent. We represent good people with the right intentions for themselves and their children. That is exactly the kind of family law attorney a good person, going through this difficult time in life, should want – someone who is interested in your case and cares about the representation and result, not just a lawyer that wants your money.
What if my matter is urgent and I need immediate help? Can you take on my case?
Since we are selective about the cases we handle and we are not a “mill” (a mill is a lawyer or law firm that will take on any client who can afford the representation), we have to make sure we have the time to dedicate to your case on an urgent manner. We are honest with you if we cannot take on your case because we cannot make the urgent time commitment. Many times, we can make that time commitment.
FAQ about the retention (hiring) process
Am I retaining a specific attorney to represent me or the law firm?
You are retaining our family law firm. Your case is assigned to a team you will work with throughout your case. This includes one senior-level attorney, one junior attorney and a dedicated support staff.
Will I sign a contract?
Yes, we will provide you with a contract. It is called a retainer agreement.
Will I get a copy of everything I sign?
Yes, we make the copies for you and make sure you have a copy of everything you have signed before you leave.
What payment types do you accept?
Check, cash and all major credit cards.
How will I be billed?
On hourly rate cases, you receive a bill once per month. The bill is itemized and has all the information you need including but not limited to the date of each action for which you were billed, who did the work, the exact amount of time, the billing rate and total time spent on your case for the month. Also, if you ever want to know where your billing is at during the month, you can call us. We are happy to provide you with up to date information.
Communication during your family law case
How will you communicate with me after I retain you?
We communicate by telephone, email and have in person meetings. We are constantly in touch with each other, discussing your case, strategy, budget, etc.
How often will we discuss my case?
We communicate regularly. The divorce process is a collaborative process. We can’t do it without you and you can’t do it without us. With most clients, we communicate 2-4 times per month, sometimes much more when it’s a busy month and sometimes less if not much is going on in that specific month.
Building a strategy
How do we decide what should be done on my case?
- Understanding your facts,
- Understanding the facts your spouse or other parent want to advocate,
- Knowing what evidence (testimony, documents and witnesses) support 1 and 2, and
- Knowing how California family law and procedure apply to 1 and 2
That is the formula and it takes diligence, communication, patience and cooperation between you and us to build a strategy.
When can we make a settlement offer?
Settlement offers are pretty much always part of the strategy. In divorce cases that involve financial issues, we must have your preliminary declaration of disclosure and that of your spouse completed and in hand so we know what the assets, debts, income and expenses are. If you and/or we don’t believe the disclosures are enough and discovery (formal request for more information) is needed before you make offers, then, with your knowledge and consent, we start the discovery process, which sometimes starts at the outset of the case.
On family law cases that involve custody, we prefer to get those issues settled early unless there are significant disputes between the parents on what is in the children’s best interest.
Settlements save time, stress and money. But settlements should not be rushed nor delayed unreasonably.
You seem awesome. Are you as awesome as you seem?
We really are. Once you retain us, you will see for yourself.
Got more questions? Bring those great questions with you to an affordable strategy session. Let’s chat about your case and make positive, forward progress.