A Consultation With a Divorce Attorney Should be More Than “Free”
A Consultation with a Divorce Attorney Should be More Than Free
Divorce and family law attorneys generally offer free consultations. We know this because up and down every single webpage you have searched, you will see the words "free consultation" appear. But have you really thought about what that means? What is so special about a free consultation and what do you get out of it? Is it advice? Is it simply an opportunity for the divorce attorney to give you a quote of his or her fees? Or is it something different altogether?
The answer to these questions depends on which of the divorce attorneys you consult. Let me take you through what many lawyers offer in their free consultation. You may be surprised to learn that sometimes you won't even speak to an actual attorney. Instead, some divorce attorneys have their secretaries or paralegals (which isn't much better) take the new client consultation and, even though it is unlawful, have that secretary or paralegal give legal advice. So, what do you get from most lawyers?
- You contact them for help
- They immediately ask you about your financial ability to pay their fees
- You can either pay their fees or you can't
- They set an appointment for you to come into the office if you can afford their attorney's fees
- At the in-person consultation, they spend a few minutes with you talking about their fees and asking you to sign a retainer agreement.
What exactly did you get out of that "free consultation". Did you get helpful tips related to your family law case? Did you get direction? Someone to listen to your questions and concerns and answer them? Or did you simply learn what that attorney charges for every case, including yours, and were given a quote?
Our divorce attorneys treat the initial consultation differently than the far majority of our colleagues because it's not really a consultation - it's a strategy session. We charge a reasonable and affordable fee but here is what you can expect from it:
- When you call, we will immediately set an appointment for you to see one of our family law attorneys.
- The fee for the strategy session varies depending on the issues. It can be as low as $200.00 for one hour of time or $100.00 for 30 minutes.
- During the appointment, the family law lawyer will obtain information regarding your marriage, separation, your financial issues in the divorce case including child support, spousal support and property division, whether you have a case pending or anticipating to file, and the status of the custody, visitation and parenting issues.
- The divorce attorney who speaks with you will then ask you about your goals, questions and concerns that you have. We don't rush you and like to take our time going through these issues with you.
- We will then ask you questions about any concerns we have concerning your pending or anticipated divorce.
- Only then will we begin to discuss not just what your fees may be but also what your budget should be for a divorce case like yours. We are not cookie-cutter lawyers. We customize our fees depending on the complexity of your case and your issues. We also discuss whether an attorney fee motion is appropriate in your case to seek fees from your spouse or, if you are the higher income earner, what we can do to mitigate the attorney fee motion that may be filed by your spouse.
- If you are ready to retain us right then and there, we will start the paperwork. If you need time to think about it, no problem. Either way, once you retain us, we will usually apply the consultation fee you paid toward your retainer. For example, let's say the fee was $200.00. Let's also say the retainer to start on your case was $4,000.00. You don't pay $4,000.00. You pay $3,800.00.
Does the approach of our divorce attorneys to the consultation sound completely different and far better than what you get from other lawyers?
It should because it is.
The simple fact of the matter is, we treat you right - from the moment you pick up the phone and contact us. Our divorce attorneys do not treat you like a "case" but rather a human being who is going through a difficult part of their life and who needs not just legal advice but a calm and patient ear to listen to questions and concerns. We treat you like a priority because you are a priority and our attorneys have one goal from the moment you hire us to the end of your case-to get you a fair and reasonable result at an affordable price.
Are you ready for a strategy session? We are ready to talk to you. Contact us today. If you prefer to reach us by email and have us call you, simply fill out the Contact Us form at the bottom of the website page. One of our experienced and knowledgable divorce attorneys will call you immediately.