Frequently Asked Questions
We can answer your questions best during a one-on-one consultation, but while you’re preparing for your first appointment, you may find these FAQs helpful.
1-Why is it important to talk to a lawyer right now?
You need to know your rights, responsibilities, and potential remedies as soon as possible. A consultation with one of our lawyers can help avoid potentially disastrous legal consequences, or avoid creating problems you hadn’t thought about when making arrangements for your children. Our creative, experienced attorneys can help you come up with solutions you hadn’t thought of before. You can be confident that our legal advice and legal information is not outdated or too general to be of any use to you – a risk that you run by getting your facts or advice from just the internet or nonlawyers that you know.
2-Doesn’t talking to a lawyer meant that I’m definitely going to get a divorce?
Simply talking to an attorney doesn’t mean that you have to go to court, or that you have to take an action you’re not ready to take. We provide you with sound legal advice and counsel that you can use to evaluate your situation and decide whether you need to take any immediate action. We can also refer you to mediators and other professionals who may be able to help you resolve your problem without going to court or hiring an attorney. Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself, not to force you into the court system.
3-How long will my case take?
We can give you a good idea of how long to expect your case to last during your first consultation. Some factors that affect how long it will take to resolve your case include the city or county in which the case is located, whether you have ever been in court before on your legal matter, and how interested you and the other party are in resolving the issue using negotiation, mediation, or alternate forms of dispute resolution.
4-How much will my case cost?
As you might expect, the exact costs of legal services vary depending on the nature of the matter. After a review of your case, we can give you a good estimate of the costs involved. Some types of legal matters can be handled on a flat fee basis. Most cases, however, are too complex for a fixed rate to apply. For example, a typical divorce or custody case requires many services, such as drafting legal documents, gathering information from you and your spouse (or about your spouse or the other parent), attending conferences, holding telephone conferences, reviewing documents, meeting with professionals such as counselors, appraisers, or accountants, and attending hearings at court. In addition to attorney fees, most cases involve some court costs, and many involve fees for service of process by the sheriff or by a private process server, court reporters, interpreters, or expert testimony. At your first meeting, and throughout the course of representing you, our office will advise you of these types of costs and their necessity. Such costs are usually paid by the client in advance of hiring these professionals or filing legal documents with the court or other agency.
Keep in mind that cases evolve – as your case proceeds, it may be become more or less necessary to pay for expert appraisals, for example. One way of keeping these costs down and often eliminating the need for experts, is to use mediation or other forms of dispute resolution. Ask us whether or not your case might be right for mediation or alternate dispute resolution. We also have included helpful information about mediation on our website.
5-What if I don’t want to go to court?
Sometimes, going to court is unavoidable. If you and your spouse can agree on the key issues in your divorce, custody, or support case, however, you can often avoid lengthy court hearings. We can refer you to a neutral case evaluator or mediator to craft a solution that works for you and your family. Talk to us about your goals as well as your problems – we’ll work with you whenever possible to help you avoid unnecessary costs, both financial and emotional.