When a potential divorce client meets with me for the first time, the cost of legal fees is almost always a huge concern. This is completely understandable to me – I began my career as a low-paid criminal prosecutor and then started my own law practice from the ground up. An invoice that might not sound like a big deal to a lawyer who’s always worked at a big firm has a different meaning for me!
At the same time, it is critical that our strategy not be “penny wise, pound foolish”. Legal fees can be a great investment in achieving the best settlement in your case. If child support is at stake, if you are dependent on the financial settlement for your support, or if one spouse has controlled the finances, the benefits of taking steps to find evidence in support of your position may far outweigh any additional legal fees. It is not an exaggeration to say that a financial expert could uncover hundreds of thousands of dollars missing in the marital estate, or the appointment of a guardian ad litem (more on that here) could result in a report to the court recommending that you have primary or even full custody of the children.
The most important question in choosing a lawyer is who you trust to advise you correctly and completely, and who you believe will do the best job presenting your case to the court and negotiating with opposing counsel. At the end of every case, I want every client to be confident that I have done the best job possible at every stage, both in devising an efficient strategy and in achieving results in the courtroom. That may mean that I recommend settling in cases where a client is determined to prove something that may not result in a more beneficial judgment; or it may mean encouraging a client that we should seek evidence to confirm facts rather than accepting an opposing party’s representations.
When we meet for an initial consultation, I will ask pointed questions in order to “triage” your case and give you an idea of what issues may be worth exploring, and what may be settled issues under the law. I can also tell you what steps you should take immediately and what you definitely should not do. While no case is entirely predictable, at the initial consultation I will be able to quote an anticipated course of the case, an initial estimate of legal fees, and a list of circumstances that could cause either of those to change.
I take a human approach to representation. I understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and that my work on your case can make your future better going forward. I am committed to ensuring that we communicate productively about each strategic decision and that you are informed on the status of your case at all times. I will make myself readily available by phone and email, and you will have access to a secure client portal with all important documents including court pleadings. When you call for your initial consultation, I am confident that you will see the difference in my approach immediately.