Consultation and Fees
Family law issues are very important and often have life-altering consequences. As soon as you realize that you may be involved in a family law dispute, you should schedule an initial consultation with a family law attorney. Without legal advice, you may not be aware of important rules and the ramifications associated with what you do or say. We regularly meet with clients who regret having taken certain actions before obtaining legal advice. Even if you are not yet ready to file a legal action, a family law attorney can provide you with guidance on how to proceed in the midst of a potential dispute.
Prior to retaining an attorney, you should familiarize yourself with his or her fee structure and billing practices. At Raynor Law Office, P.C., we do not offer free consultations. Instead, at the time of the initial consultation, a fee agreement is signed and an advance deposit is collected. The advance deposit is placed into a trust account on the client’s behalf, and those funds are credited against the client's fees and costs. Clients are billed monthly with an itemized statement and are responsible for replenishing their trust accounts on a monthly basis. Any client funds remaining in trust at the conclusion of the representation are returned to the client.
Time spent on a client's matter, including the initial consultation, is charged on an hourly basis. Our hourly rates are as follows:
- Steve Raynor: $400.00
- Natalie Raynor: $125.00
- Sarah Bullins: $125.00
Each case is unique, and there are many factors that affect the expense and duration of a given family law dispute. In some cases, the parties quickly settle all issues and the dispute is resolved for a small fee. Other cases require extensive settlement negotiations and agreement drafting, resulting in more attorney hours and a correspondingly higher expense to the client. The process of preparing for and engaging in litigation also adds considerably to legal costs. Accordingly, we actively pursue settlement on behalf of our clients, and only proceed to trial if necessary.
With only a limited knowledge of the parties and their situation, it is difficult for an attorney to predict at the initial consultation exactly how the case is going to develop. As a result, it is impossible to accurately predict the fees and costs that will be required for any given case. We do, however, engage in cost-benefit analysis throughout the course of representation, in an attempt to maximize cost-efficiency and ensure that our clients do not incur legal fees unnecessarily.
Documentation to be brought to the initial consultation should include, if applicable, court documents related to the case, such as orders or petitions, and a copy of any existing or proposed agreements. These documents are useful in assisting your attorney in gaining an understanding of your legal situation. Additional documents, such as income tax returns, financial statements, etc., can be provided on an as-needed basis following the initial consultation.
Please contact us by telephone or e-mail to schedule an initial consultation. Thank you.
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