The legal process begins with a consultation with one of our attorneys. Upon the payment of a retainer, the representation by the firm is established.
If the parties are able to reach an agreement regarding issues such as: dividing up the marital assets an debts; scheduling child custody times; and payment of monthly child support, the case is generally considered "uncontested" and the entire case could possibly be settled in 60 to 90 days.
If the parties cannot agree on any of the issues that are between them, the case is considered "contested." When a case is contested, it can take from a few months to over a year to resolve. In many situations, the court will order the parties to participate in mediation to settle the case. In the event that mediation fails, the case will proceed to a hearing before a judge.
For cases only involving child support, most cases will be heard by a local child support magistrate. However, if the magistrate does not render an order with which the parties agree, either party may file for a hearing directly before a trial judge.
No attorney can tell you up front how much your case will cost to complete. There are simply too many variables in litigation, especially in divorce, custody and child support matters. Variables include such matters as the behavior of the other party and their attorney, time waiting in court, pleadings that need to be answered, etc.
For this reason, all CONTESTED divorces, child custody, and child support cases shall be billed on an hourly rate. A case is called "contested" when both parties do not agree on every aspect of an order or parenting plan.
UNCONTESTED matters may be handled for a set, flat rate if the attorney determines that such an arrangement would be mutually beneficial to the attorney and client.
Contingency fees (or percentage rate fees) are NOT offered in divorce, custody, or child support cases.
Contact our office to discuss the options available for your particular situation.