At the beginning of divorce everyone wants to know:
Where am I?
Where do I want to go?
How do I get there?
Answering these questions is what the “Roadmap Consultation” is designed to accomplish. In the words of clients:
“This was exactly what I was looking for…I came on a fact-finding mission. I got the information I needed and also a strategy… This is the first time I’ve paid for legal services and felt that I got more than I paid for…”
“Thank you so much for your help. In addition to providing me with a clear understanding of my legal position and approaches to dealing with the situation. You have helped me find my power and to be able to sit in a place of acceptance…”
“The combination of legal advice and legal counseling is unique; I truly appreciate your compassion.”
I explain the process to everyone who calls for an appointment to ensure that if we meet we are both there to do the same thing. Here’s what we talk about.
The consultation is method for figuring out where you are, where you want to be in the future and for creating a plan to get there in a way that’s consistent with what you believe and what you value.
To provide objective information and guidance, I do not offer represent the clients I see for consultations.This is an essential characteristic of the service, and distinguishes it from the typical “initial consultation” that is a method used by lawyers (as well as many other professionals and businesses) as vehicle for acquiring business. It’s how the client knows we are working on what’s best for him or her.
It’s a three-hour, self-contained consultation. You will have
time to describe and explain what I should know, and there will be time for answers to all of your questions. Once you’ve told me about yourself and your case, I will tell you how the law applies and the nature of your legal rights and obligations. In the second phase of the conference I will describe a wide range of options you have for managing your case, focusing on those that are most interesting to you.
For example, one of the first subjects we discuss will be “lawyers.”
Do you want or need a lawyer? If you don’t, what can you do? If you do, there are plenty to choose from; there are nearly ONE HUNDRED lawyers practicing family law in Santa Barbara. I will describe the ways family law can be practiced, and you can select the one that seems best for you. I will also ask questions to see what other qualities you would like and other expectations you have for the person who will serve as your representative. I will then give you one or two names of attorneys who fit these specifications. In the third phase of the conference I will ask questions about how the values and beliefs you used to make important decisions and the way you prefer to go about reaching them. In the last phase we put everything together to make a plan – the Roadmap – you can use to get from where you are to where you want to be.
The extended consultations – whether done at the beginning, middle or end of a case – have been priced low enough to be affordable to anyone for whom it would be useful. To make the service widely available and the practice economically viable, the cost is based on a sliding-scale:
With information from me, the client estimates the size of the Marital Estate, which includes all community (joint) property and the separate property of both spouses.
Value of the Marital Estate =Less than $500,000 Fee = $375
$500,000 to $1.5 M Fee = $480
$1.5 M – $3.0M Fee = $800
>$3.0 M Fee = $1125