We are proud to offer comprehensive divorce consulting services for clients that are particularly cost-conscious. Through this offering, we advise clients on the best strategy to;
- help them draft the appropriate legal pleadings (i.e., ghostwrite)
- assist with filings
- mark motions “ready”
- complete Financial Affidavits and Child Support Guideline calculations
- assist in preparing for in-court testimony
- as well as other tips to make self-representation more effective and less stressful.
This limited-scope representation saves clients a significant amount in legal fees but it, of course, comes with more risk, which is discussed during the initial consultation.
Initial consultations are $250 for up to one hour. We have found that the initial consultation meeting is one of the most informative sessions a client will have during the attorney/client relationship. Please come prepared by reading through the materials we send ahead of your meeting and by writing down questions that you may have.
After the initial consultation
The less the firm does, the more money is saved; however, the more the firm does the more effective the representation. Finding the right balance is fully discussed and is tailored to the particular needs of each client. This is achieved through open dialogue. Additional areas (to include representation at trial) can be added as the case progresses or as needed. Generally, the most expensive services include full assistance with the preparation of Financial Affidavits by our paralegals and in-court representation by firm attorneys.
The most common services include, but are not limited to:
- Ghostwriting of pleadings and motions
- Coaching and consultation for hearings and conferences
- Full preparation of Financial Affidavit or Limited preparation and review of Financial Affidavit(s)
- Marking motions ready to include notice to opposing counsel/party
- Reclaiming motions with notice In-court representation for Pendente Lite (Pretrial) hearings
- Advocacy and representation at Special Masters pretrial hearings
- Advocacy and representation at Judicial pretrial hearings
- Advocacy and representation at Mediation or Arbitration
- Advocacy and representation at Trial Advocacy and representation at post-trial hearings (not including any appeal)
The client shall file a “Self-representation” appearance form (we will assist in preparation and filing). The firm will file a “limited scope” appearance form, which may be amended from time to time by agreement.
Fees and hourly rates
Regardless of the type of representation, we charge for our time and a client’s legal fees are directly related to the amount of time invested by the firm on behalf of a client. By agreeing to a consultation and limited scope engagement, the fees are limited by the amount of time the firm invests in the file. This will be an ongoing dialogue in the course of the consultation, but typically clients pay about 30-50% less than they would if they retained the firm for full representation. Importantly, the client is able to control costs throughout the representation and simply request more or less assistance as the matter warrants and depending on the client’s level of comfort.
Is a Consulting Engagement Right for You?
A consulting/limited scope engagement saves money, but it is not right or appropriate for all clients or cases. Some cases are simply too complicated either financially or emotionally. Many clients, regardless of how complicated their case is, value having an attorney with specialized training and experience in family law to fully represent them throughout this profoundly difficult process.
We Can Help
If you are considering divorce, but nervous about the costs, contact McConnell Family Law Group for an initial consultation. Our attorneys can discuss with you what type of representation is warranted for your case or for you individually. You should know that if the other party to your divorce can afford an attorney because they are the “breadwinner” or control the family assets, there are ways to obtain attorneys fees from them whether for full representation or for a consulting/limited engagement. Our offices are located in Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford counties. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.