Do you charge for the first visit?
We offer a free (complimentary) 30-minute initial consultation.
What are your legal fees?
Our legal fees are almost exclusively time-driven. Clients are charged by the tenth of an hour. We have no 15 minute minimum charge like some other legal offices.
Some matters are a flat fee such as an uncontested divorce. Our office charges a flat fee of $1,500.00 plus court costs to draft the agreement and other pleadings, meet with the client, and attend a final hearing.
Thomas W. Deans’ current hourly rate is $300.00 per hour. Paralegals’ and legal assistants’ hourly rate is $100.00 per hour.
GOING TO COURT
Will I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many matters are completed without having to appear in court. Depending on the nature of your family matter we may never have to step foot in a courthouse. Sometimes the parties can come to an agreement on their own, with the help of their attorneys, or through the process of mediation.
Should I /Do I bring the kids to court?
It is never advisable to involve your children in a family litigation matter. Unless you have specifically addressed bringing your children to court to testify with your attorney and the judge assigned to your case has approved it, your children do not appear in court. Marital problems are difficult on the entire family, so we strive to minimize any trauma on your children as much as possible.
What should I bring with me to my first visit to your office?
You do not have to bring anything with you when we first meet. As we discuss the problem with you, we will direct you what will be needed as your case moves forward.
However, if you have already been to court or have an open case please let us know when you set the appointment so that we can retrieve the relevant documents.
What are your business hours?
Generally, the office is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. However, once an attorney-client relationship is finalized, we often meet with or talk to our clients at times that are most convenient, even if that means when the office is formally closed.
When are you available to take my calls?
Most staff are available by phone during office hours. However, some calls must be returned after hours if, for example, an attorney is in conference or court during the majority of the day. We will always schedule time for a phone conference which may save time going back and forth during busy times.
Will you want me to bring the kids to your office?
Generally it is best to avoid bringing children to a lawyer’s office, and we will not ask you to. Although most of us love seeing the little ones, it may make it more difficult for you to concentrate on the real purpose of the meeting. Older children as well will not be asked to the lawyer’s office as it unnecessarily subjects them to a process in which they should have no involvement. In addition, lawyers are prohibited from interviewing children unless it is necessary and done with formal court involvement.
EXTENDED AND OTHER LEGAL SERVICES
Can you assemble my will, too?
We can assist our family law clients with simple wills, durable general powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, and living wills. However, depending on a client’s particular circumstances, we may refer more complicated estate planning to an attorney that specializes in estate planning.