The reason that you should choose a consultation with me is because I do so much work in that consultation. It is not a chit-chat. It is not a conversation about why you left your husband. It is an instructive, informative, substantive discussion about what your support should be.
I do a calculation of your guideline child support. I ask you to bring your tax returns in. I can tell by looking at a tax return what issues there are going to be. I can tell whether or not your employment status and what job you have is going to be an issue in the case. I can tell whether or not your spouse is going to require you to get a better job or ask that you seek employment if you have not worked.
I determine whether or not the date of separation, which is the most important decision you are going to make in many cases, is going to be an issue of dispute. I will determine whether you are going to prevail on the date you believe you separated versus another date which your spouse is going to alleged because, for example, his stock options were not granted after that date. Your spouse is going to pick the date which gives him or her the best financial advantage. Even though in law, they may not be able to support it. I will evaluate your opportunity or your ability to win that battle.
For custody, we talk if your spouse has another significant other. I have a roadmap of what we do when there are significant others and we discuss my approach to that.
I do not rigidly adhere to one hour. I am not looking at the clock. If I am in the middle of doing a support calculation and I need to spend another 15 or 20 minutes, I will always do that. I do not bill you for that additional time.
Having a consultation with someone of my expertise, I do consider myself an expert, not just in the law, but in the litigation of family law cases, sets you up to evaluate the other lawyers you may decide to hire that are cheaper. I will give you a roadmap for your case. One of the things that I have asked people to consider is moving away from California. I will ask if that is an option you have considered? Because if you want to do that, we have to set that up right now.
There are so many things that I really believe are valuable pieces of information I can share even if you do not hire me. For example, lawyers send their clients here to conflict me out of the case. To be conflicted out, means that because I met with an attorney's client, I cannot represent the spouse. I can always tell when that is happening. I say, you really want to waste $500? Why don't you let me tell you what my approach to this case would be? I would say in the last three months, I have gotten five of the cases transferred to me.