When was the last time that you got something truly valuable for free?
I’m not talking about the pair of ugly socks that you get when you jump on trampolines – those aren’t free. I’m talking about something of value that could change the course of your life and your child’s life.
That’s why we charge for our consultations. That’s the value that we seek to provide. In all of the consults that we do, we try to accomplish the following:
1. Find out the Facts of your situation
2. Find out what your Goals are
3. Determine what Laws apply to your Facts
4. Educate you on how the Law applies to your Facts
5. Let you know what Options you have in moving forward
6. Advise you on which Option or Options we believe would best meet your Goals
7. Help you determine a Strategy for moving forward
8. Answer as many Questions as possible
It is impossible to do all of those things in 15 or 20 minutes. We’re not like medical doctors who often provide value by quickly diagnosing a sinus infection and write the name of the medicine that you need on a piece of paper.
A lawyer telling you, “Sounds like you need a Divorce!” And writing “One Divorce” on a piece of paper would not do you any good. In legal matters of any significance, you need the things outlined above, and if you choose to move forward, you need help doing so.
So, what will a reputable lawyer not tell you in a consult?
1. To get a Divorce – that’s a personal decision, not a legal one
2. To Not get a Divorce – if there’s one thing that can often harm someone more than talking them into a divorce, it’s talking them out of filing one, when one is going to happen whether they file or not.
3. How to Hide Assets – In a Divorce, if asked properly, you are obligated to tell the truth about what assets you have and where they are
4. How to Destroy Evidence – Bad things can happen when you destroy evidence, including criminal charges in some cases
5. How to Spy on your spouse – It’s never been easier to spy on someone that it is now, and doing it can get you arrested
6. How to Violate a Judge’s Order – Lawyers should not tell people to violate Judge’s Orders
7. How to Handle your entire case from beginning to end with all the contingencies – One of my favorite sayings is “If it was easy, everybody would do it.” Some cases are simpler than others, but even the simplest Divorce or Custody case has many issues and trying to teach someone years of law school in an hour or so is simply impossible.
So why are there so many lawyers on TV saying they don’t charge?
Most of the ones on TV, if not all, handle Personal Injury cases. Those cases can often be diagnosed very quickly, and the attorney can estimate what, if any, recovery is possible. In a successful case, there is a monetary recovery that the lawyer can get paid a part of. That’s not true in Family Law.
Don’t get fooled. The socks aren’t free. Very few things of real value are.