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Family Law... Why Pay a Consult Fee?

We recognize there are “free legal consults” out there, but MDW Law stands by the value we provide in our initial meeting with potential clients.

Ashley Donald – July 2018

Why would I pay a consult fee, when I can get one for free?

MDW Law charges $250 plus HST for a one-hour initial consultation with an experienced family law lawyer. We sometimes have potential clients say they can get a free consult elsewhere.  We recognize there are “free legal consults” out there, but MDW Law stands by the value we provide in our initial meeting with potential clients. Here is why:

We block a full hour of time to ensure you have the opportunity to tell us your story, for us to ask some pointed questions that will help us determine your rights and obligations, and for us to give you legal information and advice regarding your claims. We also take the time to explain the different options available to you, like negotiating, mediation, collaborative family law or litigation.

Many other firms offer a half-hour free consult. The reality is a thorough consultation takes at least an hour. In some cases, you get the first half hour free, then any remaining time used is charged at the lawyer’s regular hourly rate. You finish your “free consult” and are presented with a bill on your way out the door.

We provide you with the upfront cost of the consultation so that there are no surprises.

In advance of our initial consults, we ask that you fill out a Client Information Form. This form asks you questions about you and your spouse, like your income, ages, and the length of your relationship, your assets and debts, children you have together or from other relationships and if there are any agreements in place. By providing this information in advance, we are able to provide you with legal advice on how to move your matter forward during the one-hour consultation. With this information you can choose to retain us to assist you, or to try to come to an agreement with your former spouse on your own.

After speaking with you and gathering information, we can often provide expected child support calculations, ranges of possible spousal support amounts, as well as information about entitlement to spousal support and how assets and debts are divided upon separation.

This legal advice is tailored to you and your situation, not just general advice on how the law is usually applied.

During your initial consult, we take the time to provide you with information about our hourly rates, options for a retainer, and expected costs of moving forward. Though it is always difficult to provide an exact cost of a proceeding, we explain the types of things can decrease your legal fees, or, increase them.

Not only do we provide legal advice at your initial consultation, we also offer a warm beverage to help make you feel comfortable. Don’t be surprised if you see a furry friend running around, as we have a few office pups who are often visiting to help ease any negative emotions you may feel leading up to your consultation. Please feel free to park in the parking garage at Park Lane Mall, and we will validate your ticket, so you can exit the garage for free.

If you have any questions about our Initial Consultation fees, or would like to book an appointment, give our office a call.

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