Why We Cannot Quote A Divorce Price Over The Phone
At John K. Grubb & Associates, we get a number of phone calls that start out with, “how much do you charge for a divorce.” The caller will frequently say that it will be a simple divorce.
This is about like calling a doctor’s office and asking how much the doctor will charge to remove a simple growth from one’s arm. Or calling a mechanic and saying, “there is a clunk under my hood. How much will it cost to fix it?”
Without knowing what we are getting into, we simply have no idea what the fee range will be. We used to explain to people that there are many factors that go into a divorce; then they would usually say, “It is simple.” We have discovered that, to most people, a “simple divorce” means – my spouse and I no longer want to be married to each other. It does not address any of the issues that can have a significant influence on the cost of a divorce – like custody, child support, property division, a division of retirement benefits, sale of the house, the payment of debts, etc. What we discovered is that people would then want us to listen for 30 minutes to 2 hours telling us their situation and wanting advice. So we do not quote fees over the phone. There are so many factors to consider in divorce. Length of marriage, children of the marriage, the income level of parties, real estate owned by the parties, retirement benefits, and about 25 other factors. We do not know if we are going to need to prepare deeds, qualified domestic relations orders, or numerous another document. We do not know if you have separate property and if it will need to be traced. While you and your spouse may agree that a divorce should be granted until we meet with you and discuss your spouse’s personality we have no idea how contentious they are going to be on other issues. Until we understand what is involved, we do not know what we will need to do for you.
What we do is provide the service of an initial consultation. For the consultation, we charge a flat $200.00 fee. At the consultation, we have an opportunity to meet the people and thoroughly explore their facts. We are able to frequently give them advice. We are able to help the client define their objectives and plan out a course of action. This way we both understand the scope of the work that must be undertaken and are able to quote the client a retainer.
Remember when you are hiring a divorce attorney you are hiring four basic things: Skill, Effort, Strategy, and Wisdom
If you are ready to take the next step and start on your divorce, contact Houston attorney, John K. Grubb.