At Held Law Firm, during a family law case assessment, we discuss the problem that has brought you to a lawyer’s office and your ideal outcome.
The next thing we do is look at what we call the “three legs of the stool” – the law, the facts of your case, and the third “leg” that most lawyers don’t consider when advising you – the personalities of the people involved. We develop a litigation plan with specific points of time scheduled to review our progress and make course adjustments. We develop a budget and a list of assignments, both for you and for individual members of our team, to advance your goals. In short, when you walk out of a case assessment at Held Law Firm, you are not going to have been subjected to an hour long sales pitch. You are going to have a real plan.
But let’s take a moment here to talk a little more specifically about what we go through during the case assessment.
1. We discuss the facts of your case.
We need to know what’s happened. It is highly unlikely that you are here because things are going well, and we want to understand not only what’s going on, but what impact it’s having on every area of your life – from your relationship with your children, to your relationship with your employer; from your personal health and stress levels to where you’d like to be when this journey is finished, and you are ready to begin your new life.
2. We discuss the law.
I am always surprised that, in many consultations, other lawyers don’t go over the 15 custody considerations that a Judge must address in ruling on a contested child custody case, or the statutory factors that must be addressed before making an award of alimony. Much of how property gets divided is defined by statute, and the grounds for divorce are also designated by statute. We’ll tell you all of this; we often print the statute and hand it to you. Then, we begin to organize the facts that brought you here according to these statutes.
3. We discuss the personalities involved.
You know your family. We know the Judge that’s going to decide how your family moves forward from the crisis that brought you here. We know the attorney that opposes your interest and the mediators who try to bring this all to resolution. We know the experts that may be consulted or called as a witness. Every person involved has their own quirks, pet peeves, and preferences. It’s our job to ensure that the best cast of characters we can find is involved in deciding your family’s future.
4. We make a plan.
After discussing the prior three factors, we develop a plan of action to get us from where you are now to where you want to be. We discuss whether your expectations are realistic, any risks that you won’t get there that we can see at the outset, what information we need to get, the cost and time involved in getting it, and who is going to take charge. We assess any research needs, any novel questions of law that we need to research, and any chances that the law will change while your case is pending. Finally, we discuss who is going to do what, and we map out a budget.
When you are ready to begin your case, call 865.637.6550 to schedule a case assessment with Margaret Held or another Held Law Firm attorney.