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Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation

Why should you have a case evaluation?

The first decision you make in your family law matter may be the most important: your choice of which law firm will represent you. In fact, all future decisions in your case flow from your choice of legal counsel; who your attorneys are influences the advice they give you and the way they advocate for you.

Family law matters can be emotional, even overwhelming. A divorce can make it seem as if the world is spinning out of control, or even at an end. The right attorneys can place control back in your hands, and help you reframe the ending of your marriage as the beginning of a better future. They will listen to your hopes and fears, consider the facts of your situation, advise you of your options, and advocate for the goals you identify.

Because retaining a divorce attorney is such a consequential decision, you should be well-informed before making the commitment. You deserve more than a brief consultation that offers only general information about the legal process and little in the way of meaningful guidance. Before you commit to working with an attorney or law firm, you should know the attorneys’ qualifications and experience with cases like yours, as well as their practice philosophy and approach to dispute resolution.

Last, but certainly not least, you should be confident that you can trust your attorneys and work well together with them. Divorce, custody, and other family law matters are intensely personal. You should come away from interactions with your attorneys with hope and a feeling that you’ve been heard—not anxiety and more questions than you had walking in.

What should you expect from a case evaluation?

Your case evaluation will involve a meeting with at least two of our attorneys. Why two? Because our attorneys work cooperatively. While all are accomplished litigators and negotiators, each attorney brings different strengths to the table. You may find it interesting, if not enlightening, to see the different perspectives each attorney takes to the issues you are concerned about. There is often no one “right” way to approach a problem—only the best way for your unique needs. Our multidimensional approach helps us consider all angles and customize advice for your specific situation.

An initial case evaluation meeting takes at least an hour. Any less than that will not give you an adequate opportunity to tell your story and receive thoughtful input from the attorneys about your concerns and goals. However, these consultations often go much longer than an hour. The point of these meetings is for you to get all the information you need to make an informed decision about representation. When the consultation is over, you should feel relieved, not rushed.

Additionally, the cost of the initial case evaluation remains the same regardless of the duration. We want your focus during the meeting to be on taking the first steps toward your future—not on the clock or a running meter.

How much does a case evaluation cost?

An initial consultation and case evaluation is billed as a flat fee at the rate of only one hour of one attorney’s time, no matter how many attorneys are involved in the consultation and no matter how long the initial consultation lasts. This rate enables us to give you the time and consideration you deserve at a reasonable cost. We strive to make the initial consultation a sound investment both of your time and of resources; most of our clients say the value and peace of mind they received from this meeting was well worth the cost.

How can you get the most from your initial evaluation?

Part of your initial consultation will, of course, focus on your family law dispute. You should be prepared to tell us as much as possible about your situation so that we can address your concerns and give you a realistic roadmap of what to expect from the legal process, including dispute resolution options.

That said, it’s equally important to look forward before your appointment, to envision the life you want to create. Where will you live? What will you do? How will you spend time with your children and loved ones? Imagining your hoped-for future is the first step on the path to it. We want to help you get there.

To schedule your initial consultation and case evaluation, Contact Strickler, Platnick & Hatfield — We look forward to meeting you.

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“Great lawyer to work with. Excellent communicator and listener. Courtroom skills exceptional. Would highly recommend for any family law situation.”
– Divorce Client , ★★★★★ Review
“I highly recommend Geoff. He and his all-star team assisted me through a difficult and contentious divorce and child custody case. Geoff’s knowledge and personal relationships really assisted in the positive outcome of my case. Geoff was efficient throughout the…”
– Family Law Client , ★★★★★ Avvo Review
“Took a personalized approach to my complex divorce and was available to achieve an outcome beyond my highest expectations.”
– Divorce Client , ★★★★★ Review
“Strategic and Pragmatic. Geoff has seen plenty of situations and how they play out. Geoff has an expert understanding of the process. Geoff does a great job of communication and letting you know what’s going on by including you in…”
– Divorce Client , ★★★★★ Avvo Review
“One of the most dedicated, fair, competent, patient attorneys I have had the pleasure of dealing with. He has helped myself and many others through some difficult times. He is a very good listener and can direct you in the…”
– Divorce Client , ★★★★★ Review
“Excellent at simultaneously executing specific tactical aspects of the case while maintaining overall macro view.”
– Family Law Attorney
“I have worked with Geoffrey S. Platnick as an expert witness in several cases and find him to be an excellent attorney with a real interest in his clients.”
– Child Custody Expert , ★★★★★ Review
“Absolutely amazing during a very difficult time.”
– Divorce Client , ★★★★★ Review
“He is a brilliant lawyer, a fantastic strategist, willing to resolve cases through mediation but kick butt in court if that is required, and in the final analysis, effective in achieving his clients’ goals. One of the really great ones.…”
– Family Law Client , ★★★★★ Martindale-Hubbell Review
“A very empathetic and diligent person and attorney. His tact in suggesting acceptable solutions to emotionally charged situations and sensitivity to child issues that can easily get neglected in the egoic fracases in such cases is truly exemplary. I am,…”
– Family Law Client , ★★★★★ Martindale-Hubbell Review