One thing to consider when retaining an attorney for a dissolution, divorce, or family law matter is the support staff and the other attorneys in your potential attorney’s firm. Having a number of support staff and additional attorneys in your attorney’s law firm can facilitate the allocation of certain sections of your case — certain tasks — to varying people with varying levels of expertise and varying billing levels.
In our firm, we attempt to have tasks performed by the person here with the lowest billable rate, so long as they are the appropriate person for the task at hand. This allocation of work helps to save our clients money since different people here have different rates.
Another thing to consider is the special expertise or talent which may be possessed by members of your potential attorney’s staff. In one case in particular, which comes to mind, our paralegal (who loves analyzing large amounts of financial data from differing sources) was able to negate the argument of the other side that the other party had a marital debt of $30,000. Analysis proved that it “looked like” there was a $30,000 debt but that the $30,000 had actually never been spent on anything and was just amassed somewhere by borrowing and then paying back different credit cards with cash from loans on other credit cards and creating a “final” credit card debt, which connected to no actual purchase. We never “found” where that $30,000, in cash, was hidden, but we did avoid having our client pay for half of that alleged debt — thus saving him $15,000! The other side ended up with $30,000 in cash but also a $30,000 debt to pay.
The attorney and law firm you choose can make a large difference in what you end up with, both asset-wise and also debt-wise, on the “bottom line” at the end of your divorce or dissolution. The attorney and firm you choose can also make a big difference in the discovery of income and assets, and, therefore, potential child support awards.