I am a big fan of the Dos Equis commercials and the “Most Interesting Man in the World.” And although I do not drink beer, if I did it might be Dos Equis. Among my favorite of these commercials is the “Most Interesting Man in the World on Going Dutch.” His words of wisdom, “You usually get what you pay for.” This is one of those truisms in life that we all know, but we too often forget.
You get what you pay for applies to a lot more than dates; it applies to anything for which we might be expected to pay, including professional services such as those of an attorney.
As Abraham Lincoln said, “a lawyer’s stock in trade is his time”. We attorneys sell our time. Occasionally in a single appointment we give the client all of the information they need or help to resolve their problem. If we did not charge for these consultations and give away our product we are not going to be in business long.
With this in mind, people should not expect free consultations from attorneys in divorce or custody matters or any other domestic relations matters. The Guides and Questions and Answers here on Avvo are a nice start and may be helpful, but nothing here is going to be as meaningful and as helpful as a real consultation where the attorney has time to learn about you and your issues and can give you advice that is specific to your unique circumstances. In this respect, Avvo offers people the chance to issue spot and focus their questions for when they meet with an attorney so that they can get the best consultation possible.
What you will get for you money in a good domestic relations consultation is a crash course in the law as it applies to your case. An attorney will help you identify the legal issues that you face, explain your rights as well as help identify the legal options that you have. Many times this will determine the course of a case.
Remember, you get what you pay for. So expect to pay an experienced domestic relations attorney their regular hourly rate for their time when you schedule a consultation. In return they will apply their years of experience and training to give you the information for your specific circumstances. It may be the best money that you spend.