Dealing with a legal matter can be nerve-wracking, especially if it involves family matters. That is why Hester Schem Dionisio & Beason provides you with assistance with any questions or concerns you might have. Below are answers to the most common questions we get asked. Don’t see your question? Contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation.
How are fees set in family law cases?
Attorneys work at an hourly rate. This rate varies among the attorneys in our firm and is based on their experience and expertise. Costs also depend on numerous other factors, including (but not limited to):
- The willingness of your spouse/ex-spouse to cooperate in the information-gathering phase
- Your opposing counsel’s willingness to cooperate in the information-gathering phase
- The number and complexity of the issues involved
The amount of time required will vary significantly from case to case, which is why we are unable to charge a “flat” fee. Furthermore, we are prohibited by ethics rules from charging contingent fees except in the circumstances limited to collecting unpaid support. Our staff encourages a frank discussion of payments and the cost of litigation both before the commencement of services as well as during the legal process.
What should I bring to an initial consultation?
When you first reach out to us, we will provide you with several forms to fill out. In addition to these forms, you should also bring
- Last 3 years of tax returns, both personal and business;
- Last 6 months of bank statements for all accounts you or your spouse/ex-spouse can sign on, if available;
- A complete list of income and expenses;
- A complete list of assets and liabilities.
Will my spouse be required to pay my attorney’s fees or litigation costs?
Under Oklahoma law, the trial court may order either party to pay all or a portion of the fees and costs of the other by its own discretion. The court is also charged with “weighing the equities” whenever a fee is requested. This ordinarily translates into requiring both parties to pay their own fees except where one party has been unreasonable either in the positions taken (requiring additional or unnecessary time expenditure) or -in very limited circumstances -where one party simply has no ability to pay.
Is a contract required for your legal services?
Yes. Although we do not require a contract for consultations, a contract does become necessary if we are engaged to represent you through litigation. The rules of the Oklahoma Bar Association provide in cases where an attorney has not regularly represented the client, the basis of the rate or fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing.
Hester Schem & Beason
This law firm maintains this web site for informational purposes only. The information contained on this web site is not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt thereof does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers should consult with a lawyer before acting in reliance on any such information. By entering this web site you acknowledge and agree to all terms and conditions stated herein.