Family law cases are billed hourly, elder law clients are charged a flat fee (with some exceptions).
You deserve timely communication with your attorney. Many people complain that they do not hear from their attorney or that they cannot get a call back. This is something you should not experience. If you have an urgent issue that needs to be addressed, my Client Communications Coordinator, Jodi, is able to schedule 15- minute phone appointments on my calendar. I check my email throughout the day and will respond as soon as soon as I have an answer to your question or issue. If you want an update, to touch base, or have a question, you can call Jodi to schedule a time to speak with me. I never want you to feel out of the loop in your case.
Generally most of my meetings are held in my office, weekdays between the hours of 9am-5pm. I am willing to travel for my Elder Law clients and may charge a fee for this service.
A dissolution of marriage is a way to terminate your marriage with the Court. In order to proceed with a dissolution of marriage, you and your spouse must come to an agreement on all issues in your marriage prior to filing anything with the Court. Often people view this as the most amicable way to terminate a marriage. A divorce can either be contested or uncontested. An uncontested divorce is similar to a dissolution of marriage but involves a different process. Often an uncontested divorce is filed because one party cannot be present in Court. A contested divorce is filed if the parties are not able to come to an agreement prior to filing anything with the Court. Divorce is also used to seek relief from the Court in the form of temporary orders (child support, spousal support) or if there are issues of domestic violence in the household.
Collaborative law is a process designed to keep families out of court and at the negotiating table. As I explained above, there are two ways by which to terminate your marriage in Ohio, dissolution and divorce. If you choose dissolution, you have the option of entering into the Collaborative process as a means to achieving your dissolution. With Collaborative Law, you and your spouse must both choose collaboratively trained attorneys and you both must agree to the process. You will have the option of involving “neutrals”, a Family Relations Specialist and a Financial Specialist, in your process. Often, these neutrals are paramount in ensuring that your process is a smooth and effective one. At the first meeting you will enter into a Collaborative Agreement which states that you and your spouse are so committed to resolving your differences outside of Court, that if either of you terminate the process, there will be a waiting period and you must hire new attorneys to file your case. For more information read the Collaborative Law page.
I offer a 75-minute consultation for $250.00. At this meeting I discuss your case in detail and provide my opinion on your case and advice for moving forward. You will be asked to complete “homework” prior to the meeting. This homework helps me evaluate your case in advance, so that I can offer you the most value in this meeting. I also offer a 30-minute consultation where I learn about your situation, discuss your options, answer general questions about the law and discuss my fee to represent you. I do not provide my opinion or legal advice at this meeting as it is intended to be informational only. This consultation is free.
You will attend Court at either the Domestic Relations Court or the Juvenile Court in your county, depending on the nature of your case.
The cost of representation will vary widely depending upon the scope and complexity of your case. Typically, our firm bills by the hour for family law cases. It is important to sit down and think about what you are realistically able to spend in order to meet your objectives. If you know that you only have a limited budget, it may be difficult to fund a fully litigated custody battle. An attorney’s hourly rate generally corresponds with how long they have practiced. Additionally, that rate can vary if you hire a solo-practitioner, versus someone in a large firm. I currently charge $225.00 per hour for my hourly work. I also request an initial retainer up front which remains in a trust account until I earn it. You will receive monthly invoices that will show your retainer balance or you can call and ask at any time. If there are any funds remaining after the case is complete, it is returned to you. We will discuss the status of your retainer as the case progresses. It is possible that, due to the scope of your case and litigation, an additional retainer will be required mid-case.
It is wise to use an attorney who regularly practices family law when hiring someone for your family law issue. Their familiarity and expertise with the issues will generally make your process go smoother.
Represent yourself at your own risk. I cannot count how many times people have come to me after starting off representing themselves. It is usually not a pretty picture. Property settlements and issues related to children and child support can be extremely complicated. These issues can have legal ramifications that follow you into the future. It is important to hire legal counsel to advise you regarding these issues. Navigating the Court systems alone can be complicated, frustrating, and time consuming. Our firm will simplify the process by taking the lead through all facets of your case.
Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. Medicare will pay up to 100 days of skilled care under certain circumstances, but will only pay in full for 20 days. You will be responsible for a co-pay for days 21-100 in most all situations. Medicare is not a long term solution for your nursing home care needs.
Elder law can be useful for a very large population of people, believe it or not! Young people may need elder law to plan for special needs children or to plan for their future.
In Ohio, you will be required to provide 5 years of documentation of assets from the date of your Medicaid application.
Is there any way to save some of my money even though I have to go onto Medicaid for nursing home care?
Yes. There is a possibility we can help preserve some of your assets, especially if you retain counsel early on in the process.
The law allows a certain amount of your spouse’s income to be diverted to you. You are also permitted to retain some of your assets which will not be subject to spend down.
Yes, in certain circumstances you may qualify for the PASSPORT program that provides an alternative to nursing home care. There will still be strict requirements for asset and income eligibility though.
A will serves as instructions to your family and the Court as to your final wishes. Without one, the Court will decide these things. Trusts can serve to simplify your estate administration and will be easier on your family during their time of grief. Trusts will also save time and money on probate.
I generally charge flat fees for most elder law work that I do. These fees will be required at the initiation of services. The amount of the fee depends largely on the type of case you have. I will provide a price sheet at our meeting.
I offer a free 30 minute phone or in-person consultation to discuss with you the scope of your case and the fees for the services you require. If the meeting is in the office or by phone, this meeting is free. If travel is required, a fee will apply. Any additional meetings will either be at my hourly rate or covered in the scope our flat fee arrangement. The first step will be calling the firm to speak with Jodi and she will set an appointment with either myself or my Elder Law Practice Manager.