Our Consultation Process

All consultations personally handled by experienced family law attorney Lori Barkus

We have a unique approach to consultations. We get to know as much as possible about you and not just about the “facts and stats” of your case as you are a human being first and foremost and our team is dedicated to taking care of you. We also want to know about your spouse – your specific concerns and anticipated challenges so that we can also plan for those inevitable emotional or angry moments that, if unmanaged, can send a divorce spiraling out of control. And we want to know what support looks like to you so we can help you create an environment that will help you feel supported during this process.

Our consultation process will give you the most comprehensive picture possible. Lori Barkus personally handles all consultations. Not only does she answer your legal questions, she also creates a strategy and plan for how to go forward. We provide you with additional resources for parenting and communicating with your soon to be ex, decision making about keeping or selling the marital home and other unique needs you may have during this process. We have a vast network of trusted providers and are happy to share their expertise with you.

Lori Barkus spends a lot of time preparing for the General and Extended Consultation and not only reviews the detailed information provided by you but will also review the Court file for any pending matters and any documents you provide. Our goal is to give you a legal roadmap for going forward and help you create a support system to help you handle the emotional aspects of divorce so we can get you through this process in the most efficient way possible and with the best outcome for you.


We Offer the 3 Following Types of Consultations:

And, because we believe in transparent pricing, we are also sharing the costs of these services with you.

GENERAL CONSULTATION:

This is often used in connection with our Silver Service Package, which is described in our Flat Fee page. This fee is credited towards our Silver Service Package if package is purchased within 7 days from the date of the consultation.

PRIOR TO YOUR CONSULTATION:

  • Detailed intake filled out by you.
  • General review of documents provided. If there is a court case, we will want to see the following (you can securely upload documents by attaching them to the intake form).
    • Financial statements by you and your spouse.
    • Tax returns, W2s, 1099s, and documentation of income of you and your spouse for the past 2 years.
    • Recent statements for IRA, 401-K or other retirement and/or pension plans for you and your spouse.
    • Any evidence such as pictures, tapes, recordings or other evidence that corroborates what you are alleging (such as infidelity, domestic violence, financial irresponsibility, etc.).
    • Any information relating to the marital home — mortgages, tax assessed value, appraisals, etc.
    • All recent bank statements for both spouses, showing the current balance.
    • Any pleadings that have been filed in the current case, or in any related case.

DURING YOUR CONSULTATION:

  • 45 minute meeting with Lori Barkus, who will tell you:
    • The strengths and weaknesses of your case.
    • Whether a case should be filed, and what type of case to file.
    • What the process should look like.
    • Some resources to help answer questions about whether you should keep or sell a home, figuring out your monthly budget and other financial questions.
    • Resources to help you with parenting and therapeutic resources to help you through this process.
    • Likelihood of settlement or trial.
    • What the next steps should be for you.

AFTER YOUR CONSULTATION

  • A 15 minute follow up call with Lori Barkus to clear up any questions from the initial session.

Cost of Service = $495


EXTENDED CONSULTATION & STRATEGY SESSION

Recommended for high net worth individuals, those with complex cases and/or those who are seeking our exclusive Platinum Services described on our Flat Fee page. The Extended Consultation also comes with a money back guarantee. If, after completion of the entire session and follow up call, you believe that we have not provided any value to you, then we will refund the consultation fee paid by you.

PRIOR TO YOUR SESSION:

  • Detailed intake filled out by you. Please allow at least an hour to gather the detailed information and to answer the questions, as this helps us create the appropriate plan and strategy for you
  • In depth review by Lori Barkus of documents provided. If there is a court case, we will want to see the following:
    • Financial statements by you and your spouse.
    • Copies of any deposition transcripts.
    • Tax returns, W2s, 1099s, K-1 and business tax returns and documentation of income of you and your spouse for the past 2 years.
    • Recent statements for IRA, 401-K or other retirement and/or pension plans for you and your spouse.
    • Any evidence such as pictures, tapes, recordings or other evidence that corroborates what you are alleging (such as infidelity, domestic violence, financial irresponsibility, etc.).
    • Any information relating to the marital home — mortgages, tax assessed value, appraisals, etc.
    • All recent bank statements for both spouses, showing the current balance.
    • Any pleadings that have been filed in the current case, or in any related case.

DURING YOUR SESSION:

  • 90 minute in depth discussion of the information provided. By the end of this session, you will have:
    • Your specific divorce related questions answered.
    • An understanding of the strengths and weakness of your case so you know what to negotiate, where to stand firm, where to focus your resources and so you do not waste money and emotional energy fighting over things you can’t win.
    • A roadmap of steps to take (including when to file and whether other professional advice is needed- CPA, CDFA, realtor, child specialist, etc) so that you have accurate information so can be better prepared.
    • Information about what you can do to be proactive and what you should be doing/not doing to better prepare your case.
    • Items to consider with children, especially expenses that will be coming down the road, and how to address and prepare for them.
    • An analysis of likelihood of settlement vs. trial, when trial does or does not have to happen, steps you can take to help avoid trial and still get a fair settlement and steps you can take to prepare for trial.
    • Awareness of potential pitfalls with your spouse- making threats, hiring the most aggressive attorney, etc.- and what to do about them so you don’t end up spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting just to fight.
    • A resource plan for you with suggested mental health and support resources so you are better prepared to handle anxiety and uncertainty which may arise and to help you stay clear and focused so you can make sound decisions.
    • Additional information for you to gather and understanding of what you should do and not do to have a more successful outcome.
    • Next steps for you to take.

AFTER THE SESSION:

  • A written summary of what was discussed (so you do not have to worry about writing down or processing all information given during the session)
  • Copies of our Client Keys to Success and Communication Do’s and Don’ts.
  • A detailed process map showing the steps of divorce and how to be prepared for each one.
  • Specific resources for clients dealing with high conflict personalities provided by a high conflict divorce coach.
  • A 15 minute follow up call with Lori Barkus to clear up any questions from the initial session.

Cost of Service = $995

What can we save you with our Extended Consultation Session:

  • Avoid hiring the wrong lawyer – $5,000-$10,000 in a retainer.
  • Avoid making the wrong decisions: $50,000 or more spent in wasted attorney’s fees or on a subpar agreement reached after being financially and emotionally drained by going through a long drawn out process and hiring the wrong lawyer.
  • Lost productivity and revenue from work caused by over-litigating your divorce.

OTHER VALUE:

  • We help you chart a path to make the “right” decisions in divorce by helping you find the tools and resources to help you navigate your emotions and make sound decisions. This will help not only during the divorce, but in your life after it.
  • We help you protect your children from being harmed in the process. The emotional and health related toll a prolonged divorce takes on you and your kids can be extreme and even devastating.

BASIC CONSULTATION (mediation services clients only):

This may be used in connection with our Mediation Services, which are described in our Flat Fee page. This fee is credited towards our Mediation Support Service Package if package is purchased within 7 days from the date of the consultation.

PRIOR TO YOUR CONSULTATION:

  • Detailed intake filled out by you.
  • General review of up to five documents provided by you.

DURING YOUR CONSULTATION:

  • 45 minute meeting with Lori Barkus, who will tell you:
    • The strengths and weaknesses of your case.
    • Whether mediation is a good option for your situation.
    • Some resources to help answer questions about whether you should keep or sell a home, figuring out your monthly budget and other financial questions.
    • Resources to help you with parenting and therapeutic resources to help you through this process.
    • Likelihood of settlement or trial.
    • What the next steps should be for you.

Cost of Service = $350

CONTACT US