FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW MUCH WILL MY DIVORCE COST?


Determining the exact cost of a dissolution action is not realistically possible. A number of factors must be considered in order to determine even an estimated range of cost including attorney fees and court cost. Most dissolution actions involve services for drafting all initial pleadings, gathering information and documentation related to the parties' assets, debts, income, expenses for children and then drafting all settlement documentation, attending mediation and potentially participating in a contested final hearing. The total cost for cases varies greatly depending on the number of disputes between the parties, the cooperation or lack thereof between the parties and their respective counsel, the number and character of their assets and debts, the involvement of experts and issues pertaining to children. Smith Legal requires an initial retainer fee of $2,000 on all cases.




HOW LONG WILL MY DIVORCE TAKE?


After the initial filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage, a court cannot grant the divorce for 60 days. The timeframe by which a divorce will be concluded, either by agreement or contested hearing cannot be determined. A number of factors impact the time it takes to complete a divorce such as: cooperation between the parties, the parties' and attorneys' schedules, the court's calendar and much more.




CAN WE SETTLE WITHOUT GOING TO COURT


Absolutely. Smith Legal has a track record of resolving over 90% of its cases without court intervention.




DO I REALLY NEED A LAWYER?


Absolutely! Any individual or business facing a legal issue should, in good judgement, retain counsel. Even seemingly "simple" disputes include a number of pitfalls and complications that are ignored, overlooked or unknown to unrepresented parties. Retaining Smith Legal does not invite heightened conflict. Smith Legal ensures you have candid and seasoned advice including options for amicable resolution that focus on only your best interest. One attorney cannot represent two parties with conflicting interest. Smith Legal strongly encourages individuals and businesses to have independent representation in any legal matter including friendly amicable situations.




WHY HIRE SMITH LEGAL?


Scott Smith of Smith Legal LLC is not only a highly-experienced litigator and mediator in a variety of complex cases, he is practical, candid and compassionate. Scott believes amicable resolution through settlement / mediation is usually the best route for any matter. However, should any case require contested hearings or trials, Scott has skilled advocacy, good relationships with courts and judges throughout the state of Indiana and works effectively in the adversarial process. Scott is extremely responsive and values clients' time and resources.




WHAT IS MEDIATION?


Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which parties negociate amicable resolution of their disputes. A mediator that oversees mediation is typically agreed upon by the parties to serve as a neutral facilitator between the parties. In the typical mediation, the parties are separated in individual rooms with their respective attorneys and the mediator shuttles (goes back and forth) between the two parties seeking common ground on all disputed issues. If the parties reach agreement on any and all issues, those resolved issues are reduced to writing and submitted to the court for approval. Mediation is an incredibly successful and effective way for the parties to resolve cases and avoid stressful expensive and uncertain litigation. Mediation results in the parties determining the outcome rather than a judge.




HOW DO I PAY YOU?


After confirming representation by signing a written agreement, Smith Legal provides services only on a pay-as-you go system. Advanced payments are placed in a trust account. Advanced payments are refundable to the extent the funds are not used for services rendered. Smith Legal does not accept payment plans or offer contingency arrangements on any case.




DO YOU TAKE CREDIT CARDS?


Yes, Smith Legal accepts all major credit cards.





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