This January feels considerably different than other Januarys in my career. It has not snowed much, and at least today, the weather is pretty temperate for St. Louis. What has not changed is that I am in my office, working on cases and trying to help clients. I went to my office nearly every weekday in 2020 and plan to do so in 2021.
As 2020 progressed, I was able to continue to offer uncontested divorces, despite the lock downs and court closures amid coronavirus. The courts have largely pivoted to help move cases through the system, but the courts are still dealing with the backlog from last spring and summer. Cases are being tried by using Zoom and other virtual courtrooms. The court system is quickly sending through agreed cases, with the hopes it is leaving more room for cases where divorcing people cannot agree and who need to have a hearing before the judge.
Like last year, one of the most common questions I am answering is how much will this cost me? I try to offer straight forward pricing. However, not all cases fit the we-have-worked-it-through-we just-need-paperwork mold.
This year, I am offering 2 attorney negotiated divorces. This is a step towards what I want to do next, which is collaborative law practice. A 2 attorney divorce is one where each party is represented, but there is no litigation, which we agree at the outset. The attorneys will work through all of the ideas that we can without you, and set a zoom meeting to handle the rest. Since the amount of time it will take is unpredictable, I am offering the service starting at $3,000 for up to 12 hours of work during normal work hours. The filing fee is paid last and is around $500 more. If it takes more work than 12 hours, I am then billing in 5 hour bundles at my usual rate, rather than the discounted one above.
We can hammer out the details of your parenting plan (formerly known as custody), how to divide your assets, and how to handle child support. Basically, we can handle all of the issues, no different than if you go to court. What it means, however, is rather than the judge deciding how you spend your summer or holidays, we work on it in a collegial manner so that we can reach a decision that fits your circumstances better.
These types of cases will still not require you to be present in court, only for a zoom meeting that will be arranged at a mutually agreeable time. It will result in final divorce paperwork that has been reviewed by an attorney for both parties. I have a list of attorneys I routinely work with that are willing to engage in cases like this.
If this is the type of solution you want, and you can agree to not file anything with the court, I would love to discuss further