We sometimes get asked this question, and it’s a very good one because while it’s easy to see the value a good, experienced family lawyer brings to cases with large marital estates or those with custody disputes, what value does that lawyer bring to the “other” types kinds of cases?

In other words, what does the lawyer bring you in a case with a small estate or uncontested custody?

A lot, actually.  It brings an experienced law firm on board who can help you to identify the important issues.  You don’t know what you don’t know, as the old saying goes.  The lawyer helps you to see your case in a new light and then to focus on what needs to be done, and why.

An easy example is how a divorce decree can be drawn – either broadly with “Husband is awarded every bank account in his sole name” or more narrowly with “Husband is awarded the checking account at Main Bank which ends in 1234.”  The difference between the two can be critical, especially in agreed cases.  What if a party hides an asset of some value – here, a bank account – and the other party doesn’t discover it until well after divorce.  What can be done?

Probably nothing if broad language was used.  But, if more narrow language is employed then the injured spouse may have the ability to go back to court and ask for a fair share of the bank account because it is undivided community property.  Unless you know the difference between the two and know to ask for more narrow language, then you’ve potentially lost a valuable right.

An experienced law firm can also guide you in making appropriate decisions.  It’s hard for a person to represent himself.  Why?  That person simply cannot be objective.  As a result, decisions may be made based on the knee-jerk emotion of the moment rather than a cool-headed, long-term vision of what’s truly best for you in that situation.  Anyone who’s ever lost her temper and lived to regret what she said or did as a result knows what we mean.

And an experienced law firm has a wealth of history to draw from – hundreds if not thousands of other cases like yours, and often what worked in one of them may also work in yours.  The lawyer can draw on that deep pool of experience that you simply don’t have because this is your one and only case, hopefully ever.

For these and many other reasons hiring an experienced law firm in a small or relatively uncontested case brings solid value to you.  It also brings the intangible but equally important value of peace of mind which comes from knowing you’ve got someone on your side.  That you’re not alone in this.

How can a law firm do this?  Simply put, it operates with younger lawyers – who work at lower rates – under the supervision of highly experienced lawyers, usually firm partners, and within a structure which is created by the firm to facilitate small or relatively uncontested cases.

If you have a small or uncontested case – or think yours might be of that sort – feel free to send us an e-mail.  We’d like to hear from you.  We want to help.

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