What happens in an initial consultation?


Over the years, we’ve found that the most important advice we give our clients, and potential clients, is the advice we give in our first meeting.

When you first contact our office, you will not speak directly with an attorney. Instead, our paralegals will ask about the situation that raises your concerns, who are the persons involved (so that we can make sure that we have no conflicts of interest), who referred you to our office, and the nature of your case. We will talk with you about our firm’s practice philosophy, our fee structure, and obtain other initial intake information. We can often schedule an initial consultation appointment on the same day or during the same week (depending on the time of day and our other scheduled appointments). And our paralegals will talk with you about filling out the necessary intake forms and find out whether you are inquiring about us handling an existing case or a new matter.

Our initial consultation is not just a ‘get to know you meeting.’ Instead, we strive to provide in-depth and detailed information about Kansas family law as it applies to your specific situation. We often spend a lot of time getting ready for our initial consultations with new clients researching past court filings, the present status of our potential clients’ cases, reviewing recent pleadings in the case to identify potential issues and ways in which we can help provide insight into those issues at our initial conference.

The first advice we give is often critical to setting up our later handling of the case – including letting new clients know what potential problems and concerns exist in their case, how the law applies to their situation, what they will experience in the process of going through a divorce or other family law dispute, and the emotional, psychological, and other issues that might arise from the experience. During this initial consultation, our lawyers will review Kansas law, your rights, duties, and responsibilities, and our recommendations about how you can best work out your disputes without filing for divorce – or, if divorce is inevitable, to start that process. This initial meeting can mean thousands of dollars in difference in later litigation fees.

We do not provide ‘no fee’ or ‘low fee’ initial consultations. Instead, we charge a flat consultation fee for this initial consultation appointment and our extensive preparation for this meeting. You should plan on spending anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half in the consultation, depending on the nature of your situation whether your consultation is in-person, over the telephone, or by detailed email response.  After the initial consultation, our regular hourly fees apply for any additional time spent on your case.

In order for the lawyers at Ronald W Nelson, PA to file any domestic relations case, we must be “retained” as your attorneys. In order for us to be “retained,” we require:

(a) a signed attorney-client fee agreement; and
(b) the payment of a retainer deposit; and
(c) the signing of a verification affirming the facts in the petition or answer are true; and
(d) we must have the information necessary for us to prepare the documents needed to be filed.