If you are thinking about a divorce or are already going through one, you are probably wanting to get through the awful divorce process with the least amount of pain, cost and drama. Usually, the best way to do this is to focus on the desired end result and to navigate the divorce process with calm and dignity.
Steven Ashby approaches the divorce process differently than many other lawyers. Steve begins by listening, carefully, to the problems presented by his clients. Rather than automatically formulating a plan to wage war in the courtroom, Steve works with his clients to solve the problems presented. By focusing on solving the problems, before the litigation process, Steve and his clients often achieve success while minimizing drama and expense. Courtroom battles are sometimes necessary, and Steve has achieved success in many courtrooms. However, he never loses sight of the fact that litigation is only a means to the ultimate goal of solving the client’s problems.
Steve recognizes that families involved in litigation are still families. When a husband and wife divorce, their children will normally outlive both of them. The ex-husband and the ex-wife will still have to cooperate with each other to co-parent the children, even after these children grow up and leave home. Graduations, weddings and grandchildren ensure that divorced parents will have to forge and preserve some level of cooperation and reconciliation to give their children and grandchildren the hope of a stable family life.
In the end, everyone is better served by focusing on solving mutual problems rather than throwing gasoline on the fire.
Each divorce presents a number of different issues that must be resolved before the process is finished. Often, people don’t think about specific issues of custody, visitation, the division of property and the division of debts that have to be dealt with. With his 30+ years of experience, Steve Ashby knows about these hidden issues and questions and helps clients resolve them before they become undiscovered problems. His goal is to formulate answers to these questions at the time of the divorce, rather than leave them to create future controversy and litigation.
By focusing on goals, important issues and family, Steve can help you to successfully navigate the painful divorce process.
What will all of this cost? Your total cost depends on the complexity of the case, and how combative the parties want to be. To begin with, your first telephone consultation is free. In that phone conference, Steve will help you to evaluate where you stand and where you want to be when the process is all over. Then, he can give you some idea of how long the process will take and how much it will cost. After the initial free telephone conference, Steve has a rate of $350 per hour. That is a lot of money, so Steve focuses on identifying your goals and working to achieve the end result as quickly and efficiently as possible. For example, in many cases, Steve Ashby will recommend that the parties work toward resolving the outstanding issues in a divorce before a divorce suit is even filed, bypassing the cost of contested litigation. If a suit is underway, Steve often utilizes mediation to settle cases which otherwise would be headed to the courtroom for an expensive and painful confrontation. In your initial consultation, Steve will give you an estimate of the overall cost and will give you a quote for a down payment towards these expected costs. This is called a retainer. The retainer is paid into a separate escrow account, which is not touched until and unless legal fees or expenses are generated. Each month, you will be provided with a detailed record of the time expended on your case down to one tenth of an hour (six minutes). In order to keep your legal fees down, Steve Ashby will utilize his paralegal ($75 per hour) to perform routine tasks not requiring the intervention of an attorney, when possible. If the retainer is exhausted before the end of the case, you will be expected to deposit additional retainer amounts to keep the retainer balance at a specified minimum (usually $500) till the end of the case. Once the process is over, any monies left in your escrow account are refunded to you, so there are no “non-refundable” deposits.
Often in divorce cases a party can request that the court order the other party to pay all or part of their attorney’s fees. This determination is within the discretion of the court, taking into consideration the relative financial positions of the parties. In many cases, we prosecute claims for attorneys’ fees for our clients. In this way, a party is not penalized because he or she has less money on hand than the other party.