Competent, Affordable, Unbundled Family Law Services
For many years, finding legal representation in a family law matter has meant paying a sizeable retainer fee to an attorney expected to represent you in all aspects of your legal matter from start to finish. Traditional representation typically includes legal advising, document preparation, filing motions, formal discovery, negotiation, participation in mediation, and litigation services such as preparing for and participating in hearings and/or trial if needed. It may or may not also include handling the appeal of an unfavorable ruling to a court higher than the local district court.
Nowadays, an individual in need of legal representation may prefer to hire an attorney willing to work on only those parts of your case you do not feel comfortable handling on your own. Alternatively, you may desire a specific kind of representation, such as representation by an attorney focused solely on helping you and your former significant other resolve issues for the lowest possible cost long before reaching the courthouse steps. This is especially true when important family relationships, such as a co-parenting relationship, can continue to be maintained amicably for your children’s best interests long after the formal legal process is complete. For these reasons, Skogerson McGinn has chosen to focus specifically on providing competent, affordable, unbundled family law services to clients in central and southwest Iowa. You have the right to choose not only the best attorney fit for you, but also the amount and form of representation you desire for your unique case. Accordingly, we’ve created this menu of services available to you at Skogerson McGinn.
This simply means you are retaining our office to provide all legal services incident to your case other than trial or appeal. This level of unbundled representation is sufficient to cover all legal needs in the majority of family law matters. In the event you retain our office on a limited scope basis and it later becomes apparent your case will need to proceed to trial, we will work with you to assist in shifting you and your case file to a trusted trial attorney well suited to the contested issues in your case. We know we must do a top-notch job for you throughout your case to avoid going to court unnecessarily. However, because every case has at least some potential of going to trial, we must also do a top-notch job to ensure you are prepared to enter the courtroom later on with your trial attorney if truly needed.
Collaborative divorce involves an intentional, high minded, team approach in which you, your former significant other, and both of your collaboratively trained attorneys all work together in a highly supportive environment utilizing a series of planned team meetings to resolve all legal issues involved in your case. The cornerstones of a collaborative divorce are trust and transparency, which is why the parties and their attorneys all sign a “Participation Agreement” with a “Disqualification Clause” that requires both attorneys to withdraw should courtroom litigation ever become necessary. More information on the collaborative process is available on the Skogerson McGinn Collaborative Law FAQs informational sheet provided in your client intake packet at your initial consultation.
The following services are offered by Skogerson McGinn on a flat fee basis:
We offer document preparation services only for parties who have already reached a full settlement agreement either on their own or through pre-filing mediation. The flat fee amount covers our preparation and filing of all documents necessary to your case as well as all court costs incident to your case.
If desired, you can actually choose one or more specific services with which you would like our assistance. For example, perhaps you and your spouse have decided to utilize the Iowa Supreme Court forms for filing your divorce pro se (without attorneys), however you are struggling to understand exactly how to complete those documents or the order in which to file such documents. We can help! Maybe your spouse has retained an attorney to draft all the paperwork in your case, but you would like to have your own attorney review things before you sign on the dotted line. We can help with that, too! For a la carte services, we simply charge at our usual hourly rate (by tenths of the hour) for time spent working on your case.
Some family law parties agree to participate in mediation prior to filing any documents with the court in an effort to save time and money on their case. Please be advised that an attorney acting as your mediator is legally prohibited from preparing and/or filing your court documents. Thus, a mediator can work with the parties in reaching a written settlement agreement, but a separate attorney must be hired to actually draft and file the necessary legal documents incorporating the mediation agreement and satisfying other requirements of the court. If parties choose to utilize Skogerson McGinn for pre-filing mediation services and agreement is reached, we will then assist in helping you find a quality attorney in a separate firm to then draft and file the appropriate legal documents to complete your case.
In the Fifth Judicial District (which includes the following Iowa Counties: Adair, Adams, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Guthrie, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Polk, Ringgold, Taylor, Union, Warren and Wayne), all family law cases become subject to an order for mediation. This means that if parties are unable to resolve issues on their own by a certain deadline, they are required to participate in mediation in effort to reach final resolution prior to scheduling a trial. More information about the mediation process is available on the Skogerson McGinn Mediation FAQs informational sheet provided in your client intake packet at your initial consultation.
*Services are offered on an hourly fee basis with payment of a retainer fee in advance of representation OR with no retainer fee and a pre-authorized credit card agreement in advance of representation.
**Services offered on a flat fee basis.
***Services offered on an hourly fee basis with payment due at the time of service.
We look forward to working with you on your important legal matter!! ☺