Your Winchester Family Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions




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    What documents do I need to bring with me to my first appointment?

    Your first appointment with Ms. Ashby is an opportunity for you to provide her with basic information, receive advice and discuss the alternatives available to you to resolve your matter. While certain documents may allow your discussions to be more detailed, none are required at the initial consultation. In the course of a family law matter, Ms. Ashby most likely will need to review any previous court orders, your last three years of tax returns, recent pay stubs for each parent, information regarding the cost of health insurance for each member of your family, and any documentation relevant to the issues of custody and visitation.

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    What is the collaborative process?

    The collaborative process is a method of resolving family law disputes that avoids the emotional and financial toll of litigation. The hallmarks of the collaborative process are transparency, a free exchange of all relevant information, enhanced privacy and a commitment by the parties not to litigate their disputes. In order for parties to choose the collaborative process, each must be represented by a collaboratively trained attorney, and the professional team also may include one or more collaboratively trained mental health professionals and/or a collaboratively trained financial professional. For more information on collaborative divorce, please visit the website of the International Academy of Collaborative Professional: www.collaborativepractice.com

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    What are your fees?

    For most matters, Ms. Ashby bills for the time she spends on your case based on an hourly rate. The time she spends on your case is measured in ten minute increments. When you retain Ms. Ashby in an active litigation matter, you pay a sum of money called an “advanced legal fee” or “retainer.” Ms. Ashby determines the appropriate amount of the advanced legal fee during your initial consultation and is based on the unique facts of your case. This advanced legal fee stays in her trust account in your name. Each month, you will receive a statement of the time Ms. Ashby has spent on your case, and the corresponding charge is drawn out of the trust account to cover the expense. If any funds remain in your trust account at the conclusion of your case, they are returned to you. If the expense of your matter exceeds the amount of your advanced legal fee, you will be asked to replenish the advanced legal fee. Ms. Ashby also offers certain services, such a preparation of a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement or representation in an uncontested divorce, for a flat price.

    Ms. Ashby strives to offer effective legal representation at a reasonable cost. She will discuss with you any course of action that may result in a substantial cost prior to taking any action to ensure that your are comfortable that the expense is necessary to achieve your goals.

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    What are your office hours?

    Monday - Thursday: 8:30am - 4:00pm
    Friday: 8:30am - Noon
    Evening and weekend consultations are available by appointment.