J.S. asks from Minneapolis, MN on February 10, 2011
Need Recommendation for Minneapolis/West Metro Divorce Lawyer
Does anyone know of a reasonable/good divorce lawyer in Minneapolis/West Metro? My husband and I agree on most items but still feel like I need my own lawyer for my protection.
D.G. answers from Minneapolis on February 11, 2011
Interview several lawyers with questions about your situation and how to best preserve your options while protecting yourself. Then ask them to outline the procedure and ballpark how much it can or may cost. Because divorce can wipe out a woman (or couple) financially, one needs to consider the practicality of the situation and the reasonable remedies.
Morley Friedman, St. Paul, has 30 years experience as general civil litigation including divorce and business transactional law and is a brilliant contract and negotiation lawyer. He also works on a value pricing flat fee arrangements as well as by hour. He works and meets clients throughout the metro area. He has many references and has often been called upon for "damage control" by so-called divorce specialists. ###-###-####.
S.N. answers from Minneapolis on February 11, 2011
When my neighbor was divorcing she told me that it cost about $500 to do a meet and greet with an attorney. She used someone who was referred to her, but didn't end up likeing him in the end. I do remember she said to keep costs under control she had EVERYTHING organized, copied, etc. so that his team didn't have to spend any time / billable hours doing that.
You MUST get yourself protected .... why don't you start with going to the court and asking about a mediator ... they are MUCH less expensive, court appointed and have no vested interest in either of you (divorce atty sees $$$ when they look at you!). Start there and see what he/she says about the process. They also see a lot of divorces so they will know if something seems in line or not very fair. Good luck.
B.J. answers from Minneapolis on February 11, 2011
Saw an ad for these guys..
Gadtke and Beyer
flat fee divorce
special - family law
flat fee $500- ultimate with trial work up to $1500
Haven't used them- yet- best of luck.
About me: 50 yo perfusionist, wellness coach also doing a nationwide online weight challenge for $$, mom with 9 yo twin girls.
S.W. answers from Minneapolis on February 13, 2011
My ex and I used Erickson Mediation in Bloomington: http://www.ericksonmediation.com/
We were able to get our agreement written up in about 4 hours of time with Stephen Erickson. The agreement included finances, house settlement, parenting agreement for our daughter and everything. Then we needed to have it reviewed and written up by a lawyer so that the court would accept it. Since we were really in agreement by that time, we used one lawyer that we had worked with before. The total bill, mediation and lawyer fees, was less than $3000.
A lot of couples that use mediation then have separate lawyers review the mediated agreement. The danger is in choosing lawyers that know he/she can make more money by stirring up conflict between a couple that have already come to agreement, or just don't know of any other way of working than in conflict. So, even though it may feel "safer" to have a separate lawyer, beware of the possibility that these two separate lawyers might create more work for themselves, not necessarily to your benefit.
Some things we were able to do with a mediator, that lawyers likely wouldn't allow, or even think of:
Created a 50/50 parenting schedule that completely meets our needs.
Created a way to meet our daughter's financial needs where neither of us pays money to the other - instead, we use a joint bank account that we each contribute to twice a month, an amount agreed upon between us depending on our incomes. Then we each pay for our daughter's needs from that account - daycare, lessons, clothing, school supplies, summer camps, family zoo/science museum membership, etc.
If you can get through this process with little conflict, it is better for all. We still consider ourselves a family, just with a different structure. We have family dinners and outings fairly regularly. We just stay flexible with plans, so if it doesn't feel like a good time, we don't do it. When it does work, our daughter enjoys being with both of us. We also have 3 grandchildren together (from my stepchildren that I helped raise from diapers on) so it is especially nice that we can do family events together.
Good luck to you through this process.