A: While the projected costs of a contested family law case are typically discussed with the client during the initial consultation, an uncontested divorce, child support modification, or child support enforcement action can usually be handled for a minimum of $2,500.00. Other costs such as filing fees, subpoena fees and citation fees may increase the cost of the case. Our retainer fees are determined in the initial consultation with the attorney. Ms. Brandon’s hourly fees along with the fees of her legal assistants remain among the most competitive in the family law area. Our office bills in six-minute increments as opposed to the industry standard quarter-hour intervals. This means that our clients do not pay for a fifteen-minute phone call that only required five minutes of the attorney’s time or the legal assistant’s time. In using this method of billing, it has made a major difference in savings to our clients.
Q: How do I schedule an appointment for a
consultation with the attorney?
A: Call our office and one of our staff members will take the initial information such as your name, contact numbers, names of other involved parties and the primary issues surrounding your case. After the needed information is gathered, the legal assistant will schedule a date and time for you to meet the attorney for the consultation.
Q: Is Sarah K. Brandon Board Certified in family law?
A: Sarah K. Brandon is not board certified in family law by choice. A lawyer applies with the State of Texas Bar and requests to take the exam after they have been in practice for a certain number of years and some additional criteria. Although Sarah K. Brandon believes that she has met the criteria and has been in practice since 1993, she has elected not to take the exam or apply for Board Certification through the State Bar.
Q: Does Sarah K. Brandon represent more mothers or fathers in a custody case?
A: It has been said that Sarah K. Brandon represents more male clients than female clients. The ratio of men or women changes constantly, as Sarah K. Brandon represents “what she believes” is the best parent under the circumstances. In some instances, she has been known to represent grandparents or aunts or uncles in some child custody cases.
Q: Does a case have to go to Trial? What if my spouse or ex-spouse does not want to go
A: There are many alternatives of “settling out of Court.” Sarah K. Brandon is a strong proponent of aleviating the necessity of the Court’s intervention and the settlement of family disputes through the alternative methods of dispute resolution. But Sarah K. Brandon would certainly not encourage you to settle if your rights as a parent are compromised, and most importantly, if the rights and the interests of your child(ren) were compromised.
One option is a Settlement Conference, where the parties and their respective attorneys (if they have an attorney) work out a legal agreement concerning their issues.
Other options can be through Mediation or through the Collaborative Law Method through the State Bar.
Q: What is Collaborative Law and does Sarah K. Brandon practice this type of law/model
in Family Law cases?
A: Yes, Sarah K. Brandon practices Family Law cases using the Collaborative Law Method. The essence of collaborative law is the shared belief of the participants that is in the best interest of parties and their family to commit themselves to resolving their differences with minimal conflict. Therefore, the clients seek to adopt a resolution process that does not rely on Court-imposed resolution. However, the process does rely on the atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity and professionalism.
Q: What is Mediation?
A: Typically, Mediation is done before the Final Order, whether it be Modification of a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship or a Divorce, but Sarah K. Brandon usually tries to settle Temporary Orders through Mediation. Mediation is a process in which both parties, their respective attorneys and a neutral Mediator meet and try to come to an agreement with respect to all issues. The main issues are discussed and the Mediator will assist each party in reaching a mutual agreement.
Q: What is a Temporary Order?
A: It is an order that is in place temporarily until the parties or the Judge determine a final Order. Temporary Orders are not always required, but in many cases they are necessary.
Q: How long would it take to get divorced?
A: By statute, a divorce cannot be finalized until after at least 60 days have elapsed from the date that the Original Petition for Divorce was filed. If the case is uncontested, it is possible to finalize the divorce within 61 days, but should the divorce be contested, it will take longer depending on the issues. If the parties cannot reach an agreement in Mediation, the Court will have the final say with respect to the outcome of the divorce.
Q: In what county will my case be filed and heard?
A: In divorce cases, the action should be filed in the county in which one or both of the Parties reside for the preceding 90-day period. In addition, at least one of the parties must have lived in Texas for the preceding six months. In a modification of a prior final order involving children, the case can be transferred to and heard in the county of the current residence of the child.
Unless otherwise noted in website -- Not Certified by Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
13062 HWY 290 West, Suite 206
Austin, Texas 78737
By Special Appointment Only
2901 Bee Caves Road, Box L
Austin, Texas 78746