Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

FAQ ‘s: Here I have compiled a list of questions that people often ask me.

Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question. If you don’t know something, ask!

I update this list frequently, so if you have a question, please submit it here. I guarantee someone out there has the same question.

Remember, any information on my website or blog in NO WAY should be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please schedule a consult.

    In addition, you may find information on my frequently updated BLOG helpful.

    Working with Us - Top 6 Questions

    Kelly’s hourly rate is $700.  We work with paralegals and contract attorneys whose hourly rates range between $350-$500. We do not currently offer free consultations. When you call our office, our staff will answer all questions you have about procedure and pricing.   They will also send you an Intake Form.  Completing this form and sending it back is the first step to working with us.   We want your paid consultation to be as productive as possible, so it’s imperative we gather all biographical information prior to the meeting, so the meeting can be spent on legal advice. From the information you provide, we also run a conflict check to ensure that your ex has not already consulted with us.  In a divorce, you and your ex’s interests are in direct conflict with each other.  Lawyers are not allowed to give advice to both sides. Finally,  I will never “get on the phone” for “one quick question”.  Family law is extremely personal and cannot be a “quick answer”.  No reputable lawyer will risk liability, malpractice insurance, and reputation to give a random stranger a “quick answer.”  It is unproductive and useless. We are living in the age of information technology, and if you want general information, try Google! Also, I spend a lot of time writing blogs and articles which cover a variety of Family Law issues for your benefit.  (Please note, however, everything you read on this site is general information only.   Never construe anything you read on the internet as legal advice.) If you want individualspecific and useful legal advice, you must schedule time with a lawyer, and pay.

    It depends on who you are.  Are you two in agreement as to the all the issues of your separation? Are you a dependable DIY person?

    If so, definitely.  There is a wealth of information on the internet (and on our site!), and if you are in agreement, it is entirely possible to reach a settlement agreement, draft it up and submit to the court.  We can also prepare these documents for you for a flat fee, listed here.

    If you two disagree on many things, but at least are in agreement that mediation is the best,  I recommend that you call our office and schedule the free mediation orientation.  I promise you that discussing your problems with a mediator in the privacy of my office will be far more cost-effective (and productive) than immediately lawyering up!

    If you have a contested divorce (especially issues regarding custody or property division), I would recommend that you seek a Certified Family Law Specialist attorney to advise you on your options regarding the divorce.  There are several options, and you can read about it here.

    Kelly Chang Rickert is a CFLS.  Being a Specialist means more than just “specializing” in an area of law.

    California Certified Family Law Specialists have passed a written exam in Family Law, demonstrated a high level of experience in their field, fulfilled practice requirements and ongoing Continuing Legal Education Requirements, and are evaluated by other Judges and Attorneys in Family Law.

    Currently, there are only approximately 350 Certified Family Law Specialists in Los Angeles County.  Attached is a list of all the CFLS’s in Los Angeles County.

    For UNCONTESTED matters and mediations, our fees are listed here.  For contested cases, it depends on how many issues there are, and how long it takes to resolve the issues, and how many court appearances. There is good article here which may help you estimate costs.

    For all cases, we require an upfront retainer, and we deduct our hourly fees (billed in quarter of hour increments) from it.  Our fees vary from $350 – $750 per hour, depending on which attorneys are used in your case.

    We work hard with our clients to make sure they are not left without representation.  We will help refer you to LOW COST LEGAL SERVICES.  We accept credit cards.  After you have established your credibility, we may work out a payment plan with you.

    No.  We work with all races, genders, and creeds.  We value and honor your situation, whatever it may be.