- What is Alabama Family Law Center?
- AFLC’s Purpose
- Charging No Retainer
- Keeping it Simple
- Knowing Where I Fit
- Finding Out More
- Is Your Office Accessible?
- What it Costs to Use AFLC
- How To Reach AFLC
- Reasons Not To Use AFLC
Alabama Family Law Center is a private law firm. It is neither a public legal aid agency nor a section or subcommittee of the Alabama State Bar. Alabama Family Law Center charges for its services by the hour. Alabama Family Law Center is owned and staffed by me, Lee Borden, based on my farm near Tallassee, Alabama. Click here for more information about me. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. I developed Alabama Family Law Center in 1995 out of my vision to help people who are going through a divorce while keeping the cost as low as possible.
There’s no question that divorce hurts. And nothing that AFLC does can keep your divorce from hurting. But if you take control of your own divorce, you will emerge from it with a better settlement, more money in your pocket, a better relationship with your former spouse, and a better sense of your own worth and value.
Alabama Family Law Center is designed around that simple principle,
helping people take control, and stay in control, of their divorce.
AFLC doesn’t charge an advance retainer for any work related to divorce. Many persons going through divorce have reported that they feel trapped because they’ve deposited a large retainer with a lawyer and are afraid that if they change lawyers they won’t get their retainer back. You won’t have that worry with AFLC.
AFLC has only one staff member, Lee Borden. That means you know that you will always deal with the same person when you send me e-mail and that the person responding is familiar with your case. Please don’t assume, however, that a small staff means I won’t have time for you. I operate on the forefront of technology, and I have invested thousands of hours (and a great deal of money) in developing systems that allow a single-person office to be fully responsive to your needs. My covenant is that I will get back to a client within two business days if he or she e-mails me. If by telephone, within a week. If I don’t, let me know, and I’ll adjust your fee. See what I mean about keeping you in control?
I don’t maintain a physical office or meet with clients in person. Instead, I meet with clients and provide services mainly by e-mail. This allows me to shave a few more whiskers off the prices I charge, and it’s more convenient for my clients.
Divorce is complicated, because it’s really three divorces. There’s the legal divorce, of course, where lawyers get involved. And there’s the social divorce – the adjustment of your friends and family to your split. And then there’s the emotional divorce – the adjustment you and your spouse must make to living separately. The legal divorce is just a small piece of the process, and it’s smart to keep that in mind. I’ll point it out to you regularly.
Because I don’t maintain a physical office, the answer is yes, absolutely. I deal with clients by e-mail, telephone and Internet, so clients can work with me from the comfort of their home or workplace.
I don’t believe in retainers, and I never ask for one. Instead I ask you to pay me at the end of each session for the time we spend in that session.
Alabama Family Law Center charges based on how much of my time is needed. I charge for my time at $100 per hour. There’s no additional charge for setup or opening a file.
I offer flat rates for uncontested divorce. Lawyers often quote a fee for uncontested divorce that does not include preparation of a property agreement (which is needed in virtually every divorce). All my flat rates include the cost of preparing an agreement and all other forms needed for the divorce.
I charge for extra time in tenths of an hour. So if you spend 33 minutes with me, that’s 6/10 of an hour, and I’ll ask you to pay me $60.00 when we finish. I take cash, checks, Visa, and MasterCard.
I ask that you pay the legal fee for the uncontested divorce at the initial session. I prefer that you pay the filing fee when you and your spouse have both signed the papers and they’re ready to file with the court.
People sometimes ask if I will set up a payment plan, meaning can they get my services now and pay me later. The answer is no. I’m not set up to take your money now and deliver services later (retainer agreement), and neither am I set up to deliver you services now and get paid later. I need you to pay me when I provide services. If you don’t want to do that, please don’t use me. You’ll make life uncomfortable for both of us.
From time to time, someone who doesn’t understand my approach to saving money in divorce asks if I offer an introductory free consultation. The answer to this one is also no.
A lawyer who spends 20 or more hours of professional time on an average case can justify an introductory consultation, because there’s an expectation of a large retainer if the lawyer “takes the case.” My whole business is set up to spend as little time as possible with (and charge as little money as possible to) each client. I’m totally comfortable spending 20 minutes with a client if that’s all it takes to deliver the information the client needs, and I have no interest in trying to sell the client on using me more.
This means that, among other things, I spend far less time with each individual client than the average divorce lawyer (on average about one hour per client). If I offered a free consultation, I would be reducing my overall revenue dramatically. It wouldn’t make sense, and it would make my wife angry. I must confess that if I must choose between disappointing you and making my wife angry, I’ll choose you every time. Sorry.
I prefer that you use e-mail to contact me. Again, this helps me keep costs down.
AFLC is narrowly focused on helping people to stay in control of their divorce. You shouldn’t use Alabama Family Law Center if you’re working to save your marriage, if you and your spouse are at war, if you dislike using voicemail, if you need a payment plan or a free introductory consultation, or if you go for the “marble/mahogany” look.