Smith, Lehberger & Kennedy serves the family law needs of East Tennesseans with experienced, honest and cost-effective legal representation. We listen to our clients, and tailor our services to address the unique needs of each client. No two families are alike, so we take the time to listen to your situation to assess how best to proceed. We strive to empower our clients by advising them of their options and maintaining regular communication with them. We will work tirelessly to obtain the best outcome for each client.
We understand clients want resolution of their family law issues quickly, and resolution doesn’t always mean litigation. The attorneys at Smith, Lehberger & Kennedy achieve case resolution for clients through negotiation, mediation and litigation, when necessary. Alternative methods to achieve dispute resolution without the expense, delay and frustration associated with protracted litigation are explained and utilized to benefit our clients. When settlement is not possible, our clients walk into the courtroom with an experienced litigator who is well-prepared, knowledgeable of the law, and relentless in pursuing their legal rights.
Choosing the right attorney to assist you with your family law needs is an important decision and can make all the difference in your experience. When you need the advice or representation of a family lawyer, contact us at Smith, Lehberger & Kennedy.
When you schedule a consultation, you want and deserve legal advice based upon your specific situation. That’s why our consultations typically last an hour to an hour and a half, and we provide in-depth legal advice during the consultation based upon your particular circumstances. You will probably have lots of questions for us at the consultation, and we will answer those questions during the consultation.
While you don’t have to bring anything to a consultation, it may help to bring certain documentation with you. We want to listen to you, and to understand what you need from us, and answer any questions you may have.
If you are going through a divorce, the last several years of your tax returns and your spouse’s tax returns are helpful. It is also helpful to have documents pertaining to the assets and debts accumulated during your marriage. Other income information, health insurance costs and living expense information is helpful when determining financial support of a spouse or children.
When interested in adoption, any court orders involving custody of the child are helpful to determine what type of adoption is appropriate. Any documentation or information about the biological parents of the child is helpful when discussing termination of parental rights. While unnecessary for the consultation, it can also be helpful to provide the attorney with the child’s birth certificate.
If you have questions regarding custody or visitation, it is helpful to bring any existing parenting plan or court order.
If you have scheduled an estate planning consultation, please bring the Estate Planning Questionnaire you may have received from our office. If you have previously executed estate planning documents, bring those with you as well.
Yes. The charge for a consultation is $350.
We do not set consultations simply to introduce ourselves or tell you to hire us because we can get you what you want. Beware of free consultations designed to get you to pay a retainer without giving you individualized legal advice. Remember the saying, “You get what you pay for.” We believe you want detailed and customized legal advice when you see an attorney about your legal needs. We provide that information in our consultations, and that is why we charge a fee for our consultations. We will not waste your time or your money.
We expect you will have follow-up questions for us after a consultation. That is normal. That’s why we offer a free 30-minute phone conference after your initial consultation to answer your follow-up questions. An informed client makes better decisions about how to proceed, and we want to help you make good decisions.
No. We are open to consultations by phone or by electronic means, such as Zoom, if you cannot come into the office for a consultation.
At the conclusion of our consultation with you, we will tell you what we believe to be the anticipated costs of your case and the amount needed to retain our legal services. The retainer amount for a family law case is usually $1,500 to $3,500. Retainers are a prepayment toward the total attorney’s fees in the case.
If you retain us to represent you within 2 weeks of the consultation appointment, we will credit the $350 consultation fee against your retainer.
In our experience, it usually takes 6 months to 18 months to finalize a divorce, if there is no agreement between the parties resolving the issues in the divorce when it is filed. You can use the information you receive in a consultation to determine what those issues are and possible resolutions to those issues.
A divorce is “agreed” or “uncontested” when both parties sign legal documents resolving all issues in the case. In every divorce, an agreement needs to be signed setting out the division of assets and debts between the spouses, and specifying any spousal support to be paid. If there are children, an additional agreement specifying the coparenting schedule and the details of the financial support of the children must be signed by both parties.
Do not spend any more time worrying about your future. Instead, get the answers you need to make an informed decision directly from an attorney. Contact our office to set up a consultation.