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The Economics of Hiring a Lawyer

A lot of people have asked me if lawyers should take payment plans. 'They all want several thousand dollars in retainers,' they tell me. 'What is the money for?'

The short answer is, that most lawyers put the money in an interest- or noninterest-bearing trust account and bill against it until it is consumed.

Whether the account is interest-bearing or not has little effect on the client, since the interest goes to a fund and not the lawyer or the client.

The lawyer bills against the retainer hourly for legal fees (in Kansas City, these rates can range from $100 to $300 for lawyers, and $50 to $150 for paralegals) and also for the costs -- depositions, postage, long distance, mileage, copies, delivery, service, filing fees, and so forth.

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The Firm handles:

  • Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) - When you have reached the point where you feel that your marriage is irretrievably broken, and there is no reasonable likelihood that it can be preserved, your legal option in Missouri is a dissolution of your marriage -- "divorce". Our goal is the orderly, calm, preparation of all of the paperwork necessary to obtain your divorce, divide and allocate your debts between you and your spouse, and formulate a workable, conscientious parenting plan so that your children's lives can transition to the new situation as gently as possible.

  • Kanas City Family Law Attorney - The Corley Law FirmContested Custody cases - The presumed goal in Missouri is to have children's non-married, non-together parents designated as "joint legal and joint physical custodians". Missouri requires, also, a parenting plan that governs the co-parenting of the children outside of a together, committed relationship between the parents. We help you explore and select the custodial arrangement and parenting plan that you think is in your children's best interest, and work towards getting the court to adopt and approve that plan. Sometimes, the other side does not agree -- and a fight ensues. In that case, your matter is a "contested custody" case, and we work to get you the best possible outcome.

  • Paternity cases -  Where parents are not married when a child is conceived and born, the litigation to establish the identity of the father provides the vehicle for a custody order and parenting plan, as well as establishing the support to be paid. Whether we are representing the father or the mother in a paternity action, our goal is to protect your rights as a parent, and your relationship with your children.

  • Child support matters - Missouri law provides for a separate administrative child support action. We represent both recipients and payors of child support in these actions, and in judicial reviews of such actions.

  • Adult and Child Abuse actions - Where a person is or claims to be the victim of domestic violence, or that their child has been abused or neglected, there can be a separate court action to obtain a restraining order against the person who is alleged to be violent. There can also be a juvenile court case about the abuse or neglect of a child. We do both such cases.

  • Adoptions - Our office handles both step-parent adoptions and the adoption of children whose parents have lost their parental rights or who are not available to serve in the parental role. We represent parents in these cases. Ms. Corley also serves as a guardian ad litem in adoption matters in Jackson County Family Court.
The Corley Law Firm proudly represents clients throughout the greater Kansas City area. This includes Kansas City, Liberty, Platte City, and Harrisonville. County areas: Jackson County, Cass County, Platte County, and Clay County.
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