Do you charge for initial consultations?
Anne Gould offers a free 30 minute consultation,
either in person or by phone. This ‘no charge’
consultation is not for the purpose of giving you
legal advice, but to determine what she will be able
to help you accomplish, and what the fees are likely
to be. In this consultation, she assists you in
deciding both how and if to move forward in your
case. This will likely include a roadmap of what
approach you wish to use, and what sort of
assistance you might need.
How long will it take to complete my family law
It will likely take from 3 months to slightly
over a year depending on the matter. A Washington
Divorce cannot be completed sooner than 90 days from
filing and serving papers. Some matters can be
resolved quickly, while others take time. Due to the
nature of family law, and the fact that there are
two people and their counsel who may each have a
great deal to do with the schedule, it is impossible
to guarantee a specific timeline. Anne works
quickly, and tries to keep delays from occurring,
but the emotional level of the case, the speed at
which information is provided, and many other issues
will also be factors. Sometimes delays and
continuances are an unavoidable part of the process.
How much will my family law matter cost?
For Mediation, the matter is usually performed in
a “pay at each session” manner, with a small
additional fee-advance to cover costs and
post-mediation documentation of agreements or
For uncontested matters, (where you and your
partner just need papers drafted to reflect
agreements already reached) a flat fee of $1200 to
$2,500 may be available.
For matters which are or may be contested, a
fee-advance of $3,000 to $10,000 may be required,
depending on the complexity of the case. Ongoing
replenishment of the fee-advance will be required as
needed until 90 days prior to trial, at which time
Anne will require a larger trial fee-advance. Anne
will work with you to minimize fees wherever
possible. Settlement when the cost/benefit of
preparing for trial is not reasonable is always an
How do I know what approach to take, or
whether my case is contested or uncontested?
Anne will discuss different approaches with you
at your initial consultation. Together you will
determine what best fits your case. Some cases will
easily be resolved through informal negotiations.
Other cases can be mediated in a few sessions, or
many sessions. A Collaborative team approach may be
what you find will work best. Other cases,
particularly if substance abuse or other abuses are
present, are best resolved through litigation. If
you hope to mediate or work in a full Collaborative
manner, your partner will also have to agree to use
What if I want to do my case myself?
Anne is happy to assist you with review of
documents, advice on drafting your own documents,
and advice on representing your self in court. This
“self-help assistance” can be a cost effective way
to get your matter resolved, with limited expense,
and yet know you’ve ended up with the case concluded
correctly. You may also elect to hire Anne Gould’s
office to represent you in completing one portion of
your case, while you complete the balance of it.
This is often referred to as “un-bundled services”.