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FAQs

How much can I expect to pay for legal services?

Unexpected legal bills can be incredibly frustrating. They can also erode trust in your relationship with your lawyer. At our initial meeting we always discuss our requirement for a retainer and expectations around budgets for legal fees. In most matters, we can work based on regular hourly billing, quoted billing caps or fixed legal fees. We will work to find a pricing model that works for you.

How can I pay my legal fees?

You can pay your invoice or retainer easily and quickly in the following ways:

  1. by personal cheque payable to “Lift Legal”;
  2. by credit card or debit card at our office or by phone.

Don’t hesitate to contact us about the payment of your invoice.

What if my legal problem requires the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in another area of law?

We believe our focus on two specific practice areas enables us to provide exceptional and specialized legal services. However, should you require assistance with other areas of law, we are connected with lawyers in the St. Albert and Edmonton legal community who we can engage to assist you with these matters while we continue to manage your file so that you need only deal with one law firm.

Will you take my matter to court?

We are not court lawyers:

  • We are business law solicitors. If a business law client has a litigation matter arise we are happy to refer them to a competent civil litigator within our network.
  • Our family law practice is based on collaboration and negotiation. When we take on family law clients we are careful to assess if we believe their matter can be resolved without resort to litigation. If for whatever reason, collaborative law, mediation or negotiation are not ultimately successful for a client and a file moves towards litigation we will no longer act. We are happy to refer clients to a competent family law litigator should the need arise.

How will Lift Legal approach my family law issue?

We want to understand your unique needs and the complexities of your situation. We take the following approach to family law issues that are brought to us:

  • GATHER INFORMATION
    When you contact us, we will ask specific questions so that we know immediately why you need our legal services. We will be efficient with your time during this initial discussion.
  • DISCUSS AND LISTEN
    Our first consultation is all about listening to you and discussing your unique concerns and desired outcome. We will provide legal information relevant to your case and discuss your options for moving forward.
  • RETAINER AND TRUST FUNDS
    If you’d like to proceed with us as your legal team, we will enter into a retainer agreement and establish a budget for the anticipated legal services.
  • DISCUSS STRATEGY
    When you’re ready to proceed, we’ll fine-tune the strategy we’ve outlined together to ensure that it will meet your budget and needs and those of your family. Then we’ll put that strategy into action. We will always keep the lines of communication open so you know what we are doing and what to expect.

What is collaborative family law and why might it benefit me and my family?

Collaborative family law is an out-of-court process that enables separating or divorcing spouses to create their own settlement with the support of collaborative family lawyers. Collaborative family law may be the right choice for you if you and your spouse both want to maintain some control over the outcome of your separation or divorce, preserve your relationship as much as possible, put the interests of your children first, and maintain your privacy. You need to both be able to meet and identify what is important to each of you, gather facts and exchange information, and then consider a wide variety of solutions before arriving at an agreement that is acceptable to both of you.

SOME BENEFITS OF COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW ARE:

  • it often costs less than other methods of reaching agreement such as going to court;
  • in our view it almost always results in an agreement better suited to each client’s unique needs and the needs of their families;
  • it can be a less stressful way of resolving your divorce or separation issues;
  • the collaborative process often results in improved communication between you and your spouse and it allows you to focus on mutual problem solving instead of blaming and revenge. Neither you or your spouse will be permitted to “play games” or take advantage of the other;
  • you will not be doing this alone – at all stages of the process both you and your spouse will be supported by a trained collaborative lawyer who will explain the issues and help you to achieve your goals.
  • we are experienced in knowing when collaborative family law may be the right approach for you so we encourage you to contact us to discuss the appropriate strategy. We are connected with other collaborative family lawyers and can put your spouse in touch with one of our counterparts should this seem like the right fit for you.

Is a mediator the right choice for me?

Mel is a trained mediator and believes that it is possible to use a mediator to guide you and your spouse towards a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation can often save time and money by leading to an efficient resolution and avoiding the costs associated with litigation. In addition, the conciliatory and collaborative mediation process reduces the stress and hostility that is caused by litigation. For parents, the process lays the foundation for the cooperation that is required to make important parenting decisions for your children. Mel can act as your mediator or assist you as your mediation lawyer during a mediation by developing a strategy for negotiating the best settlement possible for you.

In order to determine if mediation is right for you, first ask yourself: are you willing to be reasonable and open to compromise and do you think your spouse is open to compromise? We are experienced in knowing when mediation might be the right approach so we encourage you to contact us to discuss your situation.

Do I need a separation agreement?

A separation agreement allows you to move on with your life without worrying about how long your divorce will take. The agreement establishes terms pertaining to child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, debt obligations and other marital separation matters. It can be registered with the court upon divorce and as a result also serves as an invaluable tool for guiding your relationship with your spouse after divorce and into the future.

A separation agreement is right for you if you are willing to be reasonable and are motivated to move on. We invite you to contact us to discuss whether a separation agreement is right for you.

I am getting married. Do I need a family lawyer?

In addition to advising clients on separation and divorce, Lift Legal supports clients who are in the early stages of a relationship by creating agreements to deal with issues relating to money, property or debt that could arise should the relationship someday break down.

While anyone seeking financial certainty will benefit from creating a Cohabitation or Marriage Agreement, these agreements can be particularly important for clients who are embarking on a second (or third) marriage, entering a relationship later in life, or who have significantly more assets than their partner. While the process of creating a Cohabitation or Marriage Agreement can be uncomfortable, making decisions now about your financial obligations to each other and how you will divide your property/debt if your relationship ends creates financial certainty and reduces future stress.

We invite you to contact us to explore whether an agreement is right for you.