Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect during the initial consultation?

The initial consultation is your first opportunity to meet with Mr. Phipps and his staff and to discuss the facts and issues of your case.  During the consultation, we will initially ask you to provide some basic information about yourself and your situation.  Don’t worry that you may not know what information you should be prepared to discuss, as Mr. Phipps will take the lead and ask you questions designed to elicit relevant information.  After gathering basic factual information about you and the issues relevant to your case, we will provide you with information regarding the legal process and the law as it may apply to you.  The consultation generally lasts about an hour and is completely confidential.  At the end of the consultation, we will discus fees and the amount of the initial retainer you will  need to provide in order to hire the Phipps Family Law, P.A. to represent you.

How do I schedule an initial consultation?

In order to schedule a consultation, please contact Catherine McLean at (843) 689-6242, or and she will be happy to schedule the consultation.

Will I be charged a fee for the initial consultation and is it applied to the retainer if I hire the Phipps Family Law P.A. to represent me?

You will be charged a fee for the initial consultation. However, the fee is less than the Firm’s normal hourly rate.  The fee covers up to an hour, which is the typical length on an initial consultation. The consultation fee is not applied against the retainer, which is the amount necessary to retain the Phipps Family Law P.A. to represent you.

How much will the retainer fee be for my case?

The amount of the retainer is typically set during the initial consultation. The reason the amount is not set until the end of the initial consultation is because every case is different and will require different amounts of work.  Unless specifically stated, the retainer is not a fixed fee and generally will be in an amount less than the anticipated fees in your case in order to keep from charging you a much larger fee.  As the retainer is reduced, you will be expected to replenish the retainer.

In some cases, particularly in situations where the parties have a short term marriage, little or no assets, and no custody or visitation issues, we can offer a flat fee in an amount commensurate with the facts of the case.

If the consultation is longer/shorter than one (1) hour, do I still pay the full fee?

You will be responsible for the full consultation fee at the time of your consultation, even if the consultation runs slightly longer or shorter than one hour. If a consultation runs much longer than one (1) hour, the consulting attorney might require you to pay an additional fee for the attorney’s additional time.  However, you will not be charged an additional fee, absent being advised by the Phipps Family Law P.A. that continued consultation will result in an additional fee.

I am calling for my son/daughter/girlfriend/boyfriend; do they have to come to the consultation appointment or can I come in their place since I know the entire situation?

The Phipps Family Law Firm requires that the person for whom the consultation is made be present at his or her own consultation for various reasons, including client confidentiality.

Can I conduct the consultation appointment via telephone?

Yes. If requested and arranged in advance.

Does your firm offer payment plans for the retainer, consultation fee or any additional fees?

We require the consultation fee to be paid at the time of your appointment. In most cases, retainer fees must be paid in advance of services rendered in order to retain the Phipps Family Law Firm in your case.  In rare cases, we will accept time payments of a retainer fee over a short period of time.  We do accept credit cards for payments.

How long will my case take?

It depends on the specifics of each case, the county in which the case is pending, the Judge and the docket, as well as how many and how complicated the issues involved in the case are or become. Moreover, the schedule of all parties and their respective counsel will impact scheduling, as well as the time of the year, which affects the court’s docket. The level of controversy between the parties is always a factor impacting the perceived speed of the case. Remember, expediency is not always in a client’s best interests. Your case will take as long as it needs to take.

Does your firm have weekend or evening hours?

Our firm is not open on the weekends. However, we are often willing to meet with clients after normal working so that the client does not have to take time off from work and lose income.  We do not conduct consultations over the weekend except under very limited circumstances.
Phipps Family Law, P.A.

Hilton Head Island

(843) 689-6242

Newberry, SC

(803) 405-0009

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