In the face of this, we created a vision and offerings that allow our clients to not only deal with the dispute or issue at hand in a non-damaging way but to actually promote growth and positive outcomes, not just in spite of, but because of the difficult situations that they’re going through.
Our families and relationships are some of the very most important things to all of us. Sometimes we need help managing them, in various regards. If you or your child sought to play with a sports team, would you prefer that team to have a coach, or no coach? The team that has a coach to push, analyze, encourage, guide, and otherwise support its members is much more likely to be its best, than one that doesn’t have that support. That’s a large part of what we are about.
Here are some of the aspects of New Leaf Family that make us different:
- Focus on Empowering Clients. In most family law firms, court and litigation are the focus. What motions need to be filed? What are the deadlines? What are the rules? At New Leaf Family, our focus is on empowering our clients first and foremost. What paperwork needs to be filed at the end is also something we can and do take care of, but in many ways the documents’ contents are almost irrelevant if our clients don’t really have a firm grasp on what it is they really want, what the alternatives are, and what the best path forward to get there might be.
- Full Service Offerings. In most law firms, once the court order is signed, that’s the end of the relationship with the client. In New Leaf Family, we offer many services other than just representation in court. By engaging in these other services many of our clients save themselves not only a great deal of heartache but also a lot of money along the way. These offerings include seminars that help people make difficult decisions, divorce coaching, and a network of professionals such as realtors, financial advisors, auto mechanics, and others to help with the logistics of whatever is coming next for our clients.
- Predictable set-rate monthly billing. In the “standard” family law financial model, the lawyer asks for a fairly large retainer up front and then bills an hourly fee against that. When the money is depleted, they ask for more – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. On the months when it’s a lot, some clients are unable to afford the amount, and then the attorney will usually withdraw representation. That’s not good for clients, so we don’t do it that way. By contrast, at New Leaf Family we tell our clients from the outset which of four levels of complexity their case is and how much that level costs. It is the same amount each month. Some months there will be a lot of activity, and others there will be less, but the amount remains the same. While our services are not “cheap” (so that we can provide the level of service we strive to), they are affordable for most people, and they are predictable.
- Focus on Resolution, But Not By “Giving In.” If two people are in a dispute, one way to “resolve” the dispute would be to give in to the other side, and let that other person get everything they want. We do not support that approach to “resolution” – in large part because it does not actually resolve anything at all, and more often than not only invites additional disputes down the road. We do not see Resolution in a “let’s all sit around the campfire and hold hands and hope for rainbows and sunshine” kind of a way. We see it as rolling up our sleeves and doing some hard work. First the hard work involves getting clarity about what you want. Then the hard work involves coming up with potential solutions, often with the use of significant outside-the-box creativity. Then it involves negotiating back and forth to get agreement.
- Focus on the Bigger Picture. At New Leaf Family we are not “divorce brokers.” Many family law firms will sell you “a divorce” as if they were selling you a used car – just a thing, a product. We want what is best for you, and our job is to empower and support you as you make your decision. Even if, at the end of the relationship, we have accomplished a divorce (or change in custody, child support enforcement, or whatever else), we’re not out to sell you “a divorce.” If divorce is what’s at issue from a legal perspective then the service we provide to you is to help you end your marriage successfully, with a clear path forward toward continued personal growth.
- Not “Scorched Earth” But Also Not “Touchy-Feely.” As we routinely tell people who call us, if you are looking for attorneys who will take a “scorched earth” approach to their ex or adversary, that is not what we are about. If inflicting punishment and pain on that person is important, we are not the right firm for you. Our focus is, instead, on you, our client, on how to grow and/or heal in order to get closer to the outcomes we’ve discussed. This does not mean that we are “soft,” however. Relationship conflict touches on some of the most difficult kinds of interpersonal issues out there, and involves all kinds of difficulties. We don’t expect it to be easy. Fortunately, we’re up for the challenge.