Sacramento Family Law Attorney
As an attorney, I help clients resolve their family law cases for an affordable hourly rate. Specifically, I aggressively represent my clients’ interests in divorce, child support, child custody, spousal support and the division of community property while preserving their financial integrity.
As a mediator, I can help couples come to negotiated agreements and draft the required legal documents for a flat fee on a pay-as-you-go basis without a retainer fee.
How I Can Help You
Family law cases are never the same. There are always different fact patterns, assets, and temperaments. To help you better understand your legal position I start by offering a free consultation. First, I will learn about your family law case. Once I have a clear understanding of the facts in your case, I can tell you how the law applies to your case and what I can offer to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
Attorney On Your Side
After the free consultation, many clients want legal representation right away. The next step is signing a representation agreement and paying an initial deposit to form the attorney-client relationship. Once I’m your attorney I can communicate with the opposing party and their attorney on your behalf. I can file petitions, requests for orders, and other court filings that will further your interests and expedite your case. Furthermore, I can negotiate marital settlement agreements and force the other side to disclose finances, assets and answer specific questions. Lastly, I can represent you at hearings and trial before a judge and opposing counsel. Simply put, as your attorney, I can use the legal system to fight for your interests in family court and secure court orders that will have a lasting impact on your financial and emotional welfare.
The First Step
To schedule a free consultation and learn more about my services call me directly at (916) 270-6880 Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM.
Jin Kim – Family Law Attorney
I offer free 15-minute consultations at my office Monday through Saturday by appointment only. The free consultation is designed to help me understand your case and help you determine whether I am the right attorney for your situation. Sometimes I tell people that I can’t achieve their goal because the law isn’t on their side. Other times people want me to accomplish legal work or provide specific legal advice within that short 15-minute timeframe. In those cases, I offer a paid one-hour consultation to ensure that I have the time to offer meaningful legal counsel.
If you can’t afford an attorney but need help with procedure & forms, call the Sacramento Family Law Facilitator.
$200 1-Hour Consultation
My free consultation isn’t right for everyone. Some people can’t afford an attorney and have no intention of hiring one. These people may need an answer to one very specific question, or help to complete a judicial council form. In those cases, I offer a 1-hour consultation for $200. The additional time gives me the opportunity to provide legal work that cannot be accomplished in a rushed 15 minutes.
Some couples don’t want to litigate in court. They prefer to negotiate their divorce outside of court and formalize their agreement in the required legal documents. For these couples, mediation is an affordable option. As a mediator, I act as a neutral third party to help couples come to agreements with regard to property division, debt, child custody, and support. At the conclusion of mediation, I draft the petition, financial disclosures, marital settlement agreement, and final judgment packet for a flat fee.
Another alternative to litigation in divorce court is collaborative divorce. In a collaborative divorce, the parties blend mediation and legal representation. In brief, the parties and their attorneys meet with a mediator to negotiate outstanding issues instead of going straight to family court.
Attorney Fees in Family Law
When the parties seek an uncontested divorce, I can offer representation to one party for a flat fee. In these cases, the issues and scope of work are predictable and clearly defined. For example, I may be able to offer limited scope representation to help you with a particular stage of your family law case for a flat fee payable by credit card. In contrast, if you need representation from start-to-finish I will quote an affordable retainer and hourly rate just like any family law attorney. When an attorney bills by the hour the client will make an initial “retainer” payment which the attorney will bill against as they work. However, unlike many Sacramento family law attorneys, I allow clients to pay by credit card without any deductions for processing or merchant fees.
The main advantage of a flat fee is that the attorney bears the risk as to how much work will be involved to satisfy the scope of work, whereas the client’s risk is fixed to a specific dollar amount.
The disadvantage of a flat fee is that you may be stuck with a low-quality attorney, paralegal or “document preparer.” After payment, they may deliver poor work and leave you in a worse position minus the flat fee paid.
I only offer a flat fee for uncontested divorce in which the parties agree on all major issues and are married for a short duration of time. In an uncontested divorce, the parties are on good terms and there are no issues concerning child support, spousal support or property division. For obvious reasons, most divorce cases are contested, and therefore not eligible for a flat fee.
$250 Hourly Rate
The most common fee structure for divorce and family law matters is the hourly rate. In an hourly rate structure, the attorney is paid an initial retainer at the beginning of representation. In turn, the attorney will bill against the retainer at their hourly rate as work is performed. As representation continues the retainer may become depleted at which point the client will pay an additional amount to restore the retainer balance.
The main advantage of hourly billing is that the client only pays for work as it’s performed by the attorney. If a matter is resolved quickly the client may save money as opposed to a flat fee structure. In addition, the client is free to fire the attorney during representation and only pay for the work performed.
The obvious disadvantage of the hourly rate structure is that the client bears the risk for the total cost of representation. If representation requires litigation or years of work, the client will pay for every hour worked by the attorney. Due to the likelihood of significant attorney fees incurred in contested divorces, many attorneys and pragmatic clients attempt to avoid litigation in favor of mediation and negotiated settlements.
I understand that divorce is one of the most important financial and emotional events in a person’s life. As an attorney, I help clients navigate divorce in a way that will preserve their financial future. For example, in child support cases I help my client achieve a child support award consistent with their financial well-being.
Child support is one of the most frequently contested issues in divorce. California uses the State Uniform Guideline to calculate child support which often leads to child support awards far greater than the actual cost of raising a child. Accordingly, both parties have an incentive to invest in a skilled child support attorney to achieve an effective child support award.
California spousal support is not guaranteed in all cases. The award and calculation of spousal support (otherwise known as alimony) is calculated in reference to statutory “factors.” These factors include the length of marriage, standard of living, marketable skill of the parties, and the supporting spouse’s ability to pay – among several other factors. Due to the court’s discretion in both awarding spousal support and fixing it’s amount, a spousal support attorney can deliver significant value in contested spousal support cases.
One of the most frequently contested issues in divorce is child custody. The court will issue a custody order consistent with the child’s best interest, but what shapes the court’s opinion is your attorney’s presentation of a custody order consistent with your child’s health, safety and welfare; frequent contact with you to enhance bonding, stability and continuity of care; and possibly to remove the influence of drugs, alcohol or abuse.