Some people call our office with "a quick question about divorce", or looking for a free consult. They do not realize this, but they are doing a disservice to both themselves and the attorney.
I do not give divorce advice to strangers over the telephone, and I do not give free 30-minute consults. The reason is that I find it imperative in the area of family law to give the best advice I can, and that means getting all of the facts from the client, and analyzing their position fully. I also need to get a "read" on the client, which allows me to ascertain whether a client is hiding something or omitting something which they do not believe to be important. Legal advice is always very 'fact specific', that is, the law does not exist in a vacuum, but results from the application to specific facts. The issues that we Family Law practitioners deal with are among the most important in a person's life: marriage, divorce, support, custody, visitation ("parenting time"). We need time to talk to you and garner the facts most important to your situation. To base a Life Decision on advice given over the telephone from somebody who does not have all of the facts is foolhardy, and will not end well for the client.
A family law consultation can last anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. As Abraham Lincoln once said: "A lawyer's time is his stock in trade." The client deserves knowledgeable, discerning advice, and the attorney deserves to be paid for his time and assistance.