Unbundled ‘A la Carte’ Family Law Services

Knies, Helland & McPherson know that every family and every situation is unique. They also realize we live in a very different world than that of our parents and grandparents. Therefore, we have structured our law firm very differently than other firms. Jen Knies, Jennifer Helland and Kelly McPherson carefully evaluate each situation they encounter and they customize a legal plan forward that’s right for each family.

It may be traditional divorce, it may be mediation or arbitration, it may be helping clients with issues involving their children. But, the most important thing to remember, is that Knies, Helland & McPherson will provide you with the services you need for your unique situation. Want to spend just a couple hours better understanding your options? We’re here for you. Want us to review a proposed settlement or the recommendation of another attorney? We’re here for you. Want help with spreadsheets or financial calculations? We’re here for you.

Is it possible to get through a legal family issue without a lawyer? Yes. Is it possible to hire a lawyer for just one or a few legal services? With Knies, Helland & McPherson, the answer is “yes,” and we encourage you to learn about our unbundled family law services.

At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we understand that there may be times when people need to handle a family legal matter but wish or need to take on that responsibility themselves. Some do it to try to save money. Others may already have some legal experience or simply enjoy the challenge.

Whatever the reason, it still might be a good idea to get legal help for parts of the legal process that perhaps become too complex or time consuming. To meet these needs, we offer a complete line of essentially, “a la carte” legal services to help you when you are preparing to represent your own family law case in Court.

Contact us today to learn more about our unbundled family law services: 719-635-8499

Keep reading to learn more about our unbundled services.

A La Carte Services

We offer the following a la carte family law services at Knies, Helland & McPherson:

  • Legal Advice: We will provide you legal advice in-person, with follow-up on the phone or by email regarding position, case, or waivers
  • Explaining Legal Process: We will help explain the legal process so you can better prepare your case.
  • Explain Documents and Deadlines: We will review and explain legal documents and advise you on your response times to these documents.
  • Document Review and Guidance: We will review documents you receive and provide information on how to respond.
  • Document Preparation: We can prepare documents for you in response to any legal documents you have received.
  • Preparation of Evidence: We can help prepare witnesses, exhibits, and explain the Rules of Evidence.
  • Factual Investigation: We investigate witnesses and evaluate responses.
  • Legal Research and Analysis: We can conduct the necessary legal research and analyze any legal information that may be relevant to your case.
  • Marital Spreadsheet Preparation: We can create a spreadsheet that will help ensure your division of assets and debts will be accepted by the court.
  • Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Calculations: We can use the state guidelines to prepare accurate child support and spousal support amounts.
  • Negotiations Preparations: We will advise you on what to expect and what to seek out during negotiations.
  • Attend Mediation or Settlement Conference.
  • Provide Post-Order Remedies and Relief Information.

Each of these services are offered individually and clients can take advantage of as many of these services as necessary to complete their case.

Limitations to our A La Carte Services

When you use the unbundled services offered by Knies, Helland & McPherson, there are a few restrictions on what our attorneys can do for your case. These restrictions include:

  • Providing full legal representation services while you are still submitting documents listed as Pro Se (self-representing).
  • We cannot track the progress of your case or manage any of your deadlines.
  • We will not communicate with the opposing counsel or the opposing party in regard to your case or any part of the case, unless specifically outlined in our engagement agreement.

Your Responsibilities Regarding Your Case

When you self-represent your case, you must understand that you are responsible for all of the following activities:

  • Management of all the deadlines for your case for submitting paperwork, evidence, and court documents.
  • Meet all deadlines and requests for discovery and disclosure requests.
  • Filing all the required Pleadings with the court and with opposing counsel.
  • Communicating with the court and opposing counsel.
  • Understanding all the Rules of Procedure, Laws and Court Rules that apply to your case.

When to Hire a Lawyer Full Time

At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we support the right for a person to self-represent their case in court. This is why we offer a number of pick-and-choose services to our clients to help them on their journey. However, we also encourage our clients to use an attorney if they become overwhelmed with the process.

The court may allow you to self-represent, but they also require any person who does so to uphold all of the Rules of Evidence Procedure and follow all the rules of the court just like and experienced attorney.

If you find that you are overwhelmed by your current case and need assistance, we encourage you to seek representation from one of attorneys at Knies, Helland & McPherson today. We will let you know if it is in your best interest to use our unbundled services or if you may be better off with full legal representation. Call us today to ask us more about our a la carte family law services.

Ask us about our unique introductory consultation, where we can walk you through all of the various options available to you.

Why Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?

Many couples are tempted to file for divorce on their own using court-provided documents and information. While going this route can work in some cases, it is typically in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent your interests or to ensure that the agreement that you craft is thorough. An attorney can:

  • Provide expert advice: An experienced divorce lawyer will help ensure your rights are protected in the event of a divorce. Likewise, he or she will help settle any complicated issues regarding custody, debt, income, or other concerns.
  • Reduce stress: If you choose to work with an attorney, you will need to provide him or her with relevant information regarding the grounds of the divorce, but beyond that, the attorney will do the work for you and act as a sounding board for your decisions.
  • Avoid mistakes: It is easy to make mistakes when completing your own divorce because the legal system is complicated and you are likely under a lot of stress. An attorney can help you navigate these issues.
  • Present a binding agreement: The court system will review any divorce documents presented; however, working with an attorney will ensure that the agreement that is delivered is clear and binding both in your eyes and the eyes of the court.
  • Circumvent delays: While any individual can use the court-provided documents to file, should you make any mistakes or complete improper forms, you may run into delays. Working with an attorney will help you avoid such issues.

What Are the Risks of Do-It-Yourself Divorce Law?

Many couples are tempted to complete a do-it-yourself divorce to save time and money. While it is much easier to do today, there are still many complications that you may run into by trying to do it yourself. Some of the most common risks of DIY divorce law include:

  • Being too general
  • Failing to include all assets, particularly retirement funds because they are assumed to belong to the individual who earned them
  • Listing real estate descriptions incompletely
  • Transferring payment insecurely
  • Failing to include specifics on any existing liens
  • Writing a Parenting Plan that is too generic
  • Filing in the wrong county

While some of these issues may not cause problems at first, they may many years down the road. And when they do, they will be that much more difficult to remedy.

In most states, you can do your own divorce; however, if you choose to do so, you assume the risk of completing the legal proceeding incorrectly or incompletely. When you work with a qualified divorce attorney, he or she assumes the risk for you and has the knowledge and capability to ensure that it is handled properly. If you do decide to do it yourself, you should at the very least have an attorney at Knies, Helland & McPherson review the paperwork you have completed before you submit it to the court system. Contact us today to get started.


At Knies, Helland & McPherson, we partner with you to come up with a customized solution that meets your individual needs and goals.