Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
As of October 1, 2014, the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch has changed the manner in which attorneys appointed by the Court as Guardian Ad Litem for minor children shall be compensated. Because the Court has ruled that payment will be determined at the next hearing date, you will be required to complete and return a financial affidavit that will determine our fees as the GAL for your case. Below is the Judicial Branch Sliding Fee Scale chart that will illustrate the cost of the hourly rate depending on the combined income of both parties involved in the case. Please bring your completed financial affidavit with you to our next meeting. If you have any questions regarding the payment process, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
On October 1, 2014, the following sliding fee scale took effect for counsel or a guardian ad litem appointed in a family relations matter pursuant to Public Act 14-3.
* The sliding fee scale is based upon the combined gross income of the parents and assumes one child. The scale is only applicable to cases where the combined gross income of the parents is $100,000 or less.
In addition to considering the parents’ gross income, the Court may also consider other factors to determine whether application of the scale is appropriate and at what level, including:
1. All other information set forth on the parents’ financial affidavits;
2. Total number of dependent children;
3. The hourly rate charged by the parties’ own lawyers;
4. The complexity of the issues before the court;
5. The gross income and other information on the financial affidavit of any intervening party or third party applicant;
6. Source(s) of additional household income, including funding source for current litigation.
If the combined gross income is over $100,000, then we will bill at our private attorney rate of two hundred seventy-five dollars per hour ($275/hr) for Attorney Oakley or one hundred seventy five dollars per hour ($175/hr) for Attorney Moran.
In addition, the Court will determine whether (1) we should bill the parents equally or (2) we should bill the parents at some other ratio for example 60% to 40%. It is NOT our responsibility to request to the Court that our fees be reduced or to alter the parents’ portion. If you believe that you may qualify for an unbalanced responsibility of our fees, then it is your responsibility to file the appropriate paperwork in the Court to address this issue. The payment of the GAL’s fees is due at the next Court date. You should complete a financial affidavit and bring it to the next Court date.
Prior to beginning work on a case, We require a retainer. Typically, We require a retainer of 20 hours to be paid within thirty days. Bring your portion of the retainer to our initial appointment.
The hourly rate shall include time spent in conferences, whether with you, with lawyers in this firm, with expert witnesses or others on the telephone; pretrial and discovery of data; trial preparation; drafting documents; in negotiations; in legal research; court time and travel to and from locations away from our office; in negotiation or discussion with your attorney, your spouse, or your spouse’s attorney.
We cannot tell you in advance what the total fee will be or how much must be paid in costs. A family law proceeding may become more complicated than it first appears, and the time and effort we spend will depend in part on the cooperation of you, your attorney, your spouse, and your spouse’s lawyer. We will try to keep the fees and costs as low as possible, consistent with acting in your child(ren)’s best interest.
It is probable, or at least possible, that the total bills to you for attorney’s fees and costs will exceed the amount of the retainer. We will send each parent a statement showing our fees and costs for the billing period for that particular parent. The statement that you receive is your responsibility alone. When the retainer is exhausted, then we will ask that you pay the outstanding amount within 30 days. On a case by case basis, we will work out a monthly payment plan. At the conclusion of the case, we will return any unused portion of the retainer.
It is impossible to determine in advance how much time will be needed to complete your case. We shall use our best judgment to determine the amount of time required, who can best perform the work, and the nature of the services to be performed in your best interest. We will keep you fully informed of all the time devoted to your case.
In the event it is necessary to institute suit against you for the collection of fees and advances due, you will pay, in addition to any judgment for such fees and advances, all costs and expenses necessitated thereby, including reasonable attorney’s fees for the suit. Furthermore, in the event of any lawsuit as a result of any provision for the interpretation or otherwise or in any way arising out of our relationship as attorney and client, the prevailing party shall be entitled to collect all costs and expenses necessitated by such litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees
Firm agrees to provide a statement to the Parent after services have been performed or if any amount is owed by Parent. Firm's statements shall reflect at least the following information (where appropriate): date the services were performed; name of individual performing the services; brief description of services performed; time spent performing the services; the charge for each service item. The minimum time unit for billing any services shall be one tenth (0.1) of one hour.
Failure to pay any portion of your bill may result in additional collection action. Any partial payment made will first be applied to previous charges, then to current charges. The Oakley Law Office, LLC may apply a late payment charge of 10% per year on any unpaid balance. To avoid a late charge, we must receive payment for the total amount due no later than the date specified on your bill, statement, or Court order. The Oakley Law Offices, LLC will apply a $20.00 Collection Charge on an account where a termination notice has been sent. The Firm will not go to trial being owed money.
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Oakley Law Offices, LLC
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Oakley Law Offices, LLC
516 Main Street, Suite #7
Middletown, CT 06457