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Limited Scope Representation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Many Montanans do not know that hiring a lawyer only for specific tasks is an option during their divorce, mediation, or estate planning. Below, we have answered some of the most common questions we receive regarding limited scope representation and self-representation.


What is limited scope representation?

Limited scope representation is a type of legal representation that only consists of isolated services or tasks, such as legal consultations, document preparation and reviews, or legal research. Limited scope representation is an alternative to full representation, in which a family law professional helps a client with all aspects of a case or legal process from beginning to end.

Limited scope representation is an ideal option for those who wish to save on legal costs, those who wish to represent themselves in court, and those who only need isolated, specific legal services.


• How do we charge you for legal services?

Unlike full-representation attorneys, who take on entire cases at a time, Montana Legal Advisors charge by the service or task, using either an hourly rate or a flat rate. For example, one of our clients may need a family law professional for two hours of legal advice and for help creating a parenting plan, and nothing more. He or she would only be charged for those two tasks. In general, those who use limited scope representation can save on legal fees by doing some of the work themselves and only paying for legal help for difficult tasks, coaching, or document review.


• Do I need an attorney for a divorce in Montana?

Whether or not you need to hire a full-representation attorney for your Montana divorce depends on a number of factors, including:

  • How complex your divorce case is.
  • How cooperative and communicative you and your spouse are.
  • How willing you are to take on legal tasks by yourself.
  • What your budget is and whether you would like to save on legal costs.
  • Whether your case involves abuse.
  • Whether you would like to represent yourself in court.

During a consultation, we can help you understand what legal actions your divorce may require as well as whether you would be able to handle aspects of your divorce on your own. We are here to help our clients with any tasks that may require professional legal assistance, such as document review or trial appearances.


Do I need an attorney for divorce mediation in Montana?

Divorce mediation is often a faster, less expensive, and more private way to settle your divorce. During mediation, you will divide your property, discuss child support, and create a parenting plan, all outside of the courtroom. While an attorney is not required during the mediation process, many people utilize an attorney to help them with negotiations, draft a settlement agreement, or review legal documents. At Montana Legal Advisors, we can help you with some or all of those tasks if you do not wish to hire a full-representation attorney.


Do I need an attorney to write my will or plan my estate?

Should you hire an attorney to write your will, or should you download a form off of the internet and write your will yourself? The answer depends upon how complex your estate is, what your wishes are, and how confident you are that you can write a valid, accurate legal document. Montana Legal Advisors offers a middle road for those who don’t want to hire an attorney to plan their estate, but who are also not comfortable just filling out an online form.


• Should I represent myself in court?

It is entirely possible to successfully and adeptly represent yourself in court. However, representing yourself effectively requires a considerable amount of knowledge, effort, and confidence. If you would like to represent yourself in court, we can assist you with limited aspects of your case, including legal research, trial coaching, appeals, and general information consultations.


• How do I know if I need to hire a lawyer full time?

Self-representation not for everyone. You may wish to pay for full representation by an attorney if you are not comfortable navigating the legal process, if you would like extensive guidance throughout your case, and if you have the funds to afford an attorney’s full time help. If you only need assistance with specific aspects of your case, such as drafting a legal document or executing an appeal, you may wish to seek out limited scope representation.


• What types of cases and legal services do you offer?

Limited scope representation works much better for some practice areas than others. At Montana Legal Advisors, we help clients with family law issues (including divorce, mediation, property division, child support, and parenting) and estate planning (including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate, and elder law).


• I have emailed Montana Legal Advisors through this website to request legal assistance.  Does this mean I now have an attorney representing me on my legal matter?

No.  When you contact us, we will contact you either by phone or email to further discuss your issue.  However, to enter into an attorney-client agreement, you will and an attorney from the firm will need to sign a written attorney-client retainer agreement.  Please be aware that this website does not provide legal advice, and contacting the firm through the website does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Have Another Question? Call Montana Legal Advisors Today.

If you have a specific question about your case, or if you want to learn more about our individual services, call our offices today at (406) 540-4172. We are here to help you with any aspect of family law, with compassion, integrity, and thoughtfulness.