How expensive is my legal matter?

This is an extremely common question.  Unfortunately, it is one that I will answer with an "it depends."  This is often an unsatisfying answer because legal matters, especially family legal matters, are already stressful without the added stress of not knowing how much our services will cost. But, there is a reason why we cannot give you an estimate.  The cost of your matter is largely reliant on the other party in the matter.  The other party may file multiple motions or otherwise make it inconvenient.  Responding to these motions and inconveniences will increase the hours spent, and thus the cost, of your matter.


How will I know how much my case is costing?

We are very cognizant that money is tight for our clients and that they have often borrowed the money to pay for our services.  This is why we continually update our clients on what costs they have incurred and for what reasons. You will receive a monthly invoice that explains the time spent on matters and expenses, to include specifics on those matters and expenses.   Also, you can always call or email us if you want an update on your costs.  


What is a retainer and how much is it?

A retainer of $1,000 is required in all cases.  This amount is immediately deposited into Sage's IOLTA account and is used to pay your invoices.  For example, say that you incurred $250 in your first invoice.  We will pay that $250 from your retainer and this payment will appear on your invoice.  You will also see the remaining balance of your retainer. 


Can I pay by credit or debit card?

Yes.  Select the "Online Payments & Donations" link on the footer of any of our website's pages.  Online transactions do incur a 3% transaction fee.  This is the approximate merchant fee that we incur on credit/debit transactions.




How does Sage determine what to charge?

Sage charges hourly rates based on your income, family size, and California's Housing and Urban Development Guidelines.  This calculation method is required by the California State Bar Association to maintain our nonprofit status.  


Who works for Sage?

Sage currently has one attorney; me.  I am the founder of Sage and am grateful to have a seasoned Board of Directors, comprised of attorneys who practice various types of law.  I am also lucky enough to have a group of family law practitioners, some who have practiced for 20-40 years, at my disposal for questions, concerns, and insights.   


Who is Christina Alkire?

I am a U.S. Army veteran who served a one year tour of duty in Iraq in 2004.  I subsequently got my bachelor's degree in criminology and justice studies and master's degree in homeland security.  I was poised to be a criminal prosecutor and spent law school moving in that direction.  

I ended up founding Sage after reading an article about a Utah based nonprofit that was doing something similar.  You know when people say they felt a "calling" to do something?  I do not think I ever took that seriously, until I experienced this calling to found Sage.

My parents went through a contentious divorce that lasted almost four years.  I have seen a lot and believe this provides me with insight and a realistic disposition that helps me understand what my clients are experiencing, what they may expect, and help guide them outside of the legal context.

When not working, and even when working, I hang out with my rescue pup, Abigail Adams.  She is a great emotional support dog (not legally, but in practice!) and she will be happy to provide you with emotional support at your request!