Simply, at the first meeting, it’s premature to be able to predict the final cost. There are unknown roadblocks such as the inability to recover important older bank documents which may cause delays, to be able to foresee the inevitable twists and turns which life brings to each of us. Consider the impact of the resignation of a key family business associate or the sudden loss of a job. It’s difficult to predict what may cause a client to change tacks in the middle of negotiations, or to know up front who will influence the turn of events. Who may be forthcoming initially only to stall the process over refusing to disclose a significant asset? Each of these events may cause the process to stop so the clients can deal with an issue before returning to the point prior to the interruption. Using specialists to assist in complex areas will on the one hand increase the costs but in the long run be of great value to the clients. Developing a custom parenting plan, dealing with the need to change the children’s schools and discussing future special expenses can be time consuming and costly yet necessary and important.