Divorce Lawyer Cost

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There are thousands of family law attorneys all over the country and each one charges a different fee for their family law services depending on their experience. Divorce costs may range due to different types of divorce fees from the different costs of a divorce lawyer. It is difficult to pinpoint how much an entire divorce will actually cost in terms of legal fees, and money paid to the other spouse upon the completion of the divorce. A divorce lawyer might be able to provide a client with a reasonable range of cost for divorce proceedings after the likely issues are reviewed, how to resolve those issues and hearing a philosophy for the case from the lawyer. The cost of a divorce is also affected by the other spouse’s attorney working the case as well as the ability of the couple to cooperate and communicate during the proceedings. If the couple cannot cooperate or communicate effectively then the proceedings will last longer than most people wish, resulting in more money spent on legal fees.

Divorce Fees: Retainer Agreement

The attorney hired by a person going through a divorce is required to provide their client with a written retainer agreement prior to providing their services to the client. A written retainer agreement is a legal document that details the costs and hourly fees that are applied to a divorce case. All clients should read through the entire document slowly and carefully, taking notes about any charge that they do not understand. Have the lawyer explain the charges that are not understood before agreeing to the terms of the document. The client can fire their lawyer at any point during the divorce proceedings even after a retainer agreement has been signed. On the other side of things a lawyer can also withdrawal from the case after a retainer agreement has be signed. A retainer agreement is a binding contract between the lawyer and the client that is enforceable once signed by both parties. The client should always keep a copy of the document for future reference.

Divorce Lawyer Fees

All of these Divorce fees will vary depending on the lawyer, where their office is located, how experienced they are and how much travel they will have to do for the case. There are three types of fees that lawyers charge their clients when representing them during divorce proceedings:

Flat Fees

A flat fee is a fee assigned at the beginning of a divorce case by the lawyer that documents how much work the lawyer will perform and how much it will cost. A flat fee is easier to deal with for the client because they know up front how much they will have to pay the lawyer and how to budget accordingly.

Hourly Fees

The majority of lawyers practicing family law will bill their clients based on an hourly fee. Hourly fees can range between $75-$250 per hour depending on the experience of the lawyer, the demand for his or her services, and their reputation. Hourly rates will be reduced if some of the work is performed by legal clerks, paralegals, associate attorneys, or legal assistants working in the lawyer’s office.

Minimum Fees

Minimum fees are fees charged to the client for such items in the divorce process as drafting a motion or a petitioner. Minimum fees are not in place of hourly or flat fees.

Divorce Cost

The cost of a divorce lawyer does not just include their hourly fee or their flat fee. The cost also includes filing fees, copies, mileage, faxing, service of papers, postage, parking, and many other items. A client should review all possible costs prior to hiring a lawyer so that they can plan their budget accordingly. Some divorce proceedings will cost one spouse more than the other because the one spouse might have to pay for the legal services of their own lawyer and their spouse’s lawyer at the same time. This does not always happen but there is a possibility that it could happen during a divorce case.


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This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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