Anticipating Fees and Costs
Attorney and Paralegal Fees
Family law cases are billed on an hourly rate basis. Attorney fees vary somewhat based on the skill level and experience of each particular attorney, but generally range between $300 to $350 per hour. Paralegals and legal assistants are used when appropriate and their time is also billed on an hourly basis at $150 per hour. All fees billed must be paid on a monthly basis from funds (Advance Fee Deposit,) that you have deposited into our law firm trust account.
Advance Fee Deposit
When you retain our firm, you are required to make an Advance Fee Deposit in order to have money “in trust” with which to pay monthly accumulated attorney and legal staff fees. As those funds are depleted, you will be required to deposit additional funds in order to complete up-coming work to be done on your case. When your case is complete, unbilled funds remaining in trust will be refunded to you.
Costs and Expenses
In addition to attorney and staff fees, there are also Costs or Expenses associated with every case, which you are responsible for paying. Costs include such things as court filing fees, process server fees, copies, etc. Additional expenses may include expert witness fees, guardian ad litem fees, business valuation fees, mediator fees, and any other services required to complete your case. These costs and expenses are billed to you in addition to attorney fees.
How Much Should I Expect My Divorce to Cost?
The cost of your case will vary dramatically based on the complexity of your case and how contentious your relationship is with the opposing party. See Control Fees and Costs for tips on managing the cost of your case. Anticipate that simple divorces on the low end of the scale generally cost $3,000 to $5,000. If the parties are disagreeable or if there are complex issues involving property, debts, or children, fees and costs will increase dramatically.
Is it Worth the Cost to Retain an Attorney?
Be prepared for the fact that it can be expensive to retain an attorney to represent your interests. However, a good attorney will ultimately save you money in the terms of your case settlement. The benefits of quality representation will benefit you for many years into the future. Conversely, no legal representation or poor legal representation may save you money on attorney fees up front but will likely cost you significantly in the terms of your case and over the years to come. In most every case, quality legal representation is well worth the cost involved. Take advantage of our free ½ hour initial consultation. If we believe that you can adequately handle your case yourself, we will tell you so.