Getting a divorce is not only an emotional burden but also a financial one. If assets, children, businesses, or spousal support are involved most individuals will need legal representation. Turning to the internet will yield a list of eligible attorneys, but few divorce attorneys are transparent with their fees. For many attorneys, you’ll need to schedule a consultation and explain your situation for an hour before you receive a quote revealing the retainer fee and how much the attorney will charge per hour.
To give people a better idea as to how divorce attorney fees work we’ll review flat fees, hourly billing, and retainer fees. We’ll also link to a few local attorneys who are transparent with their hourly rates.
Not many Sacramento divorce attorneys charge a flat fee. In contested divorce cases the total number of hours the attorney must invest is not clear. Simply put, the total amount of work required by the attorney will depend upon factors outside the attorney’s control. For instance, if parties are unreasonable, litigious, or vindictive more hours will be required than if parties were reasonable, willing to settle, and ready to move on with their lives.
Local divorce attorneys may charge a flat fee for document preparation with no court appearances. For instance, a divorce lawyer may charge a flat fee of $2,000 to draft the summons, petition for dissolution, UCCJEA declaration, and coach the client on the process and next steps.
Divorce lawyers may also charge a flat fee for limited scope representation. In family law, lawyers may appear at a single hearing, trial, or another capacity without agreeing to represent the client on all matters. When representation is limited in scope in this way, the attorney can offer a flat fee since they have a good understanding of how much work will be involved.
Retainer Fee & Hourly Billing
The majority of divorce attorneys adopt the traditional retainer fee with hourly billing. When the attorney is hired the client will pay an initial retainer fee. The retainer fee will function as a deposit that the attorney will place in a client trust account. As the attorney works on the client’s case they will bill for their time multiplied by their hourly rate. At the end of the month, the attorney will send out a bill reflecting the total number of hours spent working on the case multiplied by their hourly rate. For example, if the attorney worked 10 hours and their hourly rate is $300 per hour, they will send a monthly invoice for $3,000. In turn, the attorney will deduct the monthly invoiced amount from the client’s retainer fee. Once the retainer fee runs out the client will be asked to pay an additional retainer fee for the attorney to keep working on their case.
There are many low-cost family law attorneys in Sacramento, but not every low-cost attorney is a good investment. A divorce can have lasting financial consequences, not the least of which are child and spousal support.
In Modesto, this lawyer charges a flat fee for document preparation in simple uncontested divorces. For a flat fee, the attorney can draft the initial documents and coach the client on how and where to file the paperwork.
In Roseville, this attorney offers full-scope representation in contested divorces. Visit https://rosevilledivorce.com/ to learn more about Jin Kim. As of 2020 her hourly rate is $250 per hour.
Our divorce attorney also charges $250 per hour. Our divorce attorney offers representation in contested divorce and child custody cases. The attorney also offers flat-fee document preparation in uncontested divorces.