By far, the most often asked question when faced with a family law matter is – How much is this going to cost? The difficult answer is, “it depends.” It depends on the personalities of the other party and the other lawyer, the complexity of assets involved, and the difficulty of custody and child support issues. A matter that is relatively inexpensive for one person, might incur significant cost to another.
Our retainer fee for legal representation varies depending on the legal issues and complexity of your case. We also work on a flat-fee arrangement in cases where it is appropriate. Our retainer fees generally range from $500.00 to $3,000.00, but may increase for high conflict couples, complex custody disputes or high asset property partitions. The retainer is placed in our client trust account, from which we make payment for services rendered each month. We send you a detailed and itemized billing statement for all work performed on your behalf each month. If any portion of the retainer is unused when your case is closed with our firm, we will refund that amount to you. If your retainer is depleted and there is still work to be performed on your case, you are responsible for making payments to our firm. When appropriate, we will seek to have the other party reimburse you for your attorney fees. We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, check, cash, money order or cashier’s check. Our hourly rate is very competitive for this geographic area.
We understand that this is often a difficult time for our clients not only emotionally, but also financially. As such, we do our best to allow our clients to control their fees by actively participating in the preparation of their case. It is extremely important to routinely perform a cost-benefit analysis during this process—how much is this going to cost and what is the likely outcome? We explain strategic decisions regarding our client’s cases to them from both a legal perspective and a financial perspective and allow them to participate in the decision-making process with that knowledge. If an Affidavit or discovery responses need to be drafted, we encourage our clients to prepare a first draft. If an extraordinary number of copies need to be made, we often suggest that our clients do the copying themselves. Our clients also often keep their costs down by communicating with us through email.
We charge our normal hourly rate for a consultation on your family law matter. During this consultation we will explain the applicable law, describe the legal processes available to you, and help you create a plan for moving forward. We understand that many family law matters are deeply sensitive and that your relationship with your attorney will be a personal one. A consultation will provide you with some understanding not only of what to expect from the process but also what it will be like to work with us on a personal level. Please note that when scheduling a consultation for mediation, both of parties should be involved in that consultation in order to preserve the neutrality of the mediator.
Choose Mediation and Save Substantial Costs
We do not require a retainer fee for mediation. Rather, we collect payment from you before each session. We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, check, cash, money order or cashier’s check. Our hourly rate is generally divided equally between the parties.