Probably one of the biggest stressors a lot of my divorce clients have is simple, legal fees – ” “>how much does a divorce will take my family?” Most divorce lawyers offer the safe common answer “it is dependent”. If you’re thinking about getting divorced, or if your spouse has just divorced and you’re unsure of what to do next this answer won’t aid you much.
Cost of divorce price for the divorce can be measured in many different ways. Here are a few:
- Legal fees are the cost is perhaps the most obvious expense
- The amount to be paid for alimony or the cost of spousal support
- It’s a cost to lose half your savings
- Mediation Costs
- Costs of Court Costs
- Additional Fees (i.e. the recording fee, QDRO’s experts, therapists, etc.)
In this article, I’d like to concentrate on the question that is frequently inquired about by my clients “what do my legal costs will be?”
An overview of the Fees associated with divorce and separation.
Here’s a brief overview of the various fees you could be charged in the duration of your divorce with the brief description of what they’re and the range of prices:
- First consultation, also known as Divorce Evaluation. This is the first time you meet with an attorney. Many divorce lawyers from Cary, North Carolina, where I am a lawyer offer a variation of this cost. It is rare to find an attorney who offers an “free consultation” particularly those in Cary and Raleigh. We have a flat cost of $250 for a one-hour consult.
- Retainers. This is a cost which is used to reserve your attorney’s services. If you accept the retainer, your lawyer is not able to represent you and your spouse, or other potential clients. Some clients have put us onto “retainer” even if there isn’t any legal work that is yet to be done just for assurance that they are aware that they’re a client of our firm in the event that time arrives that they require our assistance. The retainer is paid immediately and is deposited into the account for operating of the company. – We don’t charge retainers at present.
- Advance payment, prepaid fee, also known as trust deposits. This is the most commonly used fee that customers are worried about. We usually refer to this charge by the name of the “trust deposit” since that’s the name it’s given. It’s a fee which is set aside for future services and put into the trust account once the client decides to hire our firm. When we begin working on your case We will monitor our time and, once per month, we will issue your a bill for the services performed. When these fees are earned, we will transfer the funds from the trust account balance into the operating accounts. The Hart Law Firm The Hart Law Firm, we no longer require deposits into trust accounts. Instead, we’ve moved to the “flat charge” model as described below.
- Minimum Fees. A minimum fee is precisely what it’s referred to as. It’s the amount that an organization will pay to settle your legal issue. Your lawyer will charge you this amount during the duration of your representation. If the legal issue you are facing requires greater time to complete than your minimum fee can allow, then your lawyer can negotiate an additional minimal fee for you or keep your credit card information in the file and invoice you in an hourly rate.
- Flat Fee. Flat fees are an agreed-upon price for specific services. For us at Hart Law Firm, Hart Law Firm, we have shifted to flat-fee pricing for every aspect of representation. We’ve noticed that our clients appreciate the predictability that a fixed fee offers, and the knowledge that we won’t paying them a dime for meetings or phone calls. If you pay a flat rate we’ll charge you according to the stage you’re in with your case, and we are prepared to collaborate with you to create payment plans that fit your budget. Alongside the flat cost for things like obtaining divorce, writing an uncontested separation contract or the preparation of the QDRO We also charge a flat amount to negotiate the terms of a separation agreement, prepare an action, or be present in court or mediation on behalf of you. In contrast to the trust deposit the flat fee is a fixed or predetermined amount that is set prior to the representation. It is typical to take this amount as earned as soon as it is earned and will deposit the amount into the operating bank account. This flat fee offers benefits and risks. The lawyer has the advantage of treating the cash as his own, however, there is the possibility that the case could get more complex and require longer than initially expected. The client also has the advantage of knowing in advance what their case will cost. In exchange, for the chance that the lawyer is taking that the case will get more complicated and require more time than originally anticipated the cost for a flat fee in litigation cases could be higher than if the customer had paid the lawyer for their time.