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How do attorney’s fees work in a family law firm? How much will my divorce cost? A very common question. Answer – how much fight is in the dog? Who is representing the parties? is this a collaborative divorce or a knock down drag out?
I’m doing two agreed divorces now that are for high net worth clients. They have lots of money and can easily afford the some of your Texas Monthly / D-Magazine stars and they can also throw down a credit card authorization for their Amex. That is now what they won’t.
My retainer on those two cases – $2,500 each. They have the big houses, the retirement accounts, investments, businesses, etc. What are they going to do? Divide this down the middle. 50% each. I’m just going to paper it up. No discovery. No hearings. No angry gnashing of the teeth. Get them through their divorce as quickly as possible. Let each get on with their lives.
Query, how do some of these “diamond” firms work? You know the ones with artwork on the wall, silver tea service and a marble conference room table that goes on for about 100 feet. They bill it.
Here is an example – at one firm all partners meet every Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. Purpose is to go over the files – status conference. There are 20 lawyers around the table all drinking their coffee each going over their individual files with group. File 2020-09-10 Smith is brought up. Lawyer says: “we are going to mediation next week and trial is set for October __.” Each lawyer at that table just billed a quarter hour for the status. Figure out that number.
In another case, diamond firm represented this lady – probably 4 months then withdrew. Total bill about 65K. They had two temporary orders hearings both of which were resolved by agreement. They also exchanged discovery. 65K just for one side.
Let’s get reasonable and common sense – know the court will divide property 50/50 in almost all cases; know that with the expanded standard possession schedule the primary gets a few more days per year than the non primary about a 45/55 split. Know that each party will be made a joint managing conservator of the children. Unless, we have family violence, or some type of drug use (not marijuana) the parties will be made JMC.