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How Much Does it Cost?

How much will my family law case cost?  We are asked that question all the time.  Unfortunately, that question cannot be answered until we know more about your case.

So, how much is it going to cost? What kind of case is it?  Is it a divorce, modification, or enforcement action? Does your case involve children?  Is a parent attempting to alienate the children from the other parent?  Are any drugs involved – prescription drug abuse, marijuana, meth., coke, etc.  Has family violence occurred or being alleged?  Has one party been involved in an extramarital affair? Is one spouse just plain pissed off at the other spouse?  What lawyer did the other side hire?  Some lawyers just try to push conflict to generate fees while others try to resolve cases (we are one of the latter – try to resolve cases). What property is involved in the case – house, retirement, etc.?  What is the expertise of the lawyer you have hired?  These, among other factors, will determine what it costs to litigate your case.  Some cases are moved through the office and the partners will hardly know anything about them – agreed cases primarily handled by staff under a lawyer’s supervision, while other cases, well, the contest can go to the moon.

Until we have had an opportunity to sit down and discuss your case with you, we are not able to quote a fair retainer.  That said, our retainers start at $1,500.00 for an Agreed Divorce with little property.  Add children, the retainer probably $2,500.00.  Add a temporary orders hearing – $3,500.00. Any case involving extensive property or a custody battle – $5,000 and up. For highly contested cases (cases full of hate, anger and emotion), it is not unusual to see $10,000.00+ retainers.  The question becomes, just how much is ordered off the menu?

“Flat fees” just don’t happen in family law cases (a flat fee is a fee agreement where the lawyer agrees to represent the client for a fixed flat fee – say $2,500 flat all in.  If a lawyer quotes you a “flat fee” for handling your family law case – run for the hills.  They simply do not know what they are doing.  Flat fees are common enough in criminal cases, personal injury cases or in wills and trusts, but not in family law. {Exception to the Rule – in law there are always exceptions.  We will do an annulment on a flat fee basis.}