How to Pay For a Divorce Lawyer
The way you pay for your attorney in a divorce should fit your needs. Here are 5 common ways to pay for a divorce lawyer.
Most divorce lawyers accept flat fees, hourly rates, or retainers. Flat fees are fixed fees for designated legal services, while retainer fees are upfront payments for timely services. You can also pay your divorce attorney hourly for their legal services.
If you’re looking for an affordable, experienced divorce attorney, contact us. We’ll get you in touch with a skilled divorce lawyer that will agree to a payment plan that works for you.
1. Retainer Fee
The most common way (and preferred by most lawyers) for an attorney to be paid is by retainer. A retainer is an upfront, down payment for hourly legal services. Based on your unique divorce case, your attorney will calculate a retainer fee that fits the scope of your needs. Whenever you call or meet with your attorney, he or she will take fees from the retainer. If you agree to a retainer agreement, you’re basically paying your attorney in advance for their services. Retainer fees are typically negotiable.
2. Hourly Rate
If an attorney charges you an hourly rate, he or she will count any time spent working on your case and bill you at a later time. For example, your attorney will charge you for 13 minutes of their hourly rate if you two have a 13-minute phone call. Of course, your lawyer should tell you their hourly rate before you agree to the payment agreement. In your first meeting, you should also ask your attorney how many hours they believe your case will take in total. That way, you can have a better idea of how much you’ll ultimately be paying.
3. Flat/Fixed Fee
A flat or fixed fee is exactly what it sounds like. Attorneys paid a flat fee provide services for designated legal matters. Flat fees are typically paid in less complicated divorces that require little paperwork and stress. For example, a lawyer can charge you a fixed fee to file divorce paperwork or draft a final divorce agreement.
4. Contingency Fee
Rarely accepted as a form of payment, divorce attorneys on contingency wait to collect a designated percentage of the final monetary settlement. Contingency plans are typically used in other types of settlement cases, like personal injury, rather than divorce or family law. However, it’s not unprecedented for divorce attorneys to be paid on contingency. If a contingency plan works best for you, speak to multiple attorneys and try to hire one that agrees to receive payment on a contingency basis.
5. Get Limited Scope Representation
You can also hire an attorney for limited scope representation, meaning that you personally handle that simple parts of your divorce while your attorney handles matters that require legal expertise. For example, you can file the divorce paperwork yourself and hire an attorney to or give you legal advice when you really need it. Or, you can reach divorce terms amicably with your spouse, then hire an attorney to draft a final divorce agreement. Attorneys hired on limited scope representation will likely accept a flat or hourly fee. If you’re strapped for cash and need a divorce lawyer, click here to see how you can pay for a divorce lawyer with little to no money.
FAQs About Paying for a Divorce Lawyer
Do you pay divorce lawyers upfront?
Divorce attorneys generally prefer to be paid upfront with a retainer. However, some lawyers opt to be paid with a fixed or hourly fee, or even on a contingency basis. Speak with your divorce attorney to reach a payment plan that works for you.
Can you write a check from a joint account to pay for a divorce lawyer?
Yes, you can write a check from a joint account to pay for your divorce lawyer as long as your name is on the bank account. This can ultimately save you 50% in legal fees. However, a judge may deduct these attorney costs from your final divorce settlement,.
If you’re asking how to pay for a divorce lawyer and need an attorney, contact us. We’ll get you in touch with the right divorce attorney based on your needs and preferences. At your request, your attorney will create a payment plan that works for you. Your first consultation is free. We’re ready to help you 24/7.