Mustering the nerve to file for a divorce in Florida is only half the battle. Now you need to know about the cost of representation. It’s not necessary to hire an attorney in all cases, but doing so will give you peace of mind. Here’s some information about divorce attorneys and how they might charge you for their services.
How Do Divorce Lawyers Charge?
Typically, Florida divorce attorneys charge an hourly rate, and they have a set price they quote prospective clients for each hour they spend working for them. The work tasks include consultations, filings, correspondence and representation if a case advances to court.
A retainer fee is typical for divorce lawyers as well. They charge retainers to ensure that clients pay for some of the services upfront. The retainers also solidify the legal contracts that bind clients to their cases. The average retainer fee can be as low as $1,500 or as much as $5,000. Several factors go into play there, and the attorney’s experience and location are two. The lawyer will expect you to satisfy the retainer before he or she engages in doing tasks related to your case. In some situations, lawyers provide free consultations, but they are more rare than common.
You may come across a lawyer who has a flat-fee structure as well. You’ll know upfront what rate you’ll have to pay for all the services pertaining to your court case. This arrangement is more common among attorneys who help clients with uncontested divorces. Uncontested cases require less time and are not complex, as they usually don’t involve extensive property distribution and child custody matters. However, you might meet an expert who will offer a flat-rate fee to assist you with a complicated court case.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?
The total cost for an attorney’s representation in a court case can vary tremendously. It depends on the amount of time the individual spends on your case. It will be much less expensive for you if you and your spouse are on reasonable terms, and the two of you can reach an agreement on custody and property matters.
If not, the court will need to conduct an entire case, which means your attorney will have to speak on your behalf. That’s where the hourly rate comes in. Once your retainer is gone, you’ll have to pay for each hour this person spends in court speaking for you. Some divorce cases drag on for months or years. Thus, the costs could be a few thousand dollars or tens of thousands of dollars.
What About Filing for Divorce Without a Lawyer?
You have the right to file for a divorce without an attorney. You can get the necessary paperwork online or through a reputable non-profit organization. Accuracy is an issue, however. Your paperwork must be completed correctly and filed with all the required signatures and documents, or you risk having the case dismissed.
It’s best to contact a seasoned divorce lawyer and have him or her help you with the paperwork. A quick consultation will reveal all the information you need to know.
Categorised in: Divorce Lawyers