If you are facing a family law case in your own life then you probably have a great deal of questions to ask someone advice on. Beyond what the case can mean in the long and short term for your family, the next area that many potential clients that I have encountered ask about is how much their case will cost and how he or she will be billed.
While I cannot speak for all attorneys and the way that their offices bill, I will do my best to give you an idea about how the Law Office of Bryan Fagan bills our clients.
Family law cases are unique among civil cases
Family law cases are not the same as other civil cases like personal injury cases, property law disputes or personal injury cases. Your case is intensely personal and deals with the people and things that are the most important and essential to your life.
As a result you will need to make a determination for yourself what you are comfortable spending money on and who you actually want representing you. Trusting the person that is representing you and feeling comfortable with them is as essential in a family law case as in any other area of law.
With that said, through speaking to multiple attorneys you will be able to make a determination as to what attorney has a financial profile and comfort level that leads you to want to hire him or her. I am writing this blog post under the assumption that you who are reading it are not an attorney and have little to no experience hiring attorneys or being involved in legal cases.
With that said, your first hand experience in speaking to lawyers will probably be limited to these consultative meetings. Speaking to as many attorneys as you can, feeling them out as far as how they speak to you, speak about your case and their general demeanor can go a long ways towards helping you decide which attorney to hire to represent you and your family.
What is a retainer fee?
A retainer fee is essentially a down-payment that will allow you to hire an attorney and “retain” him or her to represent you in your legal matter.
Your attorney will typically have a retainer fee set for your particular type of case and will make that amount known to you in the contract that you sign to engage the services of the lawyer. It is necessary for you to pay this amount prior to signing a contract and hiring an attorney in most circumstances in the family law field.
Attorneys do not place the retainer in a general account with every other client’s money, however. Each client for an attorney has a trust account that houses the retainer and subsequent payments for that client.
This is to make sure that the lawyer is not mixing their own money with that of any of their clients. Once the attorney and his or her staff begin to work on your case, your attorney would take money out of the account to compensate for the various expenses that are encountered in working on the case.
Once the retainer amount begins to be diminished throughout the life of the case it is likely that your attorney request additional monthly payments.
In our office we will ask for your credit card number, debit card number of checking account number to make an automatic debit each month. In order to help your case proceed smoothly and without delay, your account will need to have sufficient funds to pay mediators, filing fees and other costs that arise.
How do attorneys bill for work done on your case?
Attorneys in the field of family law will typically bill you by the hour. This means that your attorney will charge you a dollar figure per hour of work done on your case. Typically your contract with an attorney will go over what your attorney, their paralegals and office staff charge on an hourly basis.
Our office will charge you in increments of 15 minutes for work done. “Work” means anything from representing you in court to emailing an opposing attorney, speaking to you on the phone or researching a particular issue that is pertinent to your case.
How to reduce costs in your family law case
There seem to be two ways that it is possible to minimize costs associated with your family law case: either reduce the amount of work that your attorney has to do or reduce the length of your case in terms of time.
When we’re discussing reducing the amount of work that your attorney has to do I am talking about minimizing courthouse visits for things liketemporary orders hearings and trials, as well as assisting in answering discovery requests.
Courtroom time may end up being necessary in your case but I’ve found that in the majority of family law cases it can be avoided by diligent negotiations. Remain open minded and be willing to negotiate and settle your case.
Odds are you will reach a better outcome this way than from a judge who really won’t know your case all that well. This same tip will also help you decrease the overall length of your case. Less courtroom time usually means less arguments, less petty fighting and less time paying your attorney. While some arguing and disputes cannot be avoided many can.
Questions about the cost of hiring an attorney? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today
If you have any questions about the costs associated with hiring a family law attorney please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our attorneys represent clients from many different backgrounds and we would be honored to do the same for you and your family.
In order to learn more about our office and the services we provide please give us a call. A free of charge consultation is available six days per week.
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.