If you are facing a family law case in your own life, then you probably have a lot of questions to ask someone's advice on. Beyond what the patient can mean in the long and short term for your family, the next area that many potential clients I have encountered ask about is how much their case will cost and how they will be billed.
While I cannot speak for all attorneys and how their office bills, I will do my best to give you an idea about how the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, bills our clients.
Family law cases are unique among civil cases.
Family law cases are not the same as 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 essential to your life.
As a result, you will need to determine what you are comfortable spending money on and who you want representing you. Trusting the person representing you and feeling pleased 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 determine what attorney has a financial profile and comfort level that leads you to want to hire them. 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. Talking to as many attorneys as you can, feeling them out about how they talk to you, talk about your case, and their general demeanor can go a long way 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" them 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 you sign to engage the lawyer's services. You must pay this amount before signing a contract and hiring an attorney in most circumstances in the family law field.
However, attorneys do not place the retainer in a general account with every other client's money. 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 any of their clients. Once the attorney and their staff begin to work on your case, your attorney would take money out of the account to compensate for the various expenses encountered in working on the issue.
Once the retainer amount begins to be diminished throughout the life of the case, your attorney will likely request additional monthly payments.
In our office, we will ask for your credit card number, debit card number, or checking account number to make an automatic debit each month. 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. Usually, 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 like temporary orders hearings and trials and 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 fewer 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, PLLC, today.
If you have any questions about the costs associated with hiring a family law attorney, don't hesitate to get in touch with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our attorneys represent clients from many different backgrounds, and we would be honored to do the same for you and your family.
To learn more about our office and our services, 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, PLLC | Spring, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential 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 the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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.