Options Vary Where You Go
When searching for an attorney to handle your case, one of the lingering questions you may have could revolve around how to pay for their services. The answer to this question is not always as straightforward as paying for other goods or services. As such, it is imperative to discuss this with a potential attorney prior to retaining counsel. Each individual attorney’s office may accept payments differently and there are several methods of payment out there. Here’s what you can expect to find.
One way that you could be billed for your attorney’s services is through a retainer. A retainer is a lump sum payment to an attorney that is held in a separate account until the attorney has earned either all or some portion of the funds through their services. The attorney sets an hourly rate and bills from the retainer for services rendered.
For example, say upon hiring an attorney, you pay a retainer of $4,000. Your attorney’s hourly rate is $200 per hour. If the attorney works 10 hours on your case, at the end of the billing period, the attorney could transfer $2,000.00 from the retainer as earned funds.
What happens after a retainer is exhausted depends on the attorney. The attorney could bill you for continuing services or could stop working on the case until either the original retainer amount is replenished, or a new retainer is paid. Our firm and other firms request that the retainer be replenished on a monthly basis. At the end of your matter, any and all funds remaining in the retainer are promptly returned to you.
Another option that some attorneys offer is a flat fee structure. This type of payment means that the attorney charges you a specific amount for their services and does not charge you more than that amount regardless of how long they work on your case.
For example, if your attorney charges you a flat fee of $6,000 for their work, then that is the total amount that you would pay regardless of how long the case progresses or how many hours the attorney works.
The most important thing you can do to better understand how to pay for an attorney’s services is to ask questions. Remember that every attorney may not have the same structures in place. When you schedule your consultation to discuss the preliminary details of your case with an attorney you are considering hiring, be sure to ask about fee structures to better understand the process, to decide whether the attorney is a good fit for you, and to prepare your finances for the divorce.
If you have questions about a family law matter or are unsure of how to pay for your divorce, Laubacher & Co. is ready to answer your questions. Call our Cleveland family law team today at (440) 336-8687 or visit us online to schedule your consultation.