We cannot estimate any legal costs for you without having a consultation first. To reserve a legal consultation click the following link: Click here to reserve a consultation now.
Please read our answers to frequently asked questions about our consultations and legal fees.
About Our Consultations and Legal Fees
What Is A "Legal Consultation"?
It's a time to have a face-to-face meeting (usually an hour) to discuss your facts, case strategy, costs, and payment options. Just as doctors are reluctant to diagnose patients over the phone, so should lawyers be reluctant to "diagnose a case" without speaking to a client face-to-face. I need to get a feel for your concerns as a client, and to follow your story with an eye towards potential issues you might not realize. The most challenging work of being a lawyer is spotting the "hidden issues." This cannot be adequately accomplished without this meeting.
The attorney-client relationship is built on trust and the ability to work together, therefore it is not only in my interest to meet with you, but crucial for you to meet, in person, with any lawyer you are considering hiring.
You should be wary of anyone offering "free consultations." Often, they do this over the phone without looking you in the eye or reviewing any of your documents beforehand. Remember: You get what you pay for.
Unlike those other attorneys, I prefer to discuss your case in depth so that I can offer a flat or set fee whenever possible to solve your legal issue. I can only do that if we have an in-depth consultation.
Do You Ever Offer A "Free Consultation"?
If you sign a fee agreement the day of the meeting, your consultation fee will be credited to your account.
About Our Legal Fees
What does a divorce cost?
Your "cost" is a combination of the following:
- "Legal costs" (that's the court filing fees, any expert fees, office costs such as postage and copies, any other fees that the Court may assign to you), plus
- "Legal fees" (your attorney's fees, usually billed in "hours").
Your total divorce cost depends upon several general factors. The first factor is how contested the matter will be (can you agree on any issues?). The second factor is the scope of your divorce. For example, does it include things such as property separation or custody and visitation? The third factor is how complex you intend to litigate. For example, do you need to hire any expert witnesses or to litigate across jurisdictions? The final factor is how far you intend to push your legal matters. For example, do you intend to appeal the decision to a higher court?
What does a simple, uncontested divorce cost?
A rough average would be $800 for a simple, uncontested divorce (with no children or property to divide). This type of divorce is often ideal for parties who are already living separate and apart, just want a divorce, and do not need to decide other issues.
We do not recommend that you use "self-help" sites. Those are merely "document dump" sites that cannot analyze your case and offer advice. You can easily make a mistake with serious ramifications down the line which you will not know until, often, years later. Those websites can only guarantee a form, not your case (they cannot legally practice law). And, since you would be taking your case "into your own hands," there would be no one to blame for a problem but yourself.
Don't play roulette with your life. Trust a licensed attorney to fully analyze your case. It's often said that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Can I get a free lawyer for my divorce?
Possibly. You have two options if you need a free or low cost lawyer: apply for legal aid from the Legal Services Corporation (a local branch is here), or request that the other party advance your legal fees. Even if you do not think you can afford to pay a full retainer, a consultation can be very useful as we can analyze your financial situation with regard having your spouse advance your legal fees based upon need. In those cases, we can sign a ultra-low retainer (ethically, we cannot represent you on a contingency matter for family law or criminal law issues), with the promise to apply any fee awards that we obtain to your legal fees.
Don't play roulette with your life. Trust a licensed attorney to fully analyze your case. It's often said that "a ounce of prevention is worth a pound" of cure.
How much does it cost to file for divorce?
A divorce filing cost starts at $175.00 (not including service of process). Note, filing a divorce does not mean you automatically get divorced. There are other documents to be filed (motions, affidavits, etc...). Depending upon your financial circumstances, you may be able to file in forma pauperis (filing as a poor person or "pauper") and not have to prepay for filing. We can discuss all of the particulars--projected expenses and means for paying--at your consultation.
How much does an average divorce cost?
Roughly $2,500 to $3,000 (your fees, not including the other side's). This would assume a nominally-contested matter, with a determination of custody and marital property to divide. Some cases are less and some are more. Again, there are many factors (some are in our control, but most are not). We can discuss all of the particulars with regard to the facts in your case and the personalities at play.
What is your average retainer & hourly fee?
Our average retainer is $2500 and our normal hourly rate is $200/hr. Those amounts vary depending upon the case and complexity. I also frequently give discounts to clients of modest means, since everyone deserves legal representation. And, we try to offer a fixed legal fee and installments whenever possible. This is why it is important to have a legal consultation.
If billing by the hour, by what increments of an hour do you bill?
When "hourly billing," I track time by the minute; partial minutes are rounded up. I often give discounts and do not bill every single minute. I strive to be an efficient lawyer and a good steward of your money.
What payment options do you offer?
We accept check, cash and all major credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover), Android Pay, and Apple Pay. We also offer installment options and flex-pay options. Reserve a consultation to discuss these options in depth.