Divorce Lawyer's Hourly Rate and Retainer Fee FAQ

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 05, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Even if you're sure you want a divorce, you may be putting it off because you're worried about the cost of hiring a divorce lawyer. Or, you may try navigating the legal problems yourself because you think an attorney will be too expensive. But trying to save money by not hiring a divorce lawyer could end up costing you in the long run.

If you're considering a divorce, or considering representing yourself, here are a few of the most common questions about attorney fee arrangements, and how much it might cost to hire a divorce lawyer.

How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost?

Unfortunately, there is no set amount for a divorce lawyer's total cost. However, you should be able to get a rough estimate by talking to an attorney, asking some important questions, and discussing the issues of your divorce. While most attorneys don't charge a flat fee that will cover all of the divorce costs, they should be able to provide you with an hourly rate and an estimate regarding how many total hours of work your divorce may take.

What Hourly Rate Should I Expect When Hiring a Lawyer?

A divorce lawyer's hourly rate will vary depending on a variety of factors, including their experience, the complexity of your divorce case, and even where you live. And while some hourly fees may sound exorbitant, consider what is at stake in your divorce and the general rule that, when it comes to attorneys, you get what you pay for.

How Do Attorneys Set Their Fees?

In addition to an hourly rate, some divorce lawyers may have retainer agreements or additional fees for filing certain documents. No matter what your attorney is charging you, he or she should make certain you're aware of all possible costs before hiring or previous to specific actions. And it is important that you understand all of the fees and costs prior to hiring a divorce lawyer or taking certain legal actions in your case.

In Divorce Cases, When Can You Get Attorney's Fees?

In some cases, the winning party can recoup their legal fees from the losing party. Perhaps in an effort to make already acrimonious legal proceedings more collaborative, divorce courts rarely declare winners or losers, and therefore getting attorney's fees is generally not an option in divorce cases. There may be, however, some exceptions to that rule.

Your best source for a divorce lawyer's fees or hourly rate is the lawyer herself -- contact one today.

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