Having an arrangement with a family law lawyer has a significant impact on the amount that will be paid for the services.
The legal fees that are given by the family law lawyer will depend on the following factors :
- The amount of time the family law lawyer spends on the problem, therefore a complex problem will amount to a larger amount of legal fee
- The ability of the family law lawyer which depends on the lawyer’s reputation and experience.
- The difficulty and novelty of the case because difficult cases mean the lawyer has to do more research, investigations as well as seeking advice from others
- The results that the family law lawyer will obtain and the costs involved. These costs include the lawyer’s overhead expenses like the rent, office equipment, utilities and computers which will affect the fee that is charged.
There are several types of fee arrangements that can be used by the family law lawyer like the consultation fee which is a fee that is charged at a fixed or hourly rate especially during the first meeting.
Contingency fees are fees that are charged and are based on a percentage of the amount that is awarded in a case. However, if the case is lost, the lawyer will not get a fee but the expenses will still have to be paid. The percentages for the contingency fee vary from lawyer to lawyer.
At times courts may decide a limit on the amount of contingency fee that a lawyer can receive. Cases that the courts set a limit on are those that deal with property damage, personal injury or those cases where a large sum of money is involved.
Lawyers may at times also be prohibited from contingency fee arrangements in cases such as child custody or criminal matters. The contingency fee arrangements are also not available in divorce matters, if an individual is being sued, or if they are seeking general legal advice in the sale or purchase of a business.
Flat fees are fees that are offered if the case is simple or routine like in the case of a will or a divorce that is uncontested.
Hourly rate is the rate that is charged for each hour that the lawyer works on the case. This is usually the most typical form of fee arrangement.
Referral fee is the type of fee that a lawyer charges when they refer you to another lawyer. This fee may be a portion of the total fee that the other lawyer will charge for the case. However, these fees may be prohibited under certain applicable state codes that deal with professional responsibility until certain criteria are met.
Retainer fees are fees that are set by a lawyer which can be based on the hourly rate. This fee is a type of “down payment” against which the other future costs are billed. It is usually placed in a special account from where the accruing cost of services are deducted.