Attorney Fees For Divorce and Other Family Law Cases

By Orlando Family Law Attorney Eduardo J. Mejias

Practicing Exclusively Family Law Since 2011

Clients Are Not Informed About Divorce Attorney Retainer Fees

At some point of every consultation with a prospective client hear the question: “So, how much will this cost?” Naturally, potential clients want to know whether a major investment like hiring a family law attorney makes financial sense to them. And, for understandable reasons, most individuals have only a vague notion of what should be the retainer fee cost of divorce, paternity or other family law cases. The reasons are these:
  • Except for personal injury law firm, advertising omits any reference to pricing. Thus, prospective clients lack a pricing reference point when they call a family law attorney for the first time.
  • Second, family law cases defy neat categorization. For example, the cost of each divorce and paternity case is based on its own quirks and nuances. This lack of standardization makes exact menu pricing for family retainer fees impossible.
  • Finally, why would people familiarize themselves with the cost of divorce, paternity, other family law cases or their appeals, until the moment they are confronted with one? Divorces and paternity cases are unpleasant and stressful. So the average person does not want to think about its cost until he or she has to. Unlike a new sports car, a European vacation, or a luxurious house, nobody wistfully dreams about hiring a family law  attorney.
What Affects Attorney Retainer Fees

The question then becomes this: What is a fair attorney retainer fee for each type of case, such as, for example, a divorce, paternity or related case? Notwithstanding the difficulty of categorizing family law cases, the cost of paternity cases should generally be lower than the cost of divorce cases. Unlike divorces, paternity cases do not involve dividing assets or liabilities, nor is alimony a consideration. Conversely, divorces with children require at least the same time-sharing and child support analysis as paternity cases, but also include property distribution issues and, in some cases, alimony.  And even divorces without children can be quite complex when major assets and alimony are in the picture.

Other factors will come into play as well. For example, where is the case being litigated? An attorneys like myself, who charge flat fees as opposed to hourly retainers, must take into account the projected travel time involved in each case. Our office is, located in Altamonte Springs, so we charge less for Orange, Seminole and Volusia cases than for cases in more distant counties.  Another less obvious consideration is the stage at which your case is in. While I don’t advise starting a divorce or paternity case alone, if a client hires my firm after the initial pleadings are done, I usually charge that person less than those individuals who are “starting from scratch” with me.

How We Inform You About Our Attorney Retainer Fees

Having said that, we did make an effort to make our pricing as transparent as possible on Family Lawyer Retainer Fees.  On that page,
we show the range of retainer fees of fifteen different types of family law cases.  The cost of any particular case will always fall within its retainer fee range for its type. Where in its range it falls depends on the specific level of difficulty of that actual case.

Of course, even the above-quoted prices represent large sums of money for the average client. I have yet to meet the person who has diligently saved money for a future divorce. For this reason, we offers reasonable payment plans. 

If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced experienced attorney to represent you in a divorce or a paternity action, call AAA Family Law at (407) 260-6001 and schedule an initial consultation.  At the consultation you will get an opportunity to explain your family law situation and state your objectives.  I will present you with a plan of legal action to accomplish those objectives.  Then, I will quote you my flat retainer fee, not an hourly rate whose total you cannot predict, before you sign a contract or make any payments.