getting ready to file for a divorce and don't really understand legal fees?
Here's a vocabulary list for you so you don't get lost in the language barrier with your lawyer. Make sure you get a quote for costs before instructing a lawyer to act for you.
Consult Fee – A fee charged by the lawyer to hear a potential client’s case. This fee can be a flat fee or hourly fee. Some lawyers don’t charge consult fees.
Costs – An expense in addition to legal fees, costs are related to the case and incurred by the lawyer. Costs vary by lawyer and may include filing fees, mileage, copies, service or papers, parking, and postage.
Experts – Under certain circumstances, divorce cases require the use of experts. Experts are an additional cost to the legal fees. Independent custody evaluators and vocation experts are two examples of experts used in court. The need for an expert depends upon the issues of the case.
Flat Fee – Some lawyers accept a flat fee for their service. Flat fees come into play when both parties have reached an agreement and seek an uncontested divorce. The lawyer can estimate the fee upfront, which allows the client to budget for the expense and not worry about racking up a bill.
Hourly Rate – In the event of a contested divorce, lawyers usually charge an hourly rate or fee. This rate ranges greatly dependent upon the lawyer’s legal experience and reputation. Most rates range between $330 and $550 per hour. Note that services provided by law clerks, legal assistants and paralegals should come at a reduced hourly rate.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.