A family law attorney charges $200 to $500 per hour, depending on the location, their experience level, and the services included. Some charge a flat fee for simple services, like drawing up basic, uncontested divorce papers.
Contested divorces, custody cases, or asset arrangements often take longer and cost more to settle. These cases often go to trial and require the attorney to spend time to prepare evidence and arguments, which increases the final cost.
Most firms charge by the hour, but some have contingency fees instead. This means that they receive a percentage of any money awarded at the end of the case and won't charge you anything until then. Some attorneys charge a $500 to $5,000 retainer fee, which is paid in advance.
A family law attorney handles cases that involve domestic issues and family relationships. These attorneys advocate for their clients and mediate in complex cases. Common court cases or specialties might include:
Yes, family law attorneys manage divorce cases. However, a family law attorney can only represent one spouse during the divorce. Uncontested divorces are relatively simple, especially when the couple is childless, and often only include drawing up paperwork and dividing property.
Contested divorces are more difficult, expensive, and complicated because there are more negative emotions involved. An attorney helps mediate during disputes about custody, child support, alimony, assets, and debts.
Simple court filings or name changes can be handled without a family law attorney. Otherwise, it may be best to have an experienced attorney on your side for important cases involving divorce, custody, adoption, or abuse. Without an attorney, the case may take longer or have an undesirable outcome.
Prepare to meet with a family law attorney by gathering the appropriate documents. These will vary depending on the case but typically include:
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