Fees & Costs-Sample Retainer Fees
Low Conflict Divorce
Low conflict divorce cases are generally the most straight forward and the least expensive. In our past experience, however, some of these “low conflict” divorce cases can evolve to “high conflict” later on, as a spouse starts to let emotion rule their decisions. A good example is when the other spouse begins to see someone else during the divorce process. Many times this leads to the non-dating spouse to let spite rule their decisions. This may help with resolving your help feelings but it has the opposite effect on your legal bills.
Other times one spouse may just not want to get divorced, or maybe they don’t participate, or maybe the other party doesn’t get a lawyer. All of these circumstances may operate to increase the costs. If one spouse doesn’t want to get divorced, this may certainly slow the process down, making it more expensive.
Additionally, in a situation where one party does not have a lawyer can be expensive as it can be very difficult for your lawyer to deal with the other spouse because of spouses lack of knowledge of how the legal process works. Since your case may hinge on the other spouse getting their part done, it’s often better they have the direction of a lawyer.
Also, despite the straightforward nature of these divorce cases, many of the costs are the same. For example, filing fees, service of process fees, attorney fees for mandatory appearances, paralegal time preparing the Sworn Financial Statement, are all unavoidable costs associated with the Divorce process.
You may be thinking that if my case is low conflict then I should expect a low retainer. This thinking can get you in trouble and be wary of an divorce attorney who charges low retainers. Their goal is more likely to be improving their inventory as opposed to do what is best to help you out. Primarily letting you know in advance that even a low conflict divorce can be costly.
- Our Average Retainer for Low Conflict Divorce without Kids – $3,000.00
- Our Average Retainer for Low Conflict Divorce with Kids – $3,500.00
Medium Conflict Divorce (With Kids)
When spouses with children get divorced, not only is the potential of conflict greater – after all, there’s nothing more important to a parent than their children – there is also an additional level of paperwork and legal steps required. Child Custody attorneys must negotiate and prepare:
- Parenting Plans
- Child Support Worksheets
- Support Orders
- Obtain Temporary Orders outlining Visitation times
- Arrangement of Supervised Visits if Necessary
A good divorce and child custody attorney as the ones with Austin Divorce Lawyer Now can help guide a parent in preparing a solid parenting plan which is age, and circumstance, appropriate. This legal advice is money well spent and distinguishes the experienced divorce lawyer from the rest.
As explained above, the level of conflict between the spouses will have an effect on the overall costs. Keeping conflict to a minimum will only serve to lower your legal fees but also will enable you strategize effectively in getting what you want.
Our Average Retainer for Medium Conflict Divorce with Kids – $3,500.00 – $5,000.00
High Conflict and Large Asset Divorces
No matter the size of the retainer, these cases are highly likely to exceed it. The simple fact is, the cost of these divorce cases is open-ended, with the sole limiting factor being the depth of a spouses resources.
With no limitation on what a spouse can spend, there is likewise no limitation on what a spouse will fight over. Most times this leads to the most irrational disputes such as spending countless thousands to fight over a $25.00 salad spoon that has “emotional value” (true story).
Obviously, high conflict comes with a high price. There’s just no avoiding it. Whether the conflict is because the issues are complicated, the spouses are complicated, or the court complicates matters, this is where the art of compromise is priceless.
At Austin Divorce Lawyer Now our focus is achieving the best outcome for you and not filling our own pockets. With this in mind we will always attempt to keep your legal fees to a minimum. But some matters are just simply outside our realm of control.
Our Average Retainer for High Conflict Divorce – $10,000.00 – $100,000.00