One of the most asked questions in the face of divorce is “how much will this cost?” Of course, the answer is always “It depends on the circumstances”, however, you should be able to get a clear picture of what the costs are going to be and hopefully not be shocked each month when you get your attorney’s bill.
Here are some key questions to ask up front so you won’t be surprised:
1. What is your hourly rate?
2. What is your retainer?
3. Do I need to keep replenishing the retainer?
4. In what increments do you bill?
5. If there is more than 1 attorney working on my case at a time (for example, the senior and junior attorneys both attend a meeting), will I be double billed?
6. When going to court, do you bill from the time you arrive in court or from the time you leave the office until the time you return?
7. How often will I receive a bill?
8. How long do I have to pay it?
9. Can I get a detailed breakdown of time spent on my case with each bill?
It’s also helpful to get a general expectation of costs in terms of how the process goes. If you’re mediating, negotiating or going to trial, there will be very different relative cost expectations.
It’s up to you how you manage your divorce. Remember, every email, every phone call and every time your attorney does work on your behalf-even if it’s waiting around in court, you will be charged!
Read some more divorce tips here.