Most divorce attorneys charge for their time, not their services. This is because they bill the client at an hourly rate for any time that is spent on the client or their case. The time for which the client gets billed is usually in increments of one-tenth of an hour, so .1 for 6 minutes, .2 for 12 minutes, etc. Time is also rounded up to the next tenth of an hour, so a 3-minute phone call would be .1, a 10-minute phone call would be .2, etc. Let’s say the attorney’s hourly rate is $300 per hour. That 3-minute phone call would be billed as .1, in other words $30. A 10-minute phone call would be .2 or $60. Even a quick one-sentence email would be $30-60. As you can see, this can cause the client’s charges to quickly add up. These same attorneys will collect a “retainer” up front and bill against it, meaning they’ll withdraw funds from the client’s retainer and apply it to their bill. Once the retainer is depleted, they will go back to the client for more money. Under the hourly billing method, it’s very easy to blow through the intial retainer after just a few phone calls and emails to your attorney. Once a client experiences this, he or she becomes hesitant to communicate with their attorney for fear of getting a shocking bill.
By contrast, flat fee pricing allows for the free flow of communication between attorney and client. No matter how much time is spent on phone calls, emails, meetings, document review, drafting, etc., you know you won’t get charged anything beyond your flat fee. This reduces fear and anxiety over the cost of divorce and allows the client to focus on their family and moving forward with their lives.
At our firm, fees are tied to the value of the service, not time. Our years of experience serving divorce and family law clients tells us that clients care about the service they receive and not the amount of time that was spent. Time-based billing incentivizes delay and inefficiency because the attorney can continue to bill for as long as the case continues. Thus you may end up paying thousands for the attorney’s time even if there is little value in their service. Flat fee pricing is more fair because you pay for the value of the services, regardless of the time that was spent. Our goal is to offer our clients certainty. Divorce can be expensive and no one wants to be stuck with a bill they can’t afford to pay. That’s why we discuss fees up front so our clients know what to expect and can plan for the cost of their divorce before they hire us.
Need a Custom Quote for Your Case?
To obtain a flat fee quote for your case, please call us at 703-271-6519 for a free consultation. You can also contact us by simply completing the short contact form on this page. We look forward to speaking with you.