How much will a divorce cost me?
The cost of your divorce will depend, in part, on the legal counsel you choose to represent your interests throughout the divorce process. Bearing that in mind, the price you pay your divorce attorney usually corresponds with three important factors:
- The complexity and of the case
- The experience of the attorney
- The amount of work involved
In an effort to help you understand the kinds of costs that are likely to be associated with your divorce, we have created the following outline to help you understand the basic expenses the Houston divorce attorneys at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler will charge. Even if your partner maintains control over the finances of your household, our firm can help you find the money you will need to pay for your divorce.
The Initial Consultation Fee
When you first come to meet with our team, you will be charged an initial consultation fee. This fee will allow one of our lawyers to provide you with a full hour of confidential, in-person (or telephonic) consultation before you decide to retain our firm. While the cost of your consultation fee will depend on the years of experience a lawyer brings to the table, this fee will be in the hundreds of dollars. You do not need to sign a fee agreement to have a consultation with our firm, you simply pay the consultation fee.
Why is an initial consultation important?
This one hour consultation has tremendous value for you and for your case. Not only do you have the opportunity to interview the lawyer who you may later hire and ask any questions you have, but the lawyer will also gather facts, explain what you should expect, suggest strategies, and discuss the cost of your divorce. After this one-hour consultation, we will be ready to be hired by you when you choose. More importantly, we will be ready to file papers with the court on short notice and at the time you are ready to proceed. To ask questions about what to expect with our initial consultations or to set-up an initial consultation with one of our attorneys in Houston, please call our offices at (713) 802-1777.
A “retainer” is a large payment that you will pay your attorney upfront. Retainers are often in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars—the exact cost will depend on the complexity of your case and the level of experience your attorney possesses. You will be quoted a retainer at your initial consultation and that retainer amount will be in your fee agreement. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our retainer fees work like a deposit for the costs of your divorce, and we will simply bill against your retainer. As such, any portion of your retainer that is not used will be refunded to you. It should be noted, however, that the retainer is generally not enough to cover the full cost of a divorce, and there is a good chance that you will need to replenish the retainer over the duration of your case.
The Hourly Fees
Our firm charges by the hour, and the hourly fee you will be charged will be listed in your fee agreement. Since our team includes personnel with different levels of experience and knowledge, we will be able to approach your case as team. This means that your lawyer will often be able to “push work down” to a more junior person who can perform certain tasks on your case at a lesser hourly cost to you. The more experienced lawyer, however, will be there to handle the tough issues involved in your case. This approach gives you more than one professional to lean on; if your attorney is in court, for instance, you can still reach others at our office who have worked on your case and who understand your situation.
There are expenses that will need to be paid for in every divorce, and these expenses are charged to you at cost. For instance, you can usually expect to pay any filing or service fees that we have to pay to the court or process server. Additionally, you may also incur other fees such as transcript fees, expert witness fees, and mediator’s fees. That being said, we generally do not charge for things like photocopies, long distance phone calls, postage, or faxes.
Consult with a Divorce Attorney in Houston
If you live in the greater Houston area and plan on filing for divorce, you should consult with a Houston divorce attorney at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler about what you should expect the cost of your divorce to be. To speak with a Houston divorce attorney about the particulars of your situation, or to schedule an initial consultation, please call our offices at (713) 802-1777 today.