If you are considering divorce, it is important to understand how attorney billing and miscellaneous fees are handled before hiring an attorney. It is a good idea to ask questions about fees when hiring a divorce lawyer at your initial consultation so you know what you can expect if you hire the attorney.
- What is the billing rate? Attorneys typically bill by the hour, so you will want to ask what their billing rate is and that of the associate (if any) assigned to your case. Ask what is the minimum unit of time the attorney bills at and if phone calls are billed.
- Do I need a retainer? Typically a firm will ask for a retainer, a lump sum, which they will deduct charges from as the case progresses. Ask if a retainer is required and how much it is? Ask what happens when the retainer is depleted.
- Can my spouse pick up the tab? One question that many clients ask is if the attorney can collect fees from their spouse – ask your attorney about options in this regard.
- What other fees can I expect? Ask about any extra fees you can expect beyond the attorney’s fees such as court costs, process servers, expert witnesses, photocopies, stenographers and more. Ask if the fees are paid in advance or as you go. An experienced attorney will be able to provide you a ballpark figure on various miscellaneous fees you may incur in your case so you have a general idea of what you can expect.
It is important to understand attorney fees and other costs associated with getting a divorce. Preparing a few questions in advance of your initial consultation regarding the potential costs along with questions pertaining to the attorney’s family law experience and what you can expect from your case will help you make an informed decision when seeking a Wisconsin divorce attorney. For a free initial consultation, give us a call at 414-210-3135 or an email.