Hourly Rates, Flat Rates, Fixed Fees
Fixed fee, flat fee, value billing, hourly rates, retainer, advanced fees. What do all these things have in common? They are all ways to pay for legal work. They are all things you might talk about with a family lawyer if you want to hire the lawyer for your divorce or family law case. What do they mean? They all mean that you are agreeing to pay for work performed by the lawyer to help you solve your family law issues or divorce in one way or another. You are going to have a fee agreement with your lawyer.
Fee agreements with a good, experienced family lawyer will be written and you’ll get a copy of it for yourself. will include the way that you are agreeing to pay your lawyer. And what the lawyer will be doing to help you with your case. If you are going to pay your lawyer based on time spent working on your case you might hear the word retainer or advanced fee. Retainer- The word ‘retainer’ means a deposit for work to be billed against in the future. In my office, it is called your advanced fee. Your advanced fee is deposited in a trust account for the work in the future.
If you are agreeing to pay your lawyer’s office based on time spent, the hourly rates of the lawyers and staff that may work on your case will likely be included in the fee agreement.
Flat Fee, Fixed Fee
If you are going to pay one amount for a service by your lawyer you will agree to an amount. You are paying one flat fee or a fixed fee. This can be for one particular thing like drafting a document or for a whole case.
Value billing is similar to a fixed fee agreement. You and your lawyer decide specifically what the lawyer will do for you and what price you will pay. Sometimes you can have a lawyer only perform one specific task or document in your case.
Make sure you read your fee agreement and that it has your actual agreement in it. If you have questions, a good, experienced family lawyer will go over your fee agreement with you and answer any questions you may have.
As always, this is informational only. We have new fixed fee options at our office. Contact us for questions about your case.
Jill O’Connell, 940-497-5454