How do Family Lawyers Get Paid?
Start writing a post

How do Family Lawyers Get Paid?

Hourly Rates and Retainers? Whats the Difference?

how do family lawyers get paid

In the legal industry, attorneys are paid in a number of different ways. Some lawyers require retainers, and other attorneys take their payment off settlements. Hourly wages, commission or a combination of the two. But how do family attorneys get paid?

Some family law attorneys do require a retainer. This retainer helps pay for several divorce services including, but not limited to service fees, filing fees, expert witness fees, transcript fees, records, court reporters and additional court related charges. When the retainer fund nears empty, an attorney might ask their legal client to deposit more funds to help finance the necessary.

Unlike personal injury or civil attorneys that take a percentage of the settlement decided by the court, family lawyers do not receive compensation based on whether you win or lose.

Drawbacks of Hourly Rates

There are a few drawbacks of paying for a family lawyer by the hour. Family attorneys can vary greatly with regards to their hourly rate. Generally speaking a Sacramento family law lawyer will cost less than a New York City, Chicago, San Francisco or Los Angeles family lawyer. There are several variables that contribute to the hourly rate of a lawyer including average income of the locality and experience. Since family lawyers can cost $250 or more per hour, these legal services can quickly add up to fees equivalent to tens of thousands of dollars.

Some family lawyers tend to avoid hourly rates as it is a bit of unknown as to how much labor is required for a unique case. This helps keep their clients in the light regarding their finances.

How Much Does a Family Law Attorney Cost?

Generally speaking a family law attorney will charge an average of $250 per hour. However, this number can range dramatically based on two main variables. Location and experience. The higher the income of an area, the higher the costs of attorneys. The lower income or cost of living in an area, the lower the costs of attorneys. A new inexperienced attorney may charge as little as $50 per hour, while a seasoned veteran of the legal landscape can charge as much as $650 an hour. Attorneys may also set up different pay structures to help finance their services.

What some attorneys may not tell you is that their attorney costs do not cover court expenses including filing fees, expert witnesses and travel and transportation charges. It is advisable to ask your family law attorney exactly how they want to be paid, the cost of a retainer, or their hourly billable rate. By ironing out these important details on the front end, you can be better prepped to assess the actual costs of the family legal services.

If the attorney is evasive, or not willing to outline their costs you might want to look elsewhere. The last thing anyone wants is an invoice at the end of a stressful case that they are unprepared for.

Going through family law cases can be very stressful, so it is very important to ensure that the family law attorney hired fits your needs. Have an open channel of communication with them and ask all of the questions you have on the front end to ensure you're in the right hands.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

For me, chai isn't just what I drink — it's a core part of who I am. Sure, I'll switch it up every now and then with a cup of English Breakfast, Earl Grey, rose, or Darjeeling, but I always come back to chai.

Nearly every tea lover has one tea they repeatedly drink and go back to, whether it's a daily morning ritual or an afternoon pick-me-up. One of my good friends has almost eight cups of jasmine tea every single day — she drinks more tea than water, actually.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

When my college announced that we would be having the fall 2020 semester on-campus, I was pretty excited. After six months of living at home with my parents with nothing to do, my study abroad trip in May canceled, and my 21st birthday plans down the drain, going back to campus meant that I would regain some of my individuality and see my friends again. But since we've returned, it has not been as fun as I had hoped my senior year of college would be.

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

I went through a breakup in the middle of November 2018 and decided I'd get on Tinder and see what happens. I honestly didn't know what I wanted from it and I never thought people could actually find their forever person on it until I did. I actually ended up marrying him a couple of months after we had matched, and now we are about to hit 2 years of marriage! Here are some tips on finding love on Tinder, if you're ready for commitment...

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

6 Simple Activities That May Actually Help You Sleep Better At Night

Because being well-rested is crucial to your overall health.


I often can't sleep at night due to a slurry of medical issues, both mental and physical. Often times I fall asleep between three and five in the morning. I know there are many others just like me, so I did some research to benefit us all. Here are 6 things to do when you can't sleep.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter what job you wish to pursue or where you'll end up in your career, writing will always be an invaluable skill.

Just ask Julia Waterbury, a former Odyssey creator and college graduate with a business degree, for whom this couldn't be more true! Though she began by using Odyssey as a creative outlet, she quickly learned it was so much more and soon was able to include her articles and skills (from writing and editing to SEO and social media marketing) to up her resume game.

Keep Reading... Show less

I haven't had sex since I lost my virginity at the end of my sophomore year of high school and now I'm a freshman in college, so I'd like to say I know a thing or two about not having sex. Here are four lessons I've learned over the last two years of abstinence.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments