Fees & Expenses
What Does it Cost
Mediation and FormsMediations can be scheduled for one half day or a whole day. One half day will cost $250 per person and a full day will cost $500 per person. The full day mediation will include lunch.
My office can complete the necessary required forms such as the final order, vital statistics forms, waivers, deeds, powers of attorneys, employer’s withholding orders, etc. The cost of this service depends on the amount of work needed, but you can expect to pay approximately $1,000 to complete the required forms. This does not include expenses such as the filing fees charged by the court (see below).
Weekend MediationsIf you prefer to conduct your mediation on Saturday or Sunday, the cost is $325 per person for a half day and $550 per person for a full day.
Your time is important. If you reach an agreement in mediation, most of the information necessary for the development of the forms can be acquired by e-mail. This saves you additional time in having to come to my office and there is no cost for these e-mail communications.
Litigation and RetainersYou may decide mediation is not an option you wish to undertake and that your case will require litigation. You can expect to pay an initial retainer depending on the facts in your case. The retainer serves like a deposit. You are then billed against this deposit.
The actual retainer may be more or less depending on many factors in your case including, matters of custody, family violence, restraining orders, age of children, their preferences, amount of assets to be divided, debt to be divided, number of retirement accounts, child abuse issues, necessary enforcement actions, relocation issues, criminal conduct, bankruptcy and tax issues, illegal surveillance matters, necessity of valuating a business, etc. You should understand that as your attorney, you and I do not control everything the other side wants to do.
Flat FeeThe facts in your case may be such that you may be offered a flat fee for the entire case. Some clients prefer to pay a flat fee and avoid the uncertainty of on-going attorney's fees.
Attorney General CasesIf you are a party in a case filed by the Attorney General’s Office for child support, you can expect to pay $800 to prepare for an attend the hearing.
Credit CardsAmong other forms of payment, we accept MasterCard, Visa and Discover credit and debit cards.
ExpensesThe Attorney-Client Agreement will identify the types of expenses that may be incurred in your case. Fees such as court filing fees differ from county to county. Some examples include:
- Court filing fees $260
- Citation $8
- Service of Process Fees $75
- Certified mail (per letter) $5
Other expenses are more difficult to estimate on your initial consult. These include fees for any expert witnesses required in your case and the payment of court reporters in the event of the taking of depositions.
Initial ConsultThere is a $200 fee for your initial consultation.
Collaborative LawThe Collaborative Law process is one where the parties announce to the court that they are going to pursue the process to resolve their case and are therefore no longer entitled to seek court intervention. The parties do not go to court. The parties will work in multiple sessions over a period of time to address each of their issues. The parties set the agenda after the first meeting. The process provides for the ability to come to your own agreement such as in mediation, but you are represented by an attorney and it is not done in one day. Fees are discussed with the client based on the facts in the case.
Cost Saving Tips
- Identify your most important top three issues prior to visiting an attorney.
- The more work you do in supplying a complete inventory and appraisal of your community estate (forms will be provided) the less work you will pay for research to acquire the necessary information.
- Consult with several attorneys. It may cost a little more up front, but this can be invaluable in finding someone compatible with your thinking whom you can trust. The attorney-client relationship is important.
- Gathering good information for both sides, that the attorney does not have to go get, can save you money such as contact and addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, employment information, monthly income and expense information, tax records, mortgage records, etc.
- Conduct your business with your attorney during his normal working hours. You will usually pay a premium for conducting business outside of working hours with most attorneys if you can reach them at all.
- Provide a secure e-mail address where you can receive copies of all documents worked on by your attorney. Documents can be scanned and sent to you faster and more cost effectively than using other means.
- You will be charged for telephone calls so it will help you save money if you address multiple concerns in one call.
- If you wish to communicate matters to other individuals, it is best that you do this. If you want your attorney to provide information to other persons, you will be charged for all communications with these persons.
- The more time you spend getting school records, immunization records, police records, etc., the less time you pay your attorney to do so. You need to see if it is cost effective for you to do this or will actually save you money for your attorney to do so. Some documents needed as evidence will best be acquired by your legal counsel.