Helping Families Navigate The Difficult Road Of Divorce

What Does It Cost To Get A Divorce In Orange County?

Is it possible to hire a divorce attorney without losing your nest egg, retirement or savings? Let’s first talk about hourly rates. Hourly rates for attorneys in Orange County can range anywhere from $200 to $500 or more. Retainer agreements can range all across the board. Some, though not many, attorneys will offer a flat-fee and some will require you to put down a retainer deposit. There are some attorneys that will even require you to put down a security deposit. Here is a brief explanation of the three most common basic options: retainer agreements, flat-fee arrangements and security deposit agreements.

Retainer Agreement In A California Divorce

In Orange County, retainers usually start at a couple of thousand dollars for a simple case and for more complex cases it can be as high as you can afford. With a retainer, you put money into the attorney’s trust account, and each month your attorney will bill you, but payment is taken from the retainer. When the retainer is depleted or goes below a certain level, you are usually required to replenish the retainer if your case is not done. At Song Family Law, APLC, when I cannot charge a flat fee, my firm will use a retainer agreement.

What Is A Flat-Fee Agreement?

Flat-fees are great for straightforward, low conflict cases, but for cases that are litigated, not so much. The good thing about flat-fees is that you know exactly how much you will pay, but there are several downsides. First, very few attorneys will offer a flat-fee for litigation. If they do, the representation will be very limited and don’t expect your attorney to work many hours beyond what your flat-fee paid for. It is just not feasible for most attorneys. If you get a flat-fee attorney, your case should be straightforward and not contentious. If your case is complex and contentious, a flat-fee may not be a good idea. I offer flat-fees for some cases but do not compromise the responsiveness to my clients. Call me for a free phone consultation to see if your case qualifies for a flat-fee agreement.

Understanding Security Deposit Agreements

Security deposits usually start at a couple of thousand dollars. Security deposits are exactly what they sound like. You put money into the attorney’s trust account, then they bill you periodically. If at the end of your case the security deposit has not been used, it will be returned to you.

Multiply Hourly Rates With The Time Estimate For An Approximate Divorce Cost

Many people forget to ask for an estimate of the whole case. Litigation can be unpredictable, but a firm should have an idea of the strategy of the case early on. You should also know the hourly rate for everyone who is going to work on your case. A critical question to ask is “how many hours?” You should get an idea of what tasks are going to be done and how much time you will be billed. Then multiply your attorney’s hourly rate with the time estimate. Can you really afford to pay $400 to $600 an hour for your divorce attorney?

My Firm’s Rates And Fee Agreements

At the Song Family Law, APLC, I customize your family law case plan. Most importantly, my hourly rates are affordable. I keep them reasonable so that I can have flexibility with the cases I take. When possible, I charge a flat-fee. For cases where a flat-fee arrangement is not feasible, I offer a reasonable retainer agreement. A divorce shouldn’t bankrupt you because of attorney’s fees, call me today for a free 30-minute phone consultation at 888-999-0259. You may also make arrangements for a consultation by emailing my office through my secure website.