Flat Fees in a Contested Divorce


Flat fee divorces are now commonly offered for all divorces which are uncontested. But here I will discuss the use of flat fees in a contested divorce.

Except for criminal work and personal injury, most legal work is usually billed by the hour. In family cases, the uncontested divorce is now almost always billed at a flat fee because there is no litigation involved from the outset.

As someone facing a contested divorce, you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing the total amount you will pay in legal fees.

But here comes the tricky part to actually being successful in doing that.

Getting a flat fee for legal services in a contested divorce is more difficult because we lawyers don’t know what your spouse is going to do once they are served with the divorce papers-we don’t know what your spouse will tell their lawyer, and we don’t know what their lawyer will do with what they are being told.. As a result, we divorce attorneys are more hesitant to offer to do your divorce for a flat fee since it may turn out to be more quite a bit of work and expense.

There is also a common misunderstanding about flat fees for legal services generally. The misunderstanding is about how low the flat fee will be: in most people’s mind, a flat fee somehow morphs into a “cheap fee” or “low flat fee.”

For uncontested divorces, you can reasonably think of a flat fee as low, or cheap, or whatever.

But in a contested divorce, a flat fee will not be anywhere near what you can expect to pay as a flat fee for an uncontested divorce.

Understanding this as you go about looking for a flat fee for a contested divorce will prevent “sticker shock” when you hear what a flat fee may look like for your divorce. To put a flat fee in perspective, find out about the hourly fee for the same kind of work.

Flat fee legal services for a contested divorce will keep you safe from the traditional hourly billing. It provides a win-win for the client and the lawyer because both know what is expected of the other at every step of the case.

If your divorce is uncontested and you would like to know more about my flat fees for an uncontested divorce, visit Miami uncontested divorce page or Broward uncontested divorce page, as appropriate for you.

For contested divorces, I’ve started offering more clients the choice between a flat fee, paid in stages of a divorce; or the traditional hourly billing arrangement. Doing so lets the client make the best choice for their own situation.

If you’re not sure that your divorce will be by mutual agreement or uncontested, and would like more information from me about a flat fee for a contested divorce, then fill out the form  in the right sidebar and I will contact you—please make sure to check your email for a message from me asking you to confirm that you want me to contact you.


© 2009-2014 Vivian Rodriguez

Vivian Rodriguez is a divorce and paternity attorney in Florida. For articles about  Florida family law, visit the Articles page at  FLDivorcePaternityLawyer.com.

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