Hi, I’m Lori Barkus, Colorado and South Florida-based family law attorney, and I help women have a successful divorce. Something interesting happened when I switched to using flat fees. Clients were happy that they would no longer be charged for everything. They liked that there was one set price. But then I would tell a new client what that flat fee is, and there would be a sense of sticker shock.
That’s when I realized that most people don’t know what a divorce costs. For example, a typical divorce involving property or children costs about $30,000. So, once people realize that this is the baseline of what they’re charged…and keep in mind, under the traditional I’ll-take-a-retainer-from-you billable-hour model, you need to learn that.
Because your attorney will even tell you, “I don’t know what this divorce will cost. I’m going to ask for a retainer. And when that’s gone, I’ll ask for another one and another one until we’re done or you’re out of money.” So there is a sure gamble in not knowing those fees. Even though somebody may take less money upfront, they will keep asking for more.
And in a flat-fee situation, your rate is locked in. So you won’t pay anymore despite what happens in your case. So that’s a quick explanation about the cost of divorce.