We don’t bill by the hour (this is huge, so if you didn’t already know that or appreciate this fact, read on—you’ll be very happy that you did)
Rather than bill you by the hour, we bill on what is called a fixed fee or flat fee basis. We also offer what is known as limited scope representation too.
- Retainer agreement vs. Flat Fees. For the uninitiated, a retainer is a large deposit that is placed into the lawyer’s trust account the lawyer bills against. At the end of each billing period the lawyer will send a statement for how many hours billed that month, and what amount was taken from the retainer account. Essentially this is a blank check that gives the lawyer access to your deposit account.
- Flat fees agreements, on the other hand are agreements to pay up front for legal work. Generally, you won’t be asked to pay more than you’ve already paid, unless you require a significant departure you’re your agreement. While retainer deposits technically belong to you until they are earned, you will likely have to replenish your retainer deposit over and over again until the case is finished. While under the flat fee agreement, you will know exactly how much a portion of your case will cost you upfront.
Flat fees and limited scope representation save you money and put you in control of your divorce case. Here is how:
You usually experience some of the greatest degrees of uncertainty when going through a divorce or child custody action. We understand that bill-by-the-hour attorney’s fees contribute to this uncertainty because clients do not know how much their action will cost them from month to month and finances are usually a struggle in divorce actions (it should come as no surprise that divorce is a leading cause of bankruptcy).
It dawned on us that we could reduce your level of uncertainty and anxiety by giving you a greater degree of predictability and control over your legal fees and litigation options in your divorce case. Select Services℠ was born.
Why choose flat fees and/or limited scope representation?
- Hourly fees are unpredictable and hard to control when you get a bill on a monthly basis;
- Making payments (in full and on time) to an attorney on a monthly basis may be undesirable or impossible. Flat fees can provide you with representation or legal services as needed and as you can afford them.
- Paying attorneys by the hour does not promote efficiency, leading to increased costs;
- Flat fee agreements allow you to set and stick to a budget set in advance, ensuring that legal fees do not exceed what you can or want to pay;
- If you want to represent yourself or do some of your own legal work in a case, limited scope representation allows you to retain an attorney to represent you when you wish and as long as you wish; you’re not forced to adopt an “in for a penny, in for a pound” full-service representation relationship.
Flat fee billing reduces attorney fees uncertainty. You won’t receive an invoice far higher than expected because you know that costs of each phase of your case in advance.
You no longer need to worry about having services performed for you that you wouldn’t have wanted, had you been given the choice beforehand. No more questioning the one-page letters for which you were billed an hour or more!1[ 1 We recognize the possibility that the metaphorical one-page letter might have actually taken one hour or more for the attorney to complete, depending on the research and discussion involved beforehand. And it may turn out to have been worth every penny having that letter written for you. The point is not whether the letter was worth the expense, but whether there was a better way to go about it so that you, as a client, were not shocked and dismayed at the resulting bill, after the fact.]
Here’s how it works. Schedule an initial consultation and meet with us. This is your Divorce Success Planning Session. It lasts and hour and you will love it or we refund your initial consultation fee of $200. You get:
- An in-depth (sometimes uncomfortable) interview about your specific needs and worries and goals, so that you see your situation clearly—finally!; and
- A custom-made plan (or plans, depending upon what options you want to keep open) just for you, for how to take your divorce action from start to finish.
- Before your Divorce Success Planning Session we give you a list of questions to answer and documents we will need from you to review and discuss at your consultation.
- You and we discuss the details of your legal needs so that both you and we understand what it will entail (for example: the needs of a childless couple of modest means who have been married for 2 years will not be quoted the same fee as an affluent couple married 20 years with a house (and a mortgage), retirement accounts, and three minor children).
- We then determine with you what services you need and want, and then we quote you a flat fee for those services, in writing.
- If our fee is acceptable to you, we sign a fee agreement that identifies clearly and plainly what services we will provide for that fee and–if you retain us to represent you—the scope of representation.
- Work on your case commences once we receive your signed fee agreement and payment of your flat fee.
To schedule your Divorce Success Planning Session, click here: