Finding a lawyer can seem impossible for most people because they have never done it before. If you are considering hiring a family attorney in Brooklyn, one of the first questions you will likely want to know is, “How much does a lawyer charge?”
Price is often the number one concern because most people don’t know much about the cost of a lawyer beyond the fact that it is often high. Lawyers are notorious for charging high hourly fees, and for good reason. Becoming a practicing attorney requires years of training and specialized knowledge.
As a result, lawyers charge hundreds of dollars an hour. But there is more to the attorney fees than meets the eye. There are many different attorney fee structures. Sometimes, you won’t pay any attorney fees unless and until your case is successful.
A family attorney in Brooklyn may charge you the usual fees for your legal services, but they may also charge you for additional costs and expenses. For instance, if you are being represented in a divorce case, you will have to pay for the lawyer’s fees and other legal costs, including court costs.
These costs may include filing fees for your divorce petition, etc. Some lawyers charge for all of these costs separately. Others may charge for some of the costs separately but lump them together as an item on your lawyer’s bill. It is important to know how your attorney charges fees upfront.
One of the most important aspects of family law is the cost of a family lawyer. Knowing the cost of a family attorney in Brooklyn will help you make proper decisions for your family law case. This guide provides an overview of the fees you may be charged if you need a family attorney in Brooklyn to represent you.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Family Attorney?
The answer to the question, “How much does a family attorney charge?” is complicated because the answer depends on many factors. State and practice area are the two most important factors influencing attorney fees. Other factors, such as experience level, can also affect attorney fees.
If you want to know how much you will pay, you will want to look into the typical charges of attorneys handling similar cases. The amount of representation a family attorney in Brooklyn provides can vary greatly.
You can get from a simple consultation, where the attorney offers you initial advice, to a limited representation, where the attorney handles specific aspects of your case, to full representation, where they manage all aspects of your case from start to finish.
No matter what kind of case you are involved with, a family attorney in Brooklyn is obligated by the attorney’s professional code of ethics to be fair in charging fees and to explain fees to you so there are no surprises.
Categories Of Family Attorneys’ Fees
If you are considering hiring a family attorney in Brooklyn, you should understand how the various attorney fees are structured. There are three standard payment models for attorneys. They are:
1. Contingency fee.
The term “contingency” comes from the word “contingent” or “conditional.” In other words, a contingency fee means that your payment is contingent–or “conditionally”–on the outcome of your case. Your attorney doesn’t get paid for their work if you don’t achieve your goal.
When a family attorney in Brooklyn charges a contingent fee, it is typically only for legal services. However, in some instances, you may still be required to pay actual costs related to your case, even if your lawyer does not win and recover damages for you.
For instance, you may be required to pay court filing costs or expert witness costs–although some law firms cover these costs and do not charge you for them if your case fails. In most family cases, contingency fee agreements are not used. These cases include child custody, child support, alimony, spousal support, and divorce.
2. Charges per hour.
Many family attorneys in Brooklyn charge an hourly fee. That means you pay a set amount for every hour (or part of an hour). The hourly rate is based on how long your attorney spends on your case. This is a standard billing practice in most areas of law, including but not limited to divorce, criminal law, estate planning, corporate law, and more.
Your hourly attorney fee could be anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars for specialized legal services performed by a high-quality attorney. Your hourly fee may vary depending on the type of service you require, your location, and the family attorney in Brooklyn you hire.
3. A lump sum fee.
Some family attorneys in Brooklyn charge a lump sum. This means they set a price for a particular service or package of services. A lump sum is more common when a lawyer performs a standard, straightforward job with a clear scope. For instance, a family attorney in Brooklyn may charge a lump sum for creating a basic will or for filing uncontested divorce papers.
Under a lump sum, the amount you are charged varies depending on the type of legal services you need. The advantage of a lump sum is that you will know exactly how much you will be charged unless something unexpected happens.
What About Retainer Fee?
In some instances, a family attorney in Brooklyn will need a retainer. A retainer is a set amount of money you pay upfront that the attorney invoices against your case. This money is used to pay for legal fees incurred during your case. For instance, your lawyer may need a $1,000 to $2,000 retainer before they can begin working on your divorce case.
Retainers are a way for family attorneys in Brooklyn to ensure you have enough money to cover their fees and that you are investing in your case. The money is deducted from your retainer as the attorney works. Any money left over when the case is finished is paid back to you.
While a retainer is not a guarantee that you will receive the full cost of legal services, it does serve as a down payment for your case. Because you may still incur legal fees, always ask what a family attorney in Brooklyn will charge you before you pay anything.
Retainers aren’t necessary when an attorney works on a contingency basis, but they are almost always necessary under an hourly rate agreement. If your family attorney works on a lump sum rate, you don’t typically have a retainer, but you will only pay part (or all) of the fee upfront at the time of the service.
Things That Affect A Family Attorney Fee
Some people confuse legal representation with a mechanic service, but there are no similarities. For most jobs, a mechanic has a rough idea of the number of hours a job will take and the number of parts needed. This gives them an idea of the cost in advance.
On the other hand, a lawyer has much more to deal with because they are working on a human, not a car, situation. If an argument or grievance is brought up late in the case or new information is discovered, this can affect the length of the case and the cost.
Other factors will also affect the final cost of hiring a family attorney in Brooklyn. The common ones are:
1. Whether the case is contested?
If one side or the other is determined to fight, there isn’t much an attorney can do to expedite the process without compromising your desired results. This will delay your case and also affect the attorneys’ fee.
2. How complex is the case?
The size and intricacy of your family case play a big role in the overall cost. You may pay lower fees if your case is uncontested and the parties agree on the essential facts. On the other hand, if your case is highly contested, you may be charged higher fees due to the high level of negotiation, the length of the court hearing, or the complexity of the case.
If your case is complex, the attorney fees will be higher. This applies regardless of the hourly fee structure. For complex cases, lawyers charge a higher lump sum fee and spend more time on a complex case, resulting in a higher total hourly fee.
3. The attorneys’ experience.
The more experienced and professional the lawyer, the higher the fees. Lawyers who are new to the game and do not have a history of success tend to charge more. Lawyers with a lot of family law experience and knowledge may charge more per hour. However, their expertise can help you handle cases more efficiently and effectively, saving you time and money.
4. The place you stay.
Like most things in life, local pricing trends and cost of living play a role in how much an attorney will charge. For instance, if you live in Massachusetts, where the cost of living is among the highest in the country, you will likely pay more than if you live in Mississippi, where it is among the lowest. Similarly, attorneys in urban areas tend to charge more than attorneys in rural areas.
When it comes to attorney fees, look at the bigger picture. Don’t just think about how much family attorneys in Brooklyn charge. You don’t want the cheapest lawyer out there. You want a skilled lawyer you can afford who will give you a better chance of winning your case based on experience and proven success.
Family law cases are complex but even more complicated when figuring out what will happen after a divorce. It may seem like a straightforward property division, but you may be owed money on shared and personal property. If you need a family attorney, having one on your side is important.
Our family attorneys at Gehi and Associates are professionals in the law and the court system. We understand the tactics opposition attorneys employ to win their clients’ cases. We are committed to fighting for you and ensuring proper property division. Contact us today!
1. Is there a limit to how much a family attorney can charge?
Not really. In most cases, there is no cap on how much an attorney can charge. Lawyers are held to a set of ethical standards that dictate how much they charge.
2. Why are attorney fees usually high?
Attorneys have to go through a rigorous training program. They have to go through law school. They have to pass the Bar exam. They have to learn the ins and outs of their area of expertise. It takes a lot of time, and they charge many fees because of their expertise. A lot of people are willing to pay a lot of money because a lot of money is usually involved in legal disputes.
3. Do I need a family attorney?
Family attorneys deal with a wide variety of cases and have a deep understanding of state family law and federal family law. If you have a family law problem, speak to an experienced and qualified family attorney in Brooklyn. A skilled family attorney will help you determine your case’s best course of action and represent you if necessary in court.