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Old 03-26-2013, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lawyer consult fees

Called some lawyers, I was quoted a consult fee of $300 plus a retainer of $3-$4000. Is this normal? I know it will vary from state to state, but I was thinking that the consult would at least be a bit lower. That will end up being a big % of my assets.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lawyer consult fees

Pretty standard.

You may have read that consultations are free and you can use that to shop around and get some free advice, but lawyers are pretty wise to that practice and head it off now. They will meet with you for a few minutes, but if they get the feeling you aren't going to hire them then they will send you on your way quickly.

The retainer is also standard. Family law is notorious for clients bailing in the middle of proceedings. Most lawyers worth their salt will want the money up front in a retainer.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lawyer consult fees

My attorney charged me $100 for an hour of her time for the initial consult. Her standard retainer for divorce cases is $5000. She was also able to give me the name of a couple of mediators in my area who will handle straightforward, non-contentious, divorces for a lower fee.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lawyer consult fees

I don't know about the state you're in, but where I'm located, there's no need for a lawyer if you both can agree to the terms. There are sites online which give example forms, and they can sometimes be obtained at courthouse (clerk's office). Filing ourselves (I wrote up the document which he signed in front of a notary), our cost was just the filing fees ($146). This may or may not work for you, but it's worth exploring if the two of you can work out an amicable agreement.
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