Billing Process of Divorce Lawyers

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If you are thinking about divorce and need to know how divorce lawyers bill the process, you can be sure it is a very complicated process and does not entail just one single thing. There is an entire structure divorce lawyers do, and the fees may not always include just their services but others in their office as well. It is for this reason they tend to use a combination of flat fees and hourly rates.

For many lawyers, the flat fee structures pertains strictly to the preparation and filing of necessary paperwork. They will also charge you for the filing fees the court requires as well as any fees they must pay to obtain certain types of documentation that are necessary in the preparation of your case. The more work they have to do on your case, the more money you will need to pay to obtain your divorce.

Each divorce lawyer is different, so if you think you will be able to obtain an accurate estimate of how much your divorce will cost, you are definitely going to be disappointed. There are too many factors divorce lawyers incorporate into their fee structures for them to be able to tell a potential new client how much their divorce will cost with any degree of accuracy. Certainly if you provide important information such as all the forms that will be necessary and have all your paperwork prepared ahead of time it may allow the him to give you a more accurate estimate than he or should could ordinarily provide.


There are many different tasks for which they will bill clients either on a flat fee basis or hourly basis. How each one bills these items will vary, so you will need to question each of the divorce lawyers you are researching for his or her individual assessment of the divorce preparation process.

Preparation and filing of the divorce petition

Valuation of all marital and business assets

Assignment of property ownership

Preparation of ancillaries such as child support, alimony/spousal support, property division and custody of the children

Representation in court

Negotiations with the ex-spouse's divorce lawyer

Re-assignment of the deed to real estate

Preparation of the divorce settlement

Any time the office staff spends on sending letters, filing and making telephone calls that are related to your case

Fees for the process server or certified mail for delivery of the divorce filing and the final decree

You should not take this information as gospel since each divorce lawyer will structure their fees differently. Some of the above items may not be necessary in your case while some divorce lawyers may even combine some of the items into one more general category. The important thing to remember is you will definitely find that divorce lawyers use a combination of flat fee and hourly billing that is personalized for each individual client. There are no two divorces that will be exactly alike, so therefore the fees will vary.


Christy Oconnor is a divorce lawyer specializing in divorce application, child custody, divorce settlements and the like.

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