When you hire a family law attorney you usually pay for his time, neatly broken down into 6-minute increments. This is called hourly billing. Every month, you get a bill detailing the time that was spent on your case and how much this time has cost you. The more time the lawyer spends on your case, the more you pay. With hourly billing, you do not directly pay for the lawyer to resolve your legal issues or solve your problems, you simply pay for his time. At some point during your case, you may ask your lawyer, “how much more is this going to cost?” The typical response, if you are paying your lawyer by the hour, is that it depends on how much more time is required. This billing arrangement is unpredictable and rewards inefficiency. You never really know how much your divorce, custody, or support issue will cost until it is resolved. And the longer it takes the lawyer to accomplish a task, the more money you’ll be charged.
When you hire a fixed fee family law attorney, you pay for work accomplished, not time spent. A fixed fee can be charged for any family law matter including divorce, dividing of property, and setting or modifying support or custody. The fixed fee agreement between you and your lawyer is tailored to the work that is done on your behalf. Most family law attorneys do not handle family law cases on a fixed fee basis. The Law Offices of Evan Braunstein practices family law on a fixed fee basis. If you are interested in fixed fee family law services and you live in southern California, you can contact the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein for a free consultation to discuss your case. Below, are five reasons to think about fixed fee family law.
Most people go to a lawyer, and a family law lawyer, in particular, so that they will know what is going to happen. A fixed fee agreement lets you know exactly how much you will have to pay before you agree to hire a lawyer, giving you one less thing to worry about. And while no lawyer can promise results in your case, a fixed fee agreement can tell you how much the services will cost up front.
You’ll never find yourself on the phone with your lawyer looking at your watch, wondering how much the call will cost. In a fixed fee setting, both you and your lawyer stand on solid ground, working together to resolve your case. After all, you have bigger issues to deal with at a time like this than a ticking time clock.
Recent advances in technology allow us to do more, faster and easier than could be done before. The premium that a fixed fee agreement places on efficiency encourages your lawyer to adopt and use these new technologies. In my practice, for example, every document is scanned as soon as it comes in the office and each client has a free extranet account, that gives them 24×7 secure online access to all of their documents and case information. If I need you to review a document, I can securely post it for your instant review. If you want to check a piece of information, you can instantly access it via any internet connection.
In a fixed free setting you don’t have to worry about how much it will cost to talk to your lawyer, or if a particular issue is really important enough to spend time on. This leads to the free flow of ideas and information between you and your attorney, which can reduce the chance of surprises and result in a better quality of legal representation.
No more reviewing, checking or discussing a bill with your attorney. No more “Did it really take that long to do this?” or “How much more will this cost?”. With a fixed fee agreement, questions like these disappear, leaving you and your lawyer to concentrate on what really matters.