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What Is A Divorce Retainer Fee?

What is a Retainer Fee?

A "retainer" is an advanced fee usually based on the lawyer's hourly rate. Think of a retainer as a "down payment" against which future fees and costs are billed. Usually the retainer is placed in a special account and costs are deducted from there. Bear in mind that a retainer fee usually is non-refundable. A retainer fee can also mean that you pay a retainer to have a lawyer on-call to handle your legal problems over a period of time.

Do Retainer Fees differ if you have been charged in a divorce, domestic or family law case?

While some attorneys charge flat fees, most family law attorneys charge on an hourly basis.  The lawyer will quote a fee, or a schedule of fees depending on how the case progresses.  In this case, the retainer will be the amount that is required up front before the lawyer will begin work or enter an appearance on behalf of the client. There are some occasions where a simple uncontested dissolution will be handled for a flat fee for handling the entire case.  In most cases, however, an hourly rate is billed to the client.

How much is a retainer?

Each attorney is different.  Most attorneys set their retainer based on the charges or anticipated charges in the case.  A relatively simple case will have a smaller retainer than a complicated case.  For example, a short marriage with both parties earning the same amount of income and without children will be a relatively small retainer.  A more complicated case: one with children, custody issues, child support, long term marriage, mixed marital and non-marital assets, real estate, investments, spousal support/alimony, division of debts or ownership of business assets will have a much larger retainer as the anticipated legal fees will be much significantly greater.  In general, the more complex the case, the larger the retainer.  Contact the attorney directly to inquire about retainer and fees. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email Michael Bouldin at [email protected].

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