Ask A Lawyer

Tell Us Your Case Information for Fastest Lawyer Match!

Please include all relevant details from your case including where, when, and who it involoves.
Case details that can effectively describe the legal situation while also staying concise generally receive the best responses from lawyers.


By submitting this lawyer request, I confirm I have read and agree to the Consent to Receive Email, Phone, Text Messages, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. Information provided may not be privileged or confidential.

Permanent Counsel Fees

by Danette R. Pahl on Sep. 11, 2017

Divorce & Family Law 

Summary: Permanent Counsel Fees

A divorce decree can facilitate an enforcement order, establish rights for both the parties, award Legal Decision Making and enable visitation rights, grant alimony, and distribute property between the parties. Considering the nature of divorce cases and the work involved in obtaining divorce, legal fees often differ from case to case. The fees can differ from city to city, state to state, and law firm to law firm. Preliminary meetings with counsel usually do not involve laborious effort, and usually amount to sorting the factual details. Courts take consideration of the parties' ability to pay counsel fees before awarding fees. Despite the diversity in statutes, courts apply general principles and carefully analyze the parties' financial status before awarding costs.



Types of fees

Attorneys offer varying kinds of services to the divorce client. They can include basic fees for filing the case, monthly or yearly retainers, individual case retainers, payment arrangements, flat fees for uncontested proceedings, minimum fees for specific parts of the case, expert fees, hourly fees, and out of pocket expenses. Attorneys usually may secure their fees through a lien against marital or non-marital asset of the client and also can accept assignment of clients' wages as payment towards fees. Most law firms accept credit cards for payments.



Counsel's expertise and the cooperation and communication of both parties play a significant role in determining the course of the case. Seeking the right counsel in relation to the estimated case duration should allow the client to choose between temporary counsel and permanent counsel. Cases expected to last a long time are the best candidates for the award of permanent attorney fees. Permanent legal fees are awarded generally in cases where one spouse is financially disadvantaged and has little or no control over the marital property that is to be used to pay legal fees. This is done with the intention to assure equal representation for both spouses.



Conclusion

Although the main criteria for an award of attorney fees are disparity of income or assets and equality of representation, courts generally try to balance the parties' interests before awarding legal fees to a spouse. Attorneys charge lower fees in uncontested divorces than in contested matters because there is much less to do in uncontested cases. Contingent fee arrangements rarely, if ever, are used in divorce matters.

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer

Lawyer.com is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on lawyer.com are the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and are not reviewed or commented on by Lawyer.com The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gage a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, Lawyer.com recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See Lawyer.com's full Terms of Use for more information.