There are many difficult decisions to make in divorce. Whether to file, wait to see if your spouse will really go through with it and file, whether to fight over the kids, or even whether your should hire a divorce attorney are issues that confront many individuals facing divorce. While there are many difficult decisions to make, if you decide to hire a divorce attorney you’ll also need to decide whether to hire an attorney by the hour or for a flat fee.
Flat Fees in Family Law Cases
Divorce lawyers work on cases for a flat fee to prepare documents or engage in limited scope representation. Rarely do divorce attorneys offer a flat fee to represent clients in all aspects of their divorce or other family law issue as the scope of work is uncertain.
Divorce attorneys offer flat fees for ghostwriting, which is a term for preparing your legal documents. Once completed, you will still be self-represented and need to file your documents with the family court. However, you’ll have some assurance that your documents are accurate, prepared by a licensed attorney, and maybe even have some guidance as to the next steps in your case. While there are a few flat fee divorce attorneys for document preparation, many divorce attorneys only offer “full-scope representation.”
Limited Scope Representation
Limited scope representation is a concept that has gained traction in the past several decades, particularly within the context of family law. Instead of representing a client on all aspects of their divorce, which may include custody, support issues, etc., the attorney agrees to represent the client with regard to a specific event in their case or issue. For instance, the attorney may agree to represent the client at a particular hearing or filing a request for order for child support. By limiting the scope of the attorney’s service the attorney can offer the client a flat fee instead of traditional hourly billing. In essence, the limited scope of representation gives the attorney a better idea as to the number of hours they’ll need to invest, making a flat fee agreement more feasible for the attorney.