What is the average retainer fee for a divorce lawyer?
Generally, the average retainer fee for a divorce lawyer should cover a number of hours so that the law firm can schedule and prioritise a new case.
We recommend that you budget 10 to 20 hours as a start.
The actual hourly rate will depend on a number of factors.
Remember that divorce law services are a life-changing service.
A successful divorce is one which saves you from financial and emotional turmoil, putting the future of the family first.
Your divorce lawyer is your guide, and can either champion your position, saving you time, money, and emotional fallout; or achieve the opposite.
After attending to 100s of divorce cases, we recommend you consider this list of factors, before appointing a divorce lawyer:-
- the reputation of the firm, as well as the individual professional;
- the values of both;
- the strategic approach, especially to conflict resolution;
- the experience and specialisation;
- the appreciation of psychology and pathology;
- being a skilled negotiator; diplomatic, yet appropriately assertive (never aggressive);
- the level of emotional intelligence;
- familiarity of the local court system, and role players;
- the complexity of the matter;
- the urgency;
- the value of the assets and debts;
- whether there are any minor children;
- whether it is a high conflict divorce;
- your spouse’s attorney and advocate;
- any personality disorders; and
- criminal and abusive elements.
When one appreciates that a divorce case can involve a multifaceted list of fundamental, delicate issues, one appreciates that the divorce lawyer may be an investment in a potentially life changing service.
If you want to stand the best chance of not only surviving the divorce process, but thrive through it, interview a divorce lawyer first.
Go through the above factors with them, and satisfy yourself that the relevant attorney ticks all the relevant boxes. Some may be more relevant than others.
Ultimately, we recommend that you find a divorce attorney who strives to achieve a fair, family first, and future focussed outcome.
Know that a divorce attorney is in a special and privileged position – he or she is your guide through a major emotional and financial life transition.
They need to deserve this responsibility by being qualified to deal with the issues in the best possible way.
When one understand the purpose of divorce law, in that it is a set of rules, to help protect the best interests of the family unit moving from moving one home in to two, you begin to appreciate that the divorce lawyer, and his or her approach, can be a major positive or negative influence on any successful conclusion.
The world needs to move away from turning away from one another, and turn towards one another, and continue to engage, so that resolutions can be reached. A divorce lawyer needs to facilitate this through strategic, and emotionally intelligent management of your case.
At the end of the day, all divorce clients need a champion, like a knight: a ‘gentleman’ who believes in justice, but who can also fight for what is fair.
If you would like to interview us, Call Simon on 086 099 5146 today, or email: Sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za, and we will arrange a time to talk within the next day or two.
We’d be happy to share more about our approach, and what makes our way of managing divorce matters unique and valuable.