The exact attorney fee will vary with the services you require. Many law firms charge their clients a certain fee per hour. It is difficult for these attorneys to accurately predict the cost or your fee because they do not know precisely how much time it will take to complete your case.
Some firms, ours included, charge certain fees for certain services. We provide a fee calculator on this website that is based on fixed fees to help estimate the potential cost of your attorney fees. Also, during a consultation, our attorneys can provide you with a detailed explanation of the exact legal fees for your case.
A typical domestic case requires many services, including conferences, obtaining information from you and your spouse concerning your assets, liabilities, income and expenses, and making recommendations concerning property division and support; settlement negotiations with your spouse's attorney; the preparation or review of a property settlement and support agreement; the preparation and filing of pleadings (or the review of the pleadings filed by your spouse); the preparation of an acceptance of service for your spouse or arranging for the sheriff to serve your spouse with a copy of the complaint; preparation or review of court orders and attending one or more court hearings. If a trial is necessary, the court has the authority to order one spouse to pay the other's attorney fees in alimony, child support and child custody matters. The amount awarded by the court will rarely pay the full amount of the attorney fees.
In addition to attorney fees, when cases go to court, there is the additional expense of “court costs”. Court costs are approximately $100 if the case is totally uncontested. If there are depositions or psychological investigations then additional fees come into play to compensate these experts. It is not unusual to spend several thousand dollars on these expenses.